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Abstract Title: Mercury Sources and Sinks in the Peruvian Amazon using Passive Air Sampling
Presenter Name: Natalie Szponar
Company/Institution: University of Toronto
Session: Mercury in Artisanal Gold Mining
Co-Authors: Natalie Szponar,Claudia Vega,jacqueline Gerson,David McLagan,Martin Pillaca,Shamir Antoni,Krystal Nason,Nabila Rahman,Carl Mitchell,Frank Wania,Luis Fernandez,Bridget Bergquist

Abstract Information :

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is one of the largest contributors of mercury (Hg) emissions and water pollution globally, yet atmospheric emission studies in areas of ASGM are still limited due to logistical constraints on sampling. Passive air samplers (PASs) enable determination of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) concentrations on large spatial scales and in remote areas and facilitate the collection of enough Hg for isotope characterization. Deploying ÷100 PASs in an active ASGM area in the Madre de Dios region of Peru allowed us to map GEM concentration at high resolution in Puerto Maldonado, a city with many gold shops, and on a transect along a highway that passed through two major gold mining districts. We also used PASs to measure background GEM levels at remote Amazonian forest locations. Elevated GEM concentrations were observed in the vicinity of gold shops and active mining areas and were orders of magnitude higher than regional background concentrations (2 to 5 ng m-3) and concentrations within the canopy of the background forest (

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