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Haina, Dominican Republic

Haina, Dominican Republic

  • Potentially Affected People: 84,700
  • Type of Pollutants: Lead
  • Source of Pollution: Water , soil , air

The Problem

Haina, also known as Bajos de Haina, has been referred to as the 'Dominican Chernobyl'. A community near a closed down automobile battery recycling smelter, nearly its entire population shows signs of lead poisoning. Some experts claim that the population of Haina has the highest level of lead contamination in the world. The Dominican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, since its creation in 2000, has identified Haina as a national hotspot of significant concern. According to the United Nations, the population of Haina is considered to have the highest level of lead contamination in the world, and its entire population carries indications of lead poisoning.

Health Impacts

Various studies have found alarming lead levels in the Haina community. Studies have found lead levels in inhabitants over 100 parts per million (ppm), whereas EPA-mandated limits in children are considered to be 10 ppm and 20 ppm for adults. The contamination is believed to have been caused by the past industrial operations of the nearby Baterías Meteoro battery plant. Although the company has moved to a new site, the contamination still remains.

Status of Clean-Up Activity

Site visted by the Blacksmith Institute.


Download Lead Sampling Report (MS-Word)

Download the ISA Report (MS-Word)

International Environmental Health for the Pediatrician: Case Study of Lead Poisoning

Spatial Distribution of Lead Contamination