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Lead Poisoning in Zambia Tanya Staton MPH 583. Lead Poisoning: Lead is a highly toxic metal, and individuals can develop toxic levels in their bloodstream.

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Presentation on theme: "Lead Poisoning in Zambia Tanya Staton MPH 583. Lead Poisoning: Lead is a highly toxic metal, and individuals can develop toxic levels in their bloodstream."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lead Poisoning in Zambia Tanya Staton MPH 583

2 Lead Poisoning: Lead is a highly toxic metal, and individuals can develop toxic levels in their bloodstream. Toxic levels can accumulate over several months or even years (Cafasso, n.d). Young children are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Lead poisoning sources can occur from… ~ lead-based paint ~ leaded gasoline ~ Art supplies ~ Toys ~ mining

3 Lead Poisoning Symptoms Include: abdominal pain abdominal cramps aggressive behavior constipation sleep problems headaches Irritability loss of developmental skills in children loss of appetite fatigue high blood pressure numbness or tingling in the extremities memory loss anemia kidney dysfunction

4 Lead poisoning in children can lead to severe mental impairment. Children could develop… ~ behavior problems ~ low IQ ~ poor grades at school ~ problems with hearing ~ learning difficulties ~ growth delays

5 In extreme cases lead poisoning can lead to… vomiting muscle weakness stumbling when walking seizures coma encephalopathy, which manifests as confusion, coma and seizures

6 Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning because they have a tendency to touch lead-containing surfaces then put their fingers in their mouths.

7 Zambia At a Glance: Located in Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CIA, n.d). Area is comprised of 752,618 sq km. Population is 14,638,505 There are over 70 languages spoken, many are considered dialects (CIA, n.d). Life expectancy is years (CIA, n.d). Infant mortality rate is deaths/1,000 live births (CIA, n.d).

8 Kabwe, Zambia has landed on the 2013 Top Ten Toxic Threats because of its high levels of lead being reported (Blacksmith Institute, 2014). The CDC recommends lead levels in children’s blood be 5 ug/dL or less. In some areas of Kabwe, blood concentrations of 200 ug/dL or more were recorded in children, with the average blood levels of children ranging between 50 and 100 ug/dL (Blacksmith Institute, 2014).

9 Why does Kabwe, Zambia have such high lead levels…. In 1902, lead was discovered in Kabwe. This lead to mining and smelting operations to run almost continuously for over 90 years (Blacksmith Institute, 2014). Smelters released large amount of heavy metal dust particles that settled throughout the area leaving the ground contaminated (Blacksmith Institute, 2014). Children that play in the soil and young men that scavenge the mines for scraps of metal can become susceptible for lead toxicity (Blacksmith Institute, n.d).

10 What Efforts Have Been Done Until 1994, the government did not address the danger for lead toxicity within the community (Blacksmith Institute, n.d). The mine now has been shut down and is no longer operational, but the toxic pollutant still remains.

11 What efforts are being worked on to decrease lead toxicity within the community… The Copperbelt Environment Project (CEP) has implemented a comprehensive Risk Communication program in effort to raise awareness as well as providing simple messages on how to avoid lead exposure (Blacksmith Institute, n.d). The Kabwe Lead Education Program is also being implemented in the schools, to raise awareness of the more than 20,000 children in the areas significantly polluted with lead (Blacksmith Institute, n.d). localized curriculum on lead and the environment is being developed and will be used in the school system. This program will also include the promotion of lead safe environment through the Green is Clean campaign that is promoting planting of grass as a means to reduce lead exposure through soil and dust (Blacksmith Institute, n.d).

12 Published on Sep 4, 2012 VOA's health correspondent Linord Moudou reports on how Zambian authorities are embarking on a campaign to clean up a town in the country's north, where lead poisoning remains a threat to residents and the environment.

13 References: Cafasso, J. (n.d). Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from poisoning#Overview1 poisoning#Overview1 Moudou, L. (2012, September 9). Zambia Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from BlackSmith Instituite. (2014). Kabwe, Zambia. Retrieved from Central Intelligence Agency. (2014). The World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the- world-factbook/ BlackSmith Instituite. (n.d). Kabwe Lead Mines. Retrieved from


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