Reducing mercury pollution in small scale gold mining 2011-2013




Experiences of a student
Tilde S. Müller, Medical Student
Title of assignment: “Mecury exposed small-scale gold miners in the Philippines: Health, practice, knowledge and attitude”

  • “As a part of my master thesis I was involved in an ICOEPH project dealing with Filipino small-scale gold miners and their use of mercury. The aim of the project was to reduce the use of mercury by introducing a mercury free refining method. Mercury has a range of toxic effects on human health, and in the Philippines use of mercury in gold refining has been extensive since the 1970s. In 2011 I spent two months in The Philippines where I together with members of the Manila based NGO, BanToxics!, traveled to different gold mining areas to interview gold miners using a standardized questionnaire. The aim of the interviews was to determine the mercury exposure and symptoms related to the use of mercury. Furthermore, we wanted to examine the gold miner’s knowledge, attitude and practice regarding mercury. The results from the interviews was gathered and used to define an intervention. My involvement in the Pilipino project gave me valuable experience with field work and taught me a lot about the need for interventions in occupational health in many third world countries.”


More information
For more information about ICOEPH’s involvement at the Philippines contact Jane Frølund Thomsen at