Two open pit mines near communities in Moatize, Mozambique, are releasing huge amounts of dust into the air and finally on fresh water and reservoirs. This is leading to health problems and conflict.
Source International studied the air and water, and trained local residents on how to monitor the mines’ environmental impacts so that they will have the evidence they need to take action.
Coal dust particulates contain heavy metals which are toxic at low concentrations. Coal dust, especially fine coal dust, has been identified as causing a range of diseases and health problems. Examples include an increased incidence of heart and respiratory diseases like asthma and lung cancer. Fine invisible coal dust particles less than 2.5 microns long lodge in the lungs and are not naturally expelled, so long-term exposure increases the risk of health problems.
Dust covers food and enters in house and remains on kitchen utensils and ends up to be taken by humans through inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption.
During blasting and coal's transportation by tracks, dust can settled on water's reserves being a direct way of human exposition.
El Pais published the photoreportage of Stefano Sbrulli here