PAHO experts here to assist with mercury problem

The first Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) team to assist with ensuring that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Brickdam complex is free of mercury hazards has arrived in the country.

The team of five arrived on Wednesday, comprising two industrial hygienists, two physicians and a mining engineer, and will would’ve begun their work last week.

The team will work along with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department of the Ministry of Social Protection in ascertaining whether the GGMC and Guyana Gold Board Complex have been thoroughly cleaned of mercury emissions.

They are expected to finish most of their work by the start of this week and a report on their investigation is expected to be compiled.

Earlier in the month, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence and Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman had explained that two teams were invited from PAHO to assist with the investigation.

The announcement came after there was mounting pressure on the Government due to four workers of the GGMC dying during the year as a result of what was suspected to be links to high levels of mercury in their blood.

Lawrence had pointed out that the second team will look at the various aspects of dealing with mercury emissions including the protocols and standards, and will also work along with the GGMC and the GGB to ensure that all the necessary standards are put in place, adhered to, and done in a way that the workers are comfortable with.

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