Anyone who is not used to it notices right away the contaminated air. Inhaling the so-called iron dust -- an unpleasant mixture of iron ore pellets and coal dust -- provokes headaches, itching skin and breathing difficulties. And in the long term the impact can be deadly. Respiratory allergy is one of the first symptoms you feel on arriving in the small village of Piquiá de Baixo, in the town of Açailândia, located in the interior of Maranhão State. The iron dust is emitted by the five steel factories…
Piquiá de Baixo is a small village with a population of no more than 300 families. It is located in the rural district of Açailândia in the southwest of the state of Maranhão. Piquiá is dying. Its residents breathe iron dust expelled by five pig iron factories that process ore mined in Carajás, the world's largest open pit mine, located in the state of Pará. Many people are getting ill and are forced to leave the small town due to health complications. Few reporters visit this village but Brazilian…
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