Pure Earth is a nonprofit whose mission is the identification and remediation of toxic pollution sites around the world that affect the health of over 200 million people worldwide, particularly children. This year's Benefit is focusing on Pure Earth's work addressing mercury poisoning from Artisanal Small scale Gold Mining (ASGM).
Today, 19 million people are at risk of mercury poisoning, that's more than the population of the Netherlands. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.
The toxin attacks the central nervous system and many organs. Mercury passes through the placenta and travels into the developing fetus, causing birth defects and brain damage.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining is the leading source of mercury pollution, accounting for 30% of global emissions. Small-scale gold miners work with few regulations or illegally to make a meager living.
Pure Earth has been working in Indonesia, Senegal, Mongolia and many other poor countries to prevent mercury poisoning. We raise awareness among miners and their families about the dangers of mercury, train miners in mercury-free mining techniques and then work with local governments to scale up sustainable mining practices.
The 2016 Pure Earth/Pure Gold Benefit Bash will raise funds to support this life-saving work including expansion to new countries such as Suriname, Colombia, and others, which will impact 280,000 lives.