Remember my recent post on the harmful effects of mining and how it is the #1 toxic polluter in the U.S.? Well, this is how rapidly Acid Mine Drainage can spread to our water supplies when Mother Nature gets involved. (Need a super fast refresher on AMD? Read below the video)
The MORAL? We can all help prevent unnecessary toxic mining by properly recycling metals in jewelry, household goods and electronics. We can, then, reduce the demand for newly mined metals by closing the loop and buying products that use recycled metals; such as ethical jewelry.
–As a quick recap here’s how it works. Big metal mining companies blast away the surface of land where ore is found. The waste rock this destruction produces is then piled up into mounds, where exposure to the air causes acid to form. The acid seeps through the pile releasing toxic metals along the way, like arsenic, lead and mercury. These metals are associated with skin cancer, tumors and even growth retardation in children. As it does, the acid eventually finds its way into our ground and waterways, causing a poisonous slime called Acid Mine Drainage, as it did with the Colorado River…which can be up to 10,000 times more acidic than battery acid and is irreversible
About the Author
Katherine DalPra is an eco-enthusiast and owner of Green Diva Jewelry, a socially responsible jewelry boutique incorporating recycled metals, sustainable elements and Fair Trade gems. She is an active voice among a small group of industry peers opposing irresponsible mining.