Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unhealthy Recycling

Hundreds of people have been exposed to lead poisoning in the Senegalese capital Dakar, according to the UN World Health Organization. About 950 people, including many mothers and children, have been exposed to high levels of the toxic metal as a result of their work in the informal recycling of disused car batteries.

Several residents of the Thiaroye Sur Mer neighborhood have already died as a result of the exposure and many children are showing signs of neurological damage caused by the metal. Much of the work is done by mothers with their children strapped to their backs, who ingest the poisonous lead dust while breaking open the batteries and removing the lead to re-sell as scrap.


The story has now been picked up by some of the mainstream media outlets, including MSNBC who have run a long piece about the environmental impact of lead recycling on this town. They also report the deaths of 18 children in Thiaroye Sur Mer as a result of lead poisoning.

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