So Fresh And So Clean

Boys lying on road

“I am impressed with what has been done… and this comes as a relief not only to the people of Chowa, but the entire Kabwe population. We believe that when this project is completed, more lives will be safeguarded.”  — Patrick Chishala, Kabwe District Commissioner, as reported in the Zambian Daily Nation: Anti-Lead Project Cheers Kabwe Residents

What do you do after a Pure Earth crew has decontaminated your yard?  Well, you lie down on the freshly cleaned ground!

These boys in the Chowa neighborhood of Kabwe, Zambia, are displaying their playful appreciation. Pure Earth has currently completed the remediation of 24 out of 80 highly contaminated homes in their community.

Just weeks before, this house, along with many others in Chowa, had yards with soil lead levels of over 4,000 ppm.  Today, after the decontamination, the soil lead level at this home has dropped dramatically to just 28 ppm, bringing it under the 400 ppm U.S. EPA standard for lead in residential soil.

The remediation, using a simple lead encapsulation method, was quick, low-cost, and as we have proven, highly effective.

Now, these boys and their friends can play without fear of being poisoned.  Before the cleanup, just walking around barefoot was dangerous.

Nearly all the children in Chowa have blood lead levels that are ten to 20 times the CDC recommended level, which can be fatal. The source of the problem? Lead pollution from a  group of lead mines and smelters located just a short five-minute walk away from hundreds of homes. This cleanup, which has already started to make a difference in Chowa, will be expanded.

See more photos of Chowa and how the Pure Earth team is working with the Kabwe municipal council to make the community safe for everyone.

Related: Nearly 100% Of Children In This Neighborhood Have Been Poisoned

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