From Peru, where the mineral is extracted, all the way to France, where the metal is refined, lead pollutes the earth, the rivers, food supplies, and local people.
Despite being banned in numerous products including fuel, paints and the manufacture of pipes, lead is still often used in buildings, weapon development, jewellery and even in batteries.
At Évin-Malmaison, France, lead from refineries has contaminated the earth underneath various schools, stadiums, parks and gardens. The farmers of the area can no longer feed their population, because their produce is too contaminated by this lead. It has become the most polluted area in France, and there are thousands of victims. Many children of the area have lead-poisoning and, as a result, serious neurological problems.
A team of journalists and scientists have begun an as yet unpublished study in which they are measuring the lead contamination in the environment and its effects on children’s IQs. Hundreds of tests have been picked up by 34 media outlets with an unprecedented impact in France and Peru.