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Nigeria: 160 die from lead poisoning as villages seek gold

Anonymous Coward
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06/04/2010 04:31 PM
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Nigeria: 160 die from lead poisoning as villages seek gold
[link to www.google.com]

LAGOS, Nigeria One of Nigeria's top health officials says more than 160 people have died from lead poisoning as poor villagers in the country's north try to mine for gold.

Dr. Henry Akpan, Nigeria's chief epidemiologist, tells The Associated Press that about 100 of the dead were children. Akpan says the children were breathing in the lead or taking part in the toxic process to leech gold from the deposits mined around the villages in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara.

Akpan said Friday that health authorities are evacuating five villages where the illegal gold mining had been taking place.

Nigeria, one of the top crude oil suppliers to the U.S., once was a major mining point in Africa, supplying copper and other precious metals to the world.