Few ecotoxicological studies exist for rare earth elements (REEs), particularly field-based studies on their bioaccumulation and food web dynamics. REE mining has led to significant environmental impacts in several countries (China, Brazil, U.S.), yet little is known about the fate and transport of these contaminants of emerging concern. Northern ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to REE enrichment from prospective mining projects at high latitudes. To understand how REEs behave in remote northern food webs, we measured REE concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (?15N, ?13C) in biota from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic (N = 339). Wildlife harvesting and tissue sampling was partly conducted by local hunters through a community-based monitoring project. Results show that REEs generally follow a coherent bioaccumulation pattern for sample tissues, with some anomalies for redox-sensitive elements (Ce, Eu). Highest REE concentrations were found at low trophic levels, especially in vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Terrestrial herbivores, ringed seal, and fish had low total REE levels in muscle tissue (?REE for 15 elements
The aim of the study was to assess the influence of different working conditions on the health of 1523 copper-nickel miners of the Kola High North. The low degree of mechanization of mining operations was established to be related to more higher levels of vibration, noise and physical overloads. The working in such conditions, when compared with high mining mechanization, leads to a decrease in the number of conditionally healthy workers (12% and 20.7%, p
This cross-sectional questionnaire study was carried out at 4 open-pit mines in Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden as part of the MineHealth project. The aim has been to compare the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms between drivers of mining vehicles and non-drivers.
The mine workers were asked whether they had suffered from any musculoskeletal symptoms during the previous 12 months in specified body regions, and to grade the severity of these symptoms during the past month. They were also asked about their daily driving of mining vehicles.
The questionnaire was completed by 1323 workers (757 vehicle drivers) and the reported prevalence and severity of symptoms were highest for the lower back, followed by pain in the neck, shoulder and upper back. Drivers in the Nordic mines reported fewer symptoms than non-drivers, while for Russian mine workers the results were the opposite of that. The daily driving of mining vehicles had no significant association with the risk of symptoms. Female drivers indicated a higher prevalence of symptoms as compared to male drivers.
The study provided only weak support for the hypothesis that drivers of vehicles reported a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms than non-vehicle drivers. There were marked differences in the prevalence of symptoms among workers in various enterprises, even though the nature of the job tasks was similar. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(4):553-564.
The study covered health state of mine workers of "Apatit" enterprise according to periodic medical examination data in 2014. Medical workup covered 1360 miners of main, auxiliary occupations, with assessment of standardized intensive morbidity parameters. The analysis defined the most unfavorable health state of main occupations workers, with leading pathology of locomotory diseases, nervous system (polyneuritis) and ear disorders. These diseases could be caused by specific work conditions characterized by exposure to vibration, noise, intense physical exertion, cooling.
The study covered features of work conditions, occupational risks and health state in 574 workers of automobile and railway transport, engaged into transportation of lobe rock in Kolsk Transpolar area. Findings are higher risk of occupationally conditioned (onychomycosis, obesit arterial hypertension and peptic ulcer of duodenum/stomach) and occupational diseases (neurosensory deafness, radiculopathy, vibration disease) in rock handler drivers. Conclusion was made on necessity to improve prophylaxis and treatment of health disorders in these workers.
Overland transport of ore concentrate from the Red Dog lead/zinc mine in northwest Alaska to its seaport has historically raised concerns among local subsistence users regarding the potential impacts of fugitive dust from the operation, including the potential uptake of metals into caribou meat. Caribou are an integral part of life for northern Alaska Natives for both subsistence and cultural reasons. The Western Arctic caribou herd, whose range includes the Red Dog mine, transportation corridor, and port site, sometimes overwinter in the vicinity of mine operations. A weight of evidence approach using multiple lines of evidence was used to evaluate potential risks associated with subsistence consumption of caribou harvested near the road and mine. Data from a long-term caribou monitoring program indicate a lack of consistent trends for either increasing or decreasing metals concentrations in caribou muscle, liver, and kidney tissue. Lead, cadmium, and zinc from all tissues were within the range of reference concentrations reported for caribou elsewhere in Northern Alaska. In addition, a site use study based on data from satellite-collared caribou from the Western Arctic Herd showed that caribou utilize the area near the road, port, and mine approximately 1/20th to 1/90th of the time assumed in a human health risk assessment conducted for the site, implying that risks were significantly overestimated in the risk assessment. The results from multiple lines of evidence consistently indicate that fugitive dust emissions from Red Dog Operations are not a significant source of metals in caribou, and that caribou remain safe for human consumption.
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, 36 Union St., Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com.
The controls on the mobility and fate of arsenic in lakes impacted by historical gold ore roasting in northern Canada have been examined. A detailed characterization of arsenic solid and aqueous phases in lake waters, lake sediments and sediment porewaters as well as surrounding soils was conducted in three small lakes (80 wt%) of arsenic is contained in the form of secondary sulphide precipitates, with iron oxy-hydroxides hosting a minimal amount of arsenic (
Workers in the Arctic open-pit mines are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Employers are required to provide protective clothing for workers. This can be the outer layer, but sometimes also inner or middle layers are provided. This study aimed to determine how Arctic open-pit miners protect themselves against cold and the sufficiency, and the selection criteria of the garments. Workers' cold experiences and the clothing in four Arctic open-pit mines in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia were evaluated by a questionnaire (n=1,323). Basic thermal insulation (Icl) of the reported clothing was estimated (ISO 9920). The Icl of clothing from the mines were also measured by thermal manikin (standing/walking) in 0.3 and 4.0 m/s wind. The questionnaire showed that the Icl of the selected clothing was on average 1.2 and 1.5 clo in mild (-5 to +5°C) and dry cold (-20 to -10°C) conditions, respectively. The Icl of the clothing measured by thermal manikin was 1.9-2.3 clo. The results show that the Arctic open-pit miners' selected their clothing based on occupational (time outdoors), environmental (temperature, wind, moisture) and individual factors (cold sensitivity, general health). However, the selected clothing was not sufficient to prevent cooling completely at ambient temperatures below -10°C.
The career and work arduousness of a population of retired iron ore miners and their contemporaries who continued to work were investigated to find out what aspects of work history were associated with disability pensioning. The retired group had entered the mining industry at a more advanced age than the referents. The retired miners had also started at more strenuous tasks. Later they changed to lighter tasks, but were less often promoted in their career. The risk of early retirement seems thus to be related to the essential indicators of one's progress in the mining vocation.