2011-10-06 / Front Page

MINING ISSUES

Group claims new Gold Rush imperils Park
By Erik Skindrud GAZETTE REPORTER

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I love an argument where a

I love an argument where a position APPEARS to be intelligent, but is so full of holes that any part of it is flawed. Just because cyanide occurs naturally in several types of foods, that does not make it any less deadly. Flouride, aspartame, triclosans.... nobody FORCES you to eat those. Adjacent property owners have no control over an accidental release of cyanide from a mining operation. Sure, they TRY not to release it-- and BP tried not to release 100 million gallons of oil last year. Does the writer consider any creatures besides humans? Maybe the fish in the Merced River? Deer? Bear? Do they have a choice about what water they drink? Oops, the deer couldn't read the Caution sign, drank from the cyanide-laced pool. Oh well. "...processing of ores will not necessarily use cyanide..." Of course not. But since that's the way gold is harvested in most gold-mining operations, it probably WILL use cyanide. The 5-point IQ drop due to Fluoride--what do you have to back that up? I've heard it's 10 points for lead. How much would it be for Mercury? If the cyanide kills you, that's worse than a 5-point drop in IQ. Maybe the writer had WAY more fluoride growing up than the rest of us. In short--just because OTHER THINGS are bad doesn't make leaching cyanide through piles of rock any more healthy. And I wonder how much the average hard-rock miner really makes per year. Betcha it's not even close to $100,000. But I'm DAMN sure that the mining companies will make piles of money.

And so Environmental

And so Environmental California would rather have the gold in their iPhone, iPad, cell phone, computer,or wedding ring sourced from some garimpiero operation in Brazil where they use mercury to recover the gold or Mexico or other developing country where the miners are paid $50/day. Isn't that just being an environmentally responsible imperialist. What do the following: •almonds, •millet sprouts, •lima beans, •soybeans, •spinach, •bamboo shoots, •cassava (tapioca), peach seeds, and apricot pits, cherry pits, and apples seeds (in your apple juice) and nectarine pits,have in common with gold mining. Simple, they all contain cyanide according to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. though the amounts are not large enough to affect one's health other than to lower ones blood pressure a smidgen. So if you get all worked over the idea that gold might be mined in California, have some almonds on your spinach salad and lower your blood pressure. Interestingly enough, because small amounts of cyanide occur in a variety of foods, the human liver has adapted and a biochemical pathway is present in the liver which the body uses to detoxify cyanide and as a consequence the small amounts of cyanide in food and the low concentrations used in gold mining have no long term effects. This is in contrast to the fluoride in many municipalities' water suppy, the aspartame in your diet soft drink and 6000 other products sold in the grociery store, or the triclosan in your antibacterial hand soap, the pesticides on your apples and celery, and numerous cleaning chemicals under the sink in your bathroom and kitchen. Fluoride drops the IQ of a develping child by 5 pts. Aspartame and triclosan are both mutagens and carcinogens. In addition aspartame speeds up the growth of cancer cells. Environmental California should focus its resources on the truly dangerous things in the environment that cause 90% of the cancers in this country and risk the average person's health. It is also worth keeping in mind that if gold mining occurs, processing of the ores will not necessarily use cyanide andif it does it will be in a closed circuit and not released to the environment. Further, mining these days involves and extensive planning and permiting process which require environmental baseline studies and environmental permits.

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