Sumary of Study finds high levels of lead in indigenous people in Peruvian Amazonia:
- Lead is a toxic metal, and its widespread use has led to significant environmental pollution and public health problems in many parts of the world..
- A study published today in open access in the journal Environment International found high levels of lead in indigenous people in Peruvian Amazonia living near areas where oil extraction takes place..
- The research was led by Cristina O’Callaghan-Gordo, a professor and researcher in Health Sciences Studies at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the “la Caixa”.
- The main hypothesis is that the metal reaches them through their diet in areas with the most serious environmental pollution, as the population hunts and fishes for food, and previous studies have shown the that lead is present in animals in this region..
- On the other hand, in places with lower levels of environmental pollution, the most likely route is occupational exposure, such as coming into direct contact with oil due to participating in clean-up tasks after oil spills.”.
- The work took place between May and June 2016, and involved face-to-face interviews to collect data on the participants’ risk factors and lifestyle, as well as blood tests..
- The highest blood lead levels were found among participants from the Corrientes river basin, which accounts for most of the oil extraction activity in the region..
- Related Stories The study also found higher levels of lead in the blood of people living less than an hour’s walk from an oil facility….