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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 123, Issue 1–3, pp 31–40 | Cite as

Health Survey Among People Living Near an Abandoned Mine. A Case Study: Jales Mine, Portugal

  • Olga N. Mayan
  • Maria J. Gomes
  • Amélia Henriques
  • Susana Silva
  • Andrea Begonha
Article

Abstract

Campo de Jales is a village surrounding the abandoned Jales mine. The area is heavily contaminated with heavy metals and dusts from large tailings piles as result of centuries of mining operations. The aim of this study is to investigate potential health threats associated with site contamination. The population studied comprised two groups: people living in Campo de Jales (n = 229) and a control group – people living in Vilar de Macada (n = 234). Lead and cadmium exposure and symptoms survey were carried out.

The results showed a significant higher levels of blood lead and cadmium between the Campo de Jales residents (lead: 9.5 microgr/dl versus 7.7 microgr/dl; cadmium: 0.84 microgr/dl versus 0,65 microgr/dl) as well as to a higher prevalence of respiratory and irritation symptoms and great concern about his own health.

In conclusion: community is the scene of long-term health problems resulting from the site environmental contamination.

Keywords

biological monitoring cadmium exposure contaminated sites lead exposure mines 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga N. Mayan
    • 1
  • Maria J. Gomes
    • 2
  • Amélia Henriques
    • 1
  • Susana Silva
    • 1
  • Andrea Begonha
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Environmental and Occupational HealthNational Institute of Health Porto – PortugalPortoPortugal
  2. 2.School of HealthPolitechnic Institute of Bragança – PortugalBragançaPortugal

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