Study documents Nigerian children died from families' gold mining.
Large numbers of infants and toddlers have died from lead poisoning in Nigerian villages where their parents process gold ore inside their family compounds, according to a report published Tuesday by an international team of researchers. In two Nigerian communities, 118 children under the age of 5 died in a single year – 25 percent of the children in that age group. For the first time, the researchers uncovered strong evidence that points to lead poisoning as the likely cause for nearly all of those deaths. “To our knowledge, this is the first documentation of an outbreak of childhood lead poisoning associated with artisanal gold mining,” the team, led by lead experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote.