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Environmental Effect of Lead Combination of Mining Communities in Zamfara State, Nigeria: A Review | Abstract

Journal of Biology and Today's World

ISSN - 2322-3308

Abstract

Environmental Effect of Lead Combination of Mining Communities in Zamfara State, Nigeria: A Review

Anka SA*, Sanda A, Bello TS, Waziri AF, Muhammad AS, Bello I and Nasiru AM

Farming constitutes the primary source of livelihood for the people of Zamfara State, Nigeria. With the increased awareness among the people of solid minerals abundance in the region, artisanal gold mining activities have increased in and around residential compounds and community areas. The competitive struggle to earn more money amidst unsafe mining practices releases tons of lead dust from processing of contaminated gold ore into the air. This is deposited on soil surfaces, drinking water, edible plant leaves and fruits. Investigations revealed alarming levels of lead concentrations in the environment. Lead concentrations in soil around the residential compounds have reached over 100,000 ppm. This is extreme over the concentration limit of 400 ppm for residential areas applied in USA and France. Similarly, the mean blood lead level concentration of 119 μm/dL found in more than 100 children diagnosed with severe lead poisoning in Dareta and Yargalma villages is alarming considering that 10 μg/dL blood lead level is associated with impaired neurological development in young children. The higher lead levels reported in soils of farmlands and cultivated crops (385 to 688 mg/ kg) in Abare village are due to processing of contaminated gold ore. The lead pollution crisis, which is widespread, covers at least 47 villages affecting more than 30,000 residents most of them children. The United Nations and multiple partners from within and outside Nigeria have been working relentlessly since the lead poisoning outbreak was reported by MSF in March, 2010. They aim to achieve a healthy, secure and sustainable environment in the affected region through coordinated and holistic strategy.

 
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