Natives most affected by Amazon mercury: Study
LIMA, Peru (AP) - A study of mercury contamination from rampant informal gold mining in Peru's Amazon says indigenous people who get their protein mostly from fish are the most affected, particularly their children.
The new research detailed on Monday by the Carnegie Institution for Science found mercury levels above acceptable limits in 76.5 percent of the people living in the Madre de Dios region, both rural and urban populations.
"Most of the communities that had the highest concentrations of mercury were native communities," said Luis E. Fernandez, the project director.
The people in those communities had mercury levels, based on hair samples, more than five times maximum acceptable levels and 2.3 times greater than those in non-indigenous communities, he said.