For those who may be thinking about popping the question around the holidays, there is an ethical dilemma to consider. Where did that diamond come from?
Blood diamonds — also called conflict diamonds, brown diamonds, hot diamonds or red diamonds — are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts or a warlord’s activity. This is a pronounced problem in African states.
Alex G. Stewart, a public health physician and researcher at the University of Exeter in South West England, wrote an essay describing how all kinds of mining are dangerous to human health.
Stewart said he has learned “small-scale artisanal mining has particular challenges that are not seen in large-scale mines, including the association of gold mining with health problems from psychosocial, cardiovascular, respiratory and sexual risks, nutritional, water and sanitation issues, and resulting in malaria, upper respiratory tract diseases, especially pulmonary tuberculosis and silicosis, and skin diseases, as well as the injuries and accidents more commonly associated with mining.”
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