In March 2010, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) discovered an epidemic of lead poisoning in northern Nigeria. Subsequent investigations confirmed hundreds of children were at risk of death or irreversible health effects due to extremely high levels of lead and mercury.
TSM was one of the most tragic lead sites in the world. The severity of lead exposures were unprecedented with mean blood lead levels in children exceeding 100 µg/dL and individual readings > 350 µg/dL. Eighteen children died in the epidemic.
This site was a former Used Lead Acid Battery recovery operation near Santo Domingo. The industrial area is bordered on three sides by the community known of Paraiso del Dios, an impoverished neighborhood of about 650 small homes. Paraiso del Dios was the scene of extreme lead poisoning in the 1990s.
Aprroximately 57,000 people have been at risk of lead poisoning in the communities of Dalnegorsk and Rudnaya Pristan. TIFO collaborated with the Far East University and Russian government scientists to conduct investigations and later support pilot cleanup efforts.