Gold Jewelry may be beautiful, but digging up gold can be very dangerous if you dont know what youre doing. In continents like Africa, which never really got out of the idol worship polytheistic the gods are in control of everything and history has no direction mentality, have never caught up with the rest of the world. They are, and have always been, people of the land. Make your living off the land, and thats it. So much of the poor countries make their living off of what they can dig up from the earth. Gold is one of those things, and gold jewelry is what they sell. The problem is, in order to make gold jewelry, you have to first separate gold form gold ore. And usually, this ore contains lead, which you definitely dont want as part of your gold jewelry, mostly since it is lethal.
But since countries like Nigeria rely on gold jewelry markets to make their living, they have to separate the ore, and with that comes lead into their soil, and from there, lead poisoning is not far behind. And so it happened that this year, 163 people were killed by lead poisoning in a village in Nigeria, after it had been discovered that lead made up 10,000 parts per per million in the soil. Thats 1% lead. Thats really, really high, and very, very deadly. The problem with the gold jewelry mining industry is that if its not regulated and its every family for itself, the lead has nowhere to go but down and into the drinking water. Aside from 163 people dying, thousands have been effected by the adverse effects of lead poisoning. And gold jewelry isnt going to make them feel any better about it.
Right now, theyre simple taking the top soil and throwing it into plastic bags to shipped off and forever unbothered like nuclear waste. What will happen to the gold jewelry industry there remains unclear but it probably wont end, since they have no way of making money and sustaining themselves. And even if the villagers know for now that gold ore can kill you if you dont extract the gold safely, there probably wont be much regulation, since African culture is a tribal culture, and governments dont really know what theyre doing exactly. It is likely that the gold jewelry industry will be slightly more safe as individual families do what they can to protect themselves against lead poisoning, but a concerted effort to regulate the gold jewelry industry in any African country save South Africa seems far fetched.