Child of Lead

On August 8th, 2007, family and friends say goodbye to Alfredo Zurita Vega, 15, another child lost to the contamination in La Oroya, Peru. After a lifetime of sickness, he died from cancer after developing a tumor, which eventually spread throughout his entire body. Since 1922, the city of 35,000 has been exposed to toxic emissions from a metal smelting plant, which is owned by the Missouri-based Doe Run Corporation. A recent Health Ministry study from the government of Peru showed that 99% of the children tested had lead poisoning, a condition which causes mental retardation, hyperactivity, liver and kidney disease and in some cases cancer.

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