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Wednesday, February 11

Lead poisoning spoils waters of La Oroya

Toxic clouds hang over Peruvian town: "In La Oroya, the company found in a 2000-01 study that average lead levels in the blood of 1,198 residents tested were 2.5 times above World Health Organization limits. In 1999, Peru?s Health Ministry determined that 99 percent of the children in the area suffered from lead poisoning, with nearly 20 percent in need of urgent hospitalization. But no one was hospitalized. Lead poisoning can cause behavior disorders, slow growth, impaired learning, anemia and kidney damage. All ages are susceptible, but children tend to be hit harder because they play outside in contaminated dust and also are prone to putting things in their mouths." MSNBC / AP La Oroya was in bad shape even before Doe Run bought the place in 1997. It has until 2007 to clean up operations.

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