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More Claims Filed Over Toxic Lead Mine

ST. LOUIS (CN) - Two women have filed nine more lawsuits on behalf of the children in La Oroya, Peru who claim to have suffered lead poisoning from Doe Run's lead smelter. The lawsuits mirror a claim Sister Kate Reid and Megan Heeney filed in October 2007 on behalf of 137 other children.

They claim the children suffer from a variety of lead-related ailments due to releases from Doe Run's metallurgical complex in La Oroya, Peru.

Lead poisoning can cause injuries to the nervous system, learning and behavioral disorders, anemia, fatigue, hypertension and spontaneous abortions.

The plaintiffs claim a group of scientists from the St. Louis University School of Public Health have concluded that the conditions in La Oroya constitute a public health crisis and that the pollution makes the city among the 10 most-polluted places on the planet, with conditions similar to those in Chernobyl.

The plaintiffs seek punitive damages and are represented by Elizabeth Wilkins.

Also named as defendants are DR Acquisition Corp., Renco Holdings, Marvin Kaiser, Albert Neil, Jeffrey Zelms, Theodore Fox III, Daniel Vornberg and Ira Rennert.

The smelter was stripped of its environmental certification this year by an independent auditor. The certification by Cologne, Germany-based TUV Rheinland is not required for the company to operate in Peru, but it could hurt relations with customers, many of whom require the certification.

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