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Impact Of Illegal Mining Effects On The People’s Health

by Shahnawaz Alam
Impact Of Illegal Mining Effects On The People's Health

Mining has a severe effect on global human health. Mercury poisoning alone contributes a massive threat to human life. It is said that Mercury can cause 1.8 years of human health disability. 

Early death, kidney disease, neurological disorders, and mercury poisoning are caused by the use of Mercury during the mining process. This article discusses illegal mining’s effects on people’s health. 

About Illegal Mining

About Illegal Mining

The mining industry produces mining waste that consists of a high contraction of metal waste or metalloids; these are highly toxic and can cause serious health issues among humans. Usually, it is mandatory to make a mineral concession before starting any mining project. However, illegal mining projects don’t go by the rules mentioned under the sub-section (1) of section 4

Indeed it is necessary for the mining industry to thrive as it produces the resources needed for the development of human civilization. However, misuse of the mines or mining illegally can put civilization in more danger than is normally expected. 

Illegal mining can cause air pollution, water pollution, and earth pollution, making the environment an adverse one for the human race to thrive. Here are some unavoidable effects of illegal mining that affect human health. 

Illegal Mining Effects On The People’s Health

Illegal Mining Effects On The People's Health

Be it legal or illegal, mining has some negative effects on human health. Especially as an occupation, it could prove perilous. But, the long-term effects of mining on human health are the worst case of all. It causes curable and incurable diseases we often find hard to deal with. Here are some diseases caused by illegal mining. 

Respiratory Problem 

Respiratory Problem
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If not a perilous disease caused directly, mining has slow effects on our bodies, causing different chronic diseases. Respiratory diseases are among the common effects we get from mining. Pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, and Silicosis are common side effects of mining. 

The effect of mining on human health depends upon the mining methods used. Namely deep mining or open-cast mining are some examples. Coal mining can produce a huge amount of dust which can cause black lung disease.  

Also, inhaling an excessive amount of quartz or crystalline silica can cause irreversible health conditions called Silicosis. Also, some mines produce radioactive gas, such as Radon causing lung cancer. 

Injuries And Fatalities 

Injuries And Fatalities
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How many coal miners die a year? The average life expectancy of surface miners who start their work at the age of 15 is 58.91 y. For deep mining, their life expectancy is 49.23 y. According to the data from 2006, a coal mine accident in china caused the death of more than 4,700 people. 

Across the world, there were sightings of many such mining accidents; and the number of fatalities in most of the cases was immense. Rock collapsing also causes death and severe injury to many miners. Heavy lifting, slip, and fall-related injuries were also reported from the mines in different parts of the world. 


Many of the mining activities involve people working with radioactive minerals. Many of such fields also emit different hazardous gases like Radon. They are the reason for different terminal diseases, such as cancer. People living in regions connected to mining activities also suffer from different terminal health diseases. 

Poisoning And Organ Damage

Poisoning And Organ Damage

Different types of mining activities are associated with the emission of different types of metals and metalloids. They can do serious damage to global human health through different carriers such as water and air. 

They can reach the surface water and groundwater and make their way into the food chain. If the metalloids include the metals such as Mercury, they may cause serious health-related issues such as organ damage, poisoning, and death in the worst-case scenario.

Effects On Environment

Aside from affecting the human body, mining contributes a massive amount of toxins and poison to the global cycle of environmental pollution. Here are some effects we cannot overlook –

Water Pollution

Water Pollution

Mining can affect the water reserve on earth in a great way. The amount of chemical, and mineral waste, different mining activities produce – can pollute the surface and underground water reserve. Different mining activities are associated with producing arsenic, Mercury, different chemicals, and sulfuric acid. 

Massive contamination can also occur due to waste mixing with different water reserves. The water produced from aqueous extraction, cooling, and also from drainage of different mining activities can cause water pollution. 



Mining activities can erode the exposed hillsides, mine dumps, and tailing dams. It can cause siltation or drainages; erosions cause environmental degradation, which is the result of excessive and illegal mining.  

Illegal mining can also affect biodiversity by clearing a considerable portion of vegetation. Animals and creatures living at the bottom of the food chain and aquatic animals are deeply affected by mining. 

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs):-

Here are some popular questions and answers people look for on the illegal effects of mining. 

1. What Are 2 Of The Health Hazards Of Mining?

Ans: Here are the health hazards of mining on human health –
⦿ Accidents.
⦿ High temperature & humidity.
⦿ Dust (poisoning by different ores).
⦿ Noise and vibration, toxic gases.

2. What Are The Three Impacts Of Mining?

Ans: Mining and different mineral processing activities have a major impact on the environment. Mining activities can 
⦿ make landscapes prone to erosion. 
⦿ Change the quality of the soil and water.
⦿ It can also change the quality of the air. 

3. How Does Mining Cause Pollution?

Ans: Mining causes pollution through different mediums .it can contaminate soil, surface water, groundwater, and so much more. The dust emitted from the mines contains large amounts of toxic contraction, which can cause air pollution. The result of this pollution is different respiratory problems and diseases. Mining activities are also associated with noise pollution. 

Wrapping UP

Human civilization is in constant need of resources that can only come from the mine. Be it ores for different useful metals or any valuable gem. However, legal mining follows most of the protocols mentioned by the law, minimizing the negative effects of mining on the environment. 

As for illegal mining’s effects on people’s health, the above sections in this article should get you informed. However, if you have any additional queries, we would love to hear from you in the comment section.

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