New study confirms heavy metals in children from La Oroya and Cerro de Pasco

01 October 2017

A recent study by the Quebec Institute of Public Health finds alarming levels of harmful heavy metals from samples taken from children in La Oroya and Cerro de Pasco.

The study was carried out in 2016 at the request of Red Muqui. It analysed the hair, blood and urine of 24 children between 3 and 15 years old. All were found to have high levels of arsenic (which is known to cause cancer); 18 (15 from Cerro de Pasco and 3 from La Oroya) had high levels of lead in their blood.

Dr. Fernando Osores, who led the study, stated in an interview with EFE that “there are real health damages that the Ministry of Health doesn’t want to accept”. In a press conference organised by Red Muqui, he went further in saying that the state provides little or no information about medical evaluations that show heavy metal poisoning.

According to Conrado Olivera from Uniendo Manos Perú, the government has yet to establish a health policy that tackles the problems caused by exposure to heavy metals, including the removal of the environmental hazards that cause them. He also points to the case of San Mateo in the highlands of Lima region, where mining waste has not been removed and is still a source of water and soil contamination that could threaten the capital’s water supplies.

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member