Right now, thousands of children in Indonesia are suffering from mercury poisoning from small-scale gold mining practices. Mercury poisoning causes birth defects and ultimately death in children.
Small-scale gold mining is often something entire families work together at, providing them economic security. While the use of mercury in small-scale mining is technically illegal, the practice continues.
When interviewed, most families watching the suffering of their children are horrified to learn that the mercury they are using to mine is actually irreversibly harming their children. It is a tragedy that no family should suffer.
The Indonesian government has tried to crack down on the small-scale mines as well as the mercury use but to no avail. The problem is that most of these rural people do not know the harm that mercury causes. A study by the UN recognizes recommends a country-wide education program on the physical and environmental harms of mercury and the promotion of alternative technologies to help prevent mercury poisoning in thousands of children across the country.
Sign now to call on President Widodo to create and implement a national education program around mercury in small-scale mining. By signing today you are supporting thousands of families in the health of their children.
To President Joko Widodo,
As a person who cares greatly about children's health I call on you to implement a nation-wide strategy of education around the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining operations.
Small-scale gold mining operations is leading to excessive health problems in children in your country, including birth defects, seizures, disability and, ultimately, death.
A report by the UN in 2013 offered a recommendation for a nation-wide education program to inform small-scale miners of the health risks to their families with the use of mercury. It is also recommended spreading the knowledge of technologies such as borax use and water-box condensers.
I call on you to implement this plan to help save the health of children now and in future generations.
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