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Oil spills expose indigenous communities to toxic metals

Oil spills expose indigenous communities to toxic metals

Science
Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified elevated levels of harmful metals in indigenous people living near oil spills.The findings -- published this week in the journal Environmental Health -- are only the latest to highlight the significant environmental hazards faced by already vulnerable communities.The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, in Spain, and the Peruvian National Center for Occupational Health and Environmental Health Protection. Scientists measured levels of mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic in people living in San Pedro and Cuninico, two indigenous Kukama communities.The two communities were impacted by a pair of large oil spills resulting from ruptures in the North Peruvian pipeline."In spite of the f...