A Virtuous Cycle in the Amazon: Reducing Mercury Exposure from Fish Consumption Requires Sustainable Agriculture

  • Jean Remy Davée Guimarães
  • Donna Mergler
Part of the Insight and Innovation in International Development book series (IIID, volume 1)


The Brazilian gold rush period, which peaked during the 1980s, was fertile ground for research projects on mercury in the environment and its impacts on humans, especially in the Madeira and Tapajós River basins. These projects either focused on environment, or health, or other disciplines.


Gold Mining Fish Consumption Mercury Level Mercury Exposure Floodplain Lake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the communities of the lower Tapajós who participated in the Caruso project. We acknowledge the many project investigators of the past 15 years, in particular Marc Lucotte. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Fernando Branches, a cardiologist from Santarem who brought the issue of mercury and health in the Amazonian region to the attention of the world, and Marc Roulet, the biogeochemist who identified deforestation as the source of mercury contamination in this region. IDRC support to Caruso was provided through projects 001300, 003323 and 101416.


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Copyright information

© International Development Research Centre 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biophysics InstituteFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la biologie, la santé, la société et l’environnement (CINBIOSE)Université du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada

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