Lead poisoning has killed more than 400 children under the age of 5. These children have died due to the result of contamination from illegal gold extraction in northern Nigeria. Women and children often participated in the process of the lead-rich extraction of the gold and the crushed rocks are often taken home which helped the haphazard residue open exposing children to inhalation or ingestion of the contamination. Contamination levels of up to 10 times above the maximum standards were recorded in water wells in two villages. Elisabeth Byrs of the UN Humanitarian affairs told AFP that many parents were afraid to come forward when their children became ill or when they did become ill they confused the symptoms with those of Malaria. It is reported that the pollution and intoxication crisis in Zamfara is far from over. Symptoms of lead poisoning normally build up over long periods of time when metal accumulated in the human body, producing abdominal pain nervous disorders affecting the growth and kidney failure.
Title: Lead Poisoning in Nigeria kills 400 children and counting
Publication: Star Africa, May 10, 2010 Pages: 3
Author: Aminu Abubakar
Faculty Evaluator: Mutombo M’panya
Student Researcher: Nzinga Dotson-Newman