Want to get your hands on some extra special jewelry this spring? Emily Chelsea Jewelry, along with 29 other jewelers, are auctioning off their jewels through the Pure Earth Benefit Bash. All proceeds go toward creating more pollution free mining solutions, including mercury free mining methods.
Why is this important?
Mercury is used in the gold mining process and is responsible for the release of an estimated 1,000 tons of mercury annually. Much of the mercury released into the environment is a result of artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM). This happens in mostly small scale artisanal mining This represents about 30% of the world’s anthropogenic mercury releases according to United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Throughout the entire gold mining process, mercury is used to extract the gold and miners are exposed to various forms of mercury, including mercury vapors as it is burned away.
It is well known that mercury is extremely dangerous, even with small amounts of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, inhaling mercury vapors produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. The inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested. Neurological and behavioural disorders may be observed after inhalation, ingestion or dermal application of different mercury compounds. Symptoms include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunction.
In many countries, gold mining is the only opportunity to make an income. There are an estimated 14-19 million workers, including men, women AND children, who work in artisanal and small scale gold mining and 25-30% of those workers suffer from mercury vapor intoxication. That’s 3.3 to 6.5 million people.
This is a huge issue and the main reason all of the jewelry at Emily Chelsea Jewelry is made using recycled or Fairmined gold.
How can you help?
Keep buying jewelry only made of recycled metals (the same rule applies when you buy costume jewelry for $10... more on that another day). Want to support in a super fun way right now? Hop on over to the Pure Earth Benefit Auction that is happening right now and will conclude at the Benefit Bash, April 23rd in New York.