Lead intoxicated children in Kabwe, Zambia

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Abstract

Kabwe is a lead contaminated mining town in Zambia. Kabwe has extensive lead contaminated soil and children in Kabwe ingest and inhale high quantities of this toxic dust. The aim of this paper is to analyze the health impact of this exposure for children. Health data from three existing studies were re-analyzed. Over 95% of children living in the most affected townships had high blood lead levels (BLLs) > 10 μg/dL. Approximately 50% of those children had BLLs ≥ 45 μg/dL. The existing data clearly establishes the presence of a severe environmental health crisis in Kabwe which warrants immediate attention.

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