Sulfide Mining and Human Health in Minnesota

Emily Onello, Deb Allert, Steve Bauer, John Ipsen, Margaret Saracino, Kris Wegerson, Douglas Wendland, Jennifer Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sulfide mining (specifically copper-nickel sulfide mining) represents a significant departure from Minnesota's iron mining tradition. Sulfide mining can produce acid waste and sulfates that mobilize the release of heavy metals into the environment. These metals include known neurotoxins such as lead and mercury. Mining activities also create airborne fibers and pollutants that can contribute to increased morbidity. The short- and long-term effects of exposure to these substances on human health should be considered in present and future sulfide mining proposals. In addition, Minnesota physicians need to understand the potential adverse mental and physical health effects of sulfide mining on mine workers and residents of communities near mining operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalMinnesota medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Copper/toxicity
  • Environmental Pollutants/toxicity
  • Humans
  • Mining
  • Minnesota
  • Neurotoxins/toxicity
  • Nickel/toxicity
  • Risk Factors
  • Sulfides/toxicity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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