Gold extraction by artisan miners in different parts of Tanzania is widely done by mercury amalgamation technique.
To the people living in and around the mining cites there is a potential for exposure to contamination through consumption
of Hg contaminated food stuffs. Current studies on estimates of dietary human exposure to mercury in these areas
have been limited to contributions of Hg contaminated fish consumption centrally to WHO recommendation on the
use of Total Diet Studies. In this study dietary Hg intake of people at Mugusu gold mining village was determined by using
a total diet study approach. Results indicate that 37 types of foods are consumed in this Village. Rice, maize, tubers
and fish were the most consumed food categories with an average daily consumption of 134, 270, 113 and 97 g per person
per day, respectively. The fish category contained the highest average content of total Hg (0.16 µg g-1 wet weight). The
calculated average dietary intake of Hg was 41.05 µg/day, which is 2.6 times higher than the daily intake recommended
by FAO/WHO (15.5 µg/day) for protection of the foetus and young children. It is therefore concluded that the current total
dietary intake of Hg in the studied area is at risk level to young children born to women living in this village. It is
therefore recommended that, mercury intake in artisanal gold mining settlements should be monitored regularly.
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