The mining industry has brought financial benefits to the residents of Antofagasta, a town located in the northern part of Chile. Unfortunately, the money they reap from the industry costs their health status as more residents are reported to have various diseases like lung cancer.
In an article published by Agence France-Presse, the mining industry in Antofagasta has helped the residents to raise their annual income to almost a double national average, which plays in $36,000. But in exchange, the mining industry is also attributed for giving this city in Chile the highest rate of lung death cancers.
In the latest data from the Public Health Institute, this city of Chile has more than a doubled average of lung cancer death at under 35 per 100,000 residents. The health agency also conducted a study about this and found 16 different metals in the dust in the mining sites of Antofagasta.
In an article published in Phys.org, the Antofagasta Medical College in Chile said that they found the following metals in the dust: arsenic, cadmium, zinc, chrome, copper, lead, and manganese. This is said to be far exceeding on the norm of Chile.
It is not only lung cancer that has been the reason of death in Antofagasta. Scientists in Chile also found a high number of bladder and skin cancer deaths among the citizens.
Antofagasta Medical College President Aliro Bolados said that these residents in the town of Chile are exposed to a biological experiment exposed to "such levels of contamination. "Scientists consider that the Antofagasta area is undergoing a biological experiment in having the population exposed to such levels of contamination," he said.
For people in Chile who are now in their forties or fifties, they have a more high risk of getting cancer in Antofagasta, Catterina Ferrecio, the deputy head of the Center for Advanced Study of Chronic Diseases, Epidemiology, and Cancer has said. "Despite having the highest per capita income, they have the lowest life expectancy in Chile," she said.