her youngest daughter, who she fears suffers from developmental problems due to lead exposure during pregnancy
First, it took the animals. Goats fell silent and refused to stand up. Chickens died in handfuls
Street dogs disappeared
Then it took the children. Toddlers stopped talking and their legs gave out. Women birthed stillborns. Infants withered and died. Some said the houses were cursed
this town on the fringes of Dakar, Senegal's capital
did not find malaria, or polio or AIDS
The dirt here is laced with lead left over from years of extracting it from old car batteries. So when the price of lead quadrupled over five years, residents started digging up the earth to get at it
As the demand for cars has increased
so has the demand for lead-acid car batteries.
For years, the town's blacksmiths extracted lead from car batteries
The work left the dirt of Thiaroye dense with small lead particles.