Lead intoxicated children in Kabwe, Zambia

Stephan Bose-O'Reilly*, John Yabe, Joseph Makumba, Paul Schutzmeier, Bret Ericson, Jack Caravanos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Kabwe is a lead contaminated mining town in Zambia. Kabwe has extensive lead contaminated soil and children in Kabwe ingest and inhale high quantities of this toxic dust. The aim of this paper is to analyze the health impact of this exposure for children. Health data from three existing studies were re-analyzed. Over 95% of children living in the most affected townships had high blood lead levels (BLLs) > 10. μg/dL. Approximately 50% of those children had BLLs ≥ 45. μg/dL. The existing data clearly establishes the presence of a severe environmental health crisis in Kabwe which warrants immediate attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Research
Early online date28 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Kabwe
  • Lead poisoning
  • Zambia


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