Toxic toil — child labour and mercury exposure in Tanzania’s small-scale gold mines

Type of item
EU & international information
Country
International
Year of publication
2013

English

Description

Thousands of children, some as young as eight years old, risk serious injury and even death from working in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania.
This report, based on over 200 interviews, examines child labour and exposure to mercury in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer. Children dig and drill in deep unstable pits for shifts of up to 24 hours, transport and crush heavy bags of gold ore, and process the gold with mercury. Exposure to mercury vapour can cause neurological and developmental problems and it is particularly harmful to children. In some cases, working in mines also affects children’s attendance and performance at school and places girls at risk of sexual harassment and exploitation.

Other data

Provider
Provider name (English)
Human Rights Watch
Provider name (Original)
Human Rights Watch
Type of provider
Other type provider
Non-profit organization
Tasks covered
Mining or Quarrying
Biological hazard
Not applicable
Hazard - physical state
Dusts
Liquids
Vapours
Hazard - health effects
Neurotoxic substances
Exposure route
Dermal contact
Inhalation
Skin absorption
Substance Description

Substances you come in contact with in mining, mercury, silicon dioxide

CAS Number
7439-97-6
7631-86-9, 112926-00-8
EC number
231-106-7
231-545-4
Prevention measures
Not applicable
Purpose of the material
Awareness raising
Report
Target group
Policy makers