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Outbreak of Fatal Childhood Lead Poisoning Related to Artisanal Gold Mining in Northwestern Nigeria, 2010.
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|Title: ||Outbreak of Fatal Childhood Lead Poisoning Related to Artisanal Gold Mining in Northwestern Nigeria, 2010.|
|Affiliation: ||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental, Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; CDC, Epidemic Intelligence Service Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners, London, UK; Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Abuja, Nigeria; CDC, Abuja, Nigeria; Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria; Zamfara State Ministry of Health, Gusau, Nigeria|
|Citation: ||Environ Health Perspect 2011; Published ahead of print|
|Publisher: ||National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences|
|Journal: ||Environmental Health Perspectives|
|Issue Date: ||20-Dec-2011 |
|PubMed ID: ||22186192|
|Additional Links: ||http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info:doi/10.1289/ehp.1103965|
|Abstract: ||Background: In May 2010, a team of national and international organizations was assembled to investigate children's deaths due to lead poisoning in villages in northwestern Nigeria. Objectives: To determine the cause of the childhood lead poisoning outbreak, investigate risk factors for child mortality, and identify children aged <5 years in need of emergency chelation therapy for lead poisoning. Methods: We administered a cross-sectional, door-to-door questionnaire in two affected villages, collected blood from children aged 2-59 months, and soil samples from family compounds. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed with survey, blood-lead, and environmental data. Multivariate logistic regression techniques were used to determine risk factors for childhood mortality. Results: We surveyed 119 family compounds. One hundred eighteen of 463 (25%) children aged <5 years had died in the last year. We tested 59% (204/345) of children, aged <5 years, and all were lead poisoned (≥10 µg/dL); 97% (198/204) of children had blood-lead levels ≥45 µg/dL, the threshold for initiating chelation therapy. Gold ore was processed inside two-thirds of the family compounds surveyed. In multivariate modeling significant risk factors for death in the previous year from suspected lead poisoning included: the child's age, the mother performing ore-processing activities, community well as primary water source, and the soil-lead concentration in the compound. Conclusion: The high levels of environmental contamination, percentage of children aged <5 years with elevated blood-lead levels (97%, >45 µg/dL), and incidence of convulsions among children prior to death (82%) suggest that most of the recent childhood deaths in the two surveyed villages were caused by acute lead poisoning from gold ore-processing activities. Control measures included environmental remediation, chelation therapy, public health education, and control of mining activities.|
|MeSH: ||Lead poisoning|
|Rights: ||Published by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Archived on this site by Open Access permission|
|Appears in topics: ||Environmental Health|
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