GeneralReview Article

One Health: Children, Waterfowl, and Lead Exposure in Northwestern Nigeria

Joshua R. Edwards, PhD; Theresa W. Fossum, DVM, MS, PhD; Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, CS; Donald L. Noah, DVM, MPH; Raymond J. Tarpley, DVM, PhD, MPH; and Walter C. Prozialeck, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: January 26, 2017

Published: June 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(6): 370-376

The One Health concept focuses on the interrelationship between the health of humans, animals, and the environment. There is a delicate balance among these relationships, and when an imbalance exists, the effects can be catastrophic. Such an imbalance occurred in 2010, when elevated lead exposure in rural communities in northwestern Nigeria resulted in the deaths of an estimated 400 children younger than 5 years in a 12-month period. Before the children became ill, waterfowl began to die in great numbers, a connection that would not be realized until much later. This review covers toxicodynamics and the neurotoxic effects of lead in the developing central nervous system, the role that animals can play in recognizing lead exposure and contamination, and environmental sources of lead exposure. The experiences in Nigeria may be especially pertinent to the emerging problems associated with lead exposure and poisoning in the United States.

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