Photographer: Alex Masi

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Exhibit Title: Dead End: The Nigerian Gold Rush and Lead Poisoning Crisis

Location: Nigeria

Caption: A gold trader is holding a piece of pure gold extracted in Zamfara State, while standing in the Zamfara Gold Buyers and Sellers Cooperative Union in Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria. The contamination in artisanal gold mining is caused by ingestion and breathing of lead particles released in the steps to isolate the gold from other metals. This type of lead is soluble in stomach acid and children under-5 are most affected, as they tend to ingest more through their hands by touching the ground, and are developing symptoms often leading to death or serious disabilities.

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