Leviathan Mine Public Health Consultation

Timeframe: 2000 to 2003

The Leviathan Mine is a copper sulfate mining facility located in Aspen County, California. Since the 1880s, activities at the mine spread 20 million tons of crushed rock containing high levels of sulfur ore onsite. Rainwater caused significant contamination to Leviathan, Aspen, and Bryant creeks, as well as the River Ranch Irrigation Channel.

In 2000, IAI initiated a number of activities to evaluate the health impact of the contamination. The resultant health assessment examined exposures from recreational activities, contaminated fish consumption, acid mine drainage, and wild game and fowl consumption. IAI researchers and health educators concluded that cancer risks from these exposures ranged from zero to moderate increased risk of cancer depending on where, when, and how long the exposures occurred. IAI recommended that residents and visitors to the area not consume fish caught from contaminated watersheds, and limit other exposures from recreational activities.