Case studies

Issues > Pollution affecting children > Case studies


Lead poisoning predicted to rise in developing countries
Occupational Knowledge Intl., 17 Nov 2009
Lead poisoning impacts children’s mental & educational development.

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to e-Waste: Why Our Gadgets are Toxic to Developing Nations
Mikey z,, 10 Aug 2009

Greenwash: E-waste trade is the unacceptable face of recycling
Fred Pearce, Guardian (UK) 28 May 2009

Dell Spells Out E-Waste Policy: If It's Broken, Don't Export It
Matthew Wheeland, GreenerComputing, 12 May 2009

American Electronic Waste Contaminates China and India
Mines and Communities, 17 Aug 2005


Sewage pollution hits kids [So. Africa]
Ntombi Ndhlovu, Star (So. Africa), 14 Aug 2012

Child lead poisoning crisis [Nigeria]
Human Rights Watch in Huffington Post, 7 Feb 2012

400 children dead, 2,000 contaminated by lead poisoning [Nigeria], 1 Nov 2011

Lead May Have Poisoned More Than 2,000 Nigerians, UN Group Says [Nigeria]
Kristine Aquino, Business Week, 8 Jul 2010
Gold mining in the area may be responsible for lead poisoning of adults and children, two-thirds of children required urgent treatment.

Gap factory danger to African children [Lesotho]
Dan McDougall and David Watts, Times (UK), 2 Aug 2009
Chemical waste dumped by factory poses hazard to children.

Toxic ‘e-waste’ dumped in Africa harming children
Mike Pflanz, Telegraph (UK), 6 Aug 2008

Metal refinery ordered to close [Kenya]
Mazera Ndurya, Daily Nation (Kenya), 18 Jun 2008
Refinery ordered to close following reports of health problems, persistent coughs amongst children.

E-waste dumps threaten child health [Kenya]
ABC News, 12 Nov 2007


Peru villagers allege neglect after toxic spill
Franklin Briceno, Bloomberg, 4 Sep 2012

Pollution row hits mining firms supplying Olympic medals
Adam Sherwin, Independent (UK), 15 Apr 2011
Pollution from copper mine allegedly responsible for premature deaths, congenital deformities.
Rio Tinto’s response

27 Apr 2011

Mexican town turns U.S. e-waste into treasure
Tom Knudson, 18 Jul 2010

Hearing "Evaluating the Health Impacts of the Gulf of Mexico Spill" - Children More at Risk, Effects of Contact" [USA]
Alton Parrish, Before It's News (USA), 15 Jun 2010

Young students often most vulnerable to toxic air [USA]
Blake Morrison, Brad Heath and Rick Jervis, USA Today, 22 Dec 2008

Following The Trail Of Toxic E-Waste
60 Minutes, CBS News (USA), 9 Nov 2008

Should we have to choose between health and livelihood?
A. Chris Gajilan, CNN Medical Senior Producer, 15 Oct 2008
In the Peruvian town of La Oroya, by the Doe Run smelting complex, 99 percent of children have blood lead levels that exceed acceptable limits.

Quebec asbestos mining town 'severely contaminated,' says report
CBC (Canada), 7 Nov 2007
Many private homes are severely contaminated and children are “most at risk from these public health exposures”.

Asia & Pacific

Children born with deformities reportedly due to excessive levels of cadmium from disused chemical factory in Hunan Province village [China]
AFP, 31 Jul 2013

A lead poisoning too far? [China]
Lu Minghe, Southern Weekend [China], 6 Oct 2011
Johnson Controls' Shanghai subsidiary shut down over finding of excessive lead levels in children - firm says it has "world class" pollution control system.

Johnson Controls responds to accusations of excessive lead pollution in China
Johnson Controls, 26 Sep 2011

Japan Soil Found Radioactive Outside Evacuation Zone
AFP, 5 Jul 2011

Parents demand answers in China lead poisoning
Royston Chan, Reuters, 7 Jan 2011

Study confirms Mt Isa lead poisoning risk [Australia]
Chrissy Arthur, Imogen Brennan, Stephanie Fitzpatrick, ABC News (Australia), 2 Aug 2010
A new study has suggested one child develops lead poisoning every nine days in the north-west Queensland mining city of Mount Isa.  Mining giant Xstrata is involved in legal action over high levels of lead in the blood of children in the city.

Recycling ‘e-Waste’ Poses Health Danger in India
Rathi Manohar, Medindia, 6 Jul 2010
Children working recycling e-waste face great health risks and short life span.

‘Recycled’ lead in children’s blood: Report
Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 11 Jun 2010

Nearly 1,000 Chinese kids poisoned by metal plants
Emma Graham-Harrison Lucy Hornby, Reuters, 13 Oct 2009

Lead poisoning sickens 121 children living near battery plant in eastern China
Associated Press, 26 Sep 2009

India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste
Gethin Chamberlain, Guardian (UK), 30 Aug 2009

Nien Hsing denies pollution and child labor allegations
China Post, 4 Aug 2009

Birth defects soar due to pollution [China]
Chen Jia, China Daily, 31 Jan 2009

Recycling Of E-Waste In China May Expose Mothers, Infants To High Dioxin Levels
Science Daily, 23 Oct 2007

The cursed children of Bhopal [India]
Andrew Buncombe, Independent (UK), 19 Nov 2008

The remains of the night [India]
Akshai Jain, Mint (India), 26 Nov 2009
At the Chingari Trust, a rehabilitation centre for children of gas victims born with congenital defects following the Bhopal disaster.

Bhopal: hundreds of new victims are born each year
Randeep Ramesh, Guardian (UK), 30 Apr 2008

Europe & Central Asia

Kosovo: Blood testing to begin for Roma lead camp children
Petrit Collaku, BalkanInsight, 25 Nov 2010
Testing for lead contamination among children growing up close to former lead mine.

Poverty forces Roma people to scavenge toxic e-waste [France]
Carolyn Lebel, Jemima Roberts, 12 Oct 2010
Medical organisations are concerned Roma communities, particularly children, are at risk of serious health problems.

Out of control. E-waste trade flows from the EU to developing countries
SOMO, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, 17 Apr 2009
E-waste from EU ends up in informal recycling industry where it harms the health of adults and children, who do not have another means of subsistence.

Dirty Business: Illegal dumping in the Czech Republic
BBC News, 22 Dec 2006
Illegal waste dumps risks population’s health.

Middle East & North Africa

Iraq city with soaring child cancer gets new hospital
Anwar Faruqi, AFP, 22 Oct 2010

Trash Truth: What a waste
Sharmila Dhal, xpress, Gulf News, 22 Jul 2010
Shows health hazards in relation to e-waste in landfills in UAE.

Factories pollute the air in karbala
Abbas Sarhan, Niqash, 15 Jul 2010
Pollution from factories cause children to develop breathing difficulties.

Dumped electronic items could poison the soil
Emmanuelle Ladnais, Gulf News, 1 Jul 2010
Lead found in e-waste impairs children’s mental development.

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31 July 2013

Cadmium poisoning from China factory reportedly kills 26

Author: AFP

At least 26 villagers have died from cadmium poisoning and hundreds more fallen ill since 2009 near a disused factory in central China...Soil samples from Shuangqiao in Hunan province contained 300 times authorised cadmium levels and excess amounts...

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4 September 2012

Peru villagers allege neglect after toxic spill

Author: Franklin Briceno, Bloomberg

More than a month after toxic slurry from a major copper mine sickened scores of people in one of Peru's highland communities, villagers complain that the mining company and the government have done little to help and have even failed to tell some...

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14 August 2012

Sewage pollution hits kids [So. Africa]

Author: Ntombi Ndhlovu, Star [So. Africa]

[Residents of Johannesburg's] Extension 1...have been continuously facing [sewage problems] for 10 years...It is...the waterborne diseases affecting their children that worries them most...According to Dr Victor Ramathesele...“Infection results usually...

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7 February 2012

Nigeria: Child Lead Poisoning Crisis

Author: Human Rights Watch in Huffington Post [USA]

Four hundred children have died…yet environmental cleanup efforts have not even begun in numerous affected villages…Artisanal gold mines are found throughout…northwestern Nigeria, and high levels of lead in the earth and the use of rudimentary mining...

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1 November 2011

400 children dead, 2,000 contaminated by lead poisoning [Nigeria]


Illegal gold mining has left at least 2,000 children suffering from lead poisoning in several villages in Zamfara State of Nigeria, where more than 400 children have already died from contamination...Lead has been dispersed in the villages by the...

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6 October 2011

A lead poisoning too far? [China]

Author: Lu Minghe, Southern Weekend [China]

China’s beleaguered lead-acid battery industry has suffered yet another blow – this one landing on American company Johnson Controls, regarded by industry insiders as a “model of health and safety”...[D]ozens of children in...Shanghai’s Pudong district...

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5 July 2011

Japan Soil Found Radioactive Outside Evacuation Zone

Author: AFP

Soil radiation in a city 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Japan's stricken nuclear plant is above levels that prompted resettlement after the Chernobyl disaster, citizens' groups said Tuesday. The survey of four locations in Fukushima city, outside the...

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Company response
26 April 2011

Rio Tinto's response

Author: Rio Tinto

[W]e…know that Cornerstone presents some environmental challenges…We’re committed to reducing these environmental impacts as much as possible…Kennecott is proposing to convert the majority of the onsite, coal-fired power plant to a combined-cycle...

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15 April 2011

Pollution row hits mining firm supplying Olympic medals

Author: Adam Sherwin, Independent [UK]

Pollution from the copper mine chosen to produce metal for the medals awarded at the 2012 London Olympics is responsible for up to 200 premature deaths each year, campaigners have claimed. Rio Tinto...will supply the metal…from its…mine in Salt Lake...

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7 January 2011

Parents demand answers in China lead poisoning

Author: Royston Chan, Reuters

Parents of children poisoned by lead in eastern China are demanding answers and compensation from the government after the country's latest incident of heavy metal pollution made more than 200 sick. Authorities in Gaohe in eastern Anhui province have...

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