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26 Aug 2019

Zambia: Lead poisoning having disastrous effects on children’s heath; HRW report

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Lead exposure around a former lead and zinc mine in Zambia is having disastrous effects on children’s health, according to Human Rights Watch. The Zambian government should promptly clean up the contamination and ensure proper treatment for all who need it. The report titled, “‘We Have to Be Worried’: The Impact of Lead Contamination on Children’s Rights in Kabwe, Zambia,” examines the effects of lead contamination in Kabwe, a provincial capital, on children’s rights to health, a healthy environment, education, and play. Twenty-five years after the mine closed, children living in nearby townships continue to be exposed to high levels of toxic lead in soil and dust in their homes, backyards, schools, play areas, and other public spaces. The Zambian government’s efforts to address the environmental and health consequences of the widespread lead contamination have not thus far been sufficient, and parents struggle to protect their children.

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