International aid agency says lead poisoning on the rise, has killed 400 children in NigeriaBy AP
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Lead poisoning spikes in Nigeria, aid group says
DAKAR, Senegal — An international aid agency says 400 children have died from lead poisoning in northwestern Nigeria and contamination has spread to two more villages.
The U.K.-based office of Doctors Without Borders says residents in Zamfara state are receiving treatment after small-scale gold mining operations poisoned the area beginning in March.
The mining operations involve crushing and drying ore to extract bits of precious metal. The most recent batches of ore also contained lead. The mining process spread lead particles throughout the villages, contaminating living quarters, communal areas and water supplies.
Lead poisoning leads to vomiting, muscle weakness, and sometimes death.
Tags: Africa, Dakar, Diseases And Conditions, Environmental Health, Foreign Aid, Materials, Nigeria, Poisoning, Public Health, Senegal, West Africa