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30 Oct 2020


Zambia: Anglo American CEO says company is not responsible for lead poisoning following filing of class action

"Anglo American CEO says not responsible for lead poisoning in Zambia", 30 October 2020.

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said on Friday the company was not responsible for lead poisoning in Zambia at a lead mine it part-owned nearly 50 years ago and planned to defend itself after a class action was filed against the miner over allegations of negligence.

We intend to defend out position as we don’t believe Anglo American is responsible for the current situation,” said Cutifani said during the presentation of a company sustainability report.

Lead is considered a highly poisonous material and, according to the World Health Organization, there is “no level of lead exposure that is known to be without harmful effects.”...

A study of 1,190 people in Kabwe called exposure levels there “alarming”. The authors said they had found average blood lead levels were above what it’s considered high by US authorities in all but one of 13 districts in the town.

In the most affected area, researchers found average levels nine times above the US threshold.

The scientists noted lead poisoning, especially in children, has devastating effects on neurological development and can cause clinical signs such as convulsions and coma...

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, however, said most of the pollution happened when the mine was part of Anglo American South Africa.