Research into the environmental and human impacts of mercury (Hg) contamination in the Philippines was initiated by the BGS in April 1995 as a component of an Overseas Development Administration (ODA) Technology Development and Research (TDR) programme R6226: Mitigation of Mining-Related Mercury Pollution Hazards. The fundamental aims of the programme are (i) to design and test a protocol for monitoring the spatial extent and magnitude of mining-related Hg contamination, (ii) to assess the human and toxicological significance of such contamination and (iii) to examine the potential for modifying mineral-processing technologies to reduce environmental Hg fluxes.
In 1995, there were widespread media reports of human mercury poisoning in an area of former cinnabar mining on the island of Palawan. A preliminary British Geological Survey-Mines and Geosciences Bureau investigation of the extent of the Palawan Hg problem was sanctioned in December 1995, and executed with assistance from the UK Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE). This report outlines the results of this survey and their implications for future policy development within the area of concern.
A full colour (4437 kb) or black and white (3665 kb) PDF version of this report can be downloaded.