Mercury Poisoning

Posted on November 24, 2014

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I reluctantly left Gili Air. The diving was so bloody spectacular I really wanted to stay another full day, however I had a prior engagement.

On Sunday after a week of chasing a scientist I had pinned her down and got her to arrange a driver for the day to take me to see artisanal gold miners in a remote village on Lombok. I had to take a boat, then a shuttle bus into Mataram. It was not an easy journey and I was sweating buckets carrying 20kg on my back wearing hiking boots.

The scenery en route was stunning, so green.

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Her new research shows that 80 per cent of miners and their families are directly suffering from mercury poisoning which is used to extract gold from the soil. They are contaminated through infected water, contaminated soil when the discharge is thrown away and from burning mercury.

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I have no crew. Just me and my iPad. I have already made one film using this kit and editing on iMovies. Now I am attempting to film and edit a piece for Arise News on this.

The long and short is I got some great footage and two interviews. The pieces to camera were a challenge, but I think I can get away with it. Now I just have to hack the thing together.

After a day inhaling mercury I did not feel great. Subconscious probably, effects take a long time to show. The Indonesian government has been slow to help these people. Mercury is illegal, there is a big criminal syndicate that runs this trade and it’s worth multi millions……Once the piece has aired I’ll upload it here.

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Posted in: Asia