Lead poisoning in Nigeria causes “unprecedented” emergencyBMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4031 (Published 26 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4031
- Peter Moszynski
International agencies are urgently scaling up their response to help local authorities to cope with mass lead poisoning in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara, described by the World Health Organization as an “unprecedented environmental emergency.”
The charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), whose staff first discovered the problem, says that gold mining activity in the area has led to a substantial rise in numbers of deaths of children and that hundreds of people are needing treatment for dangerously high levels of lead poisoning.
A total of 161 deaths have been attributed to the incident so far, with hundreds and potentially thousands more people becoming seriously ill.