A seven-year-old boy who was pictured posing and sitting in some limestone has died.
Arthur Emanuel Bitencourt was pictured posing with his thumbs up at an excavation site at Ipiranga in the state of Parana, in the southern region of Brazil, on August 3.
The young boy was left fighting for his life following a deadly reaction to breathing in the limestone dust.
He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
It was the inhalation of the dust which caused the boy’s death according to medics.
The picture of Arthur was shared on social media by his family to raise more awareness about limestone inhalation.
A family member Romaldo Bitencourt captioned it: ‘This photo was the last and taken a few minutes before his tragic death, caused by inhaling limestone, while playing* The memories I will have of you, my dear child, will always be the best*.’
In another post he said: ‘Our gratitude to GOD for putting Arthur in our life a treasure, who stayed with us for seven years, one month and ten days.’
Symptoms of limestone inhalation
Symptoms of harmful exposure to the powder include
Decreased lung function
Authorities warn that inhaling it can cause severe lung problems, and it can also cause cancer, skin irritation and eye damage.
He said in a separate post: ‘Life is like a moving train, but our dear and beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, and grandson, went down (landed) still at the beginning of the journey.’
A woman who appeared to be a friend of Arthur’s mum said: ‘May God comfort the heart of the whole family right now, you will forever be in our hearts Arthur! Yesterday was a day of great joy, which will be forever marked in Luiz’s heart, and today God wanted you close to him!’
Local Civil Police have opened an investigation into the boy’s death.
Limestone dust contains tiny silica particles that can cause severe breathing problems if inhaled.
Brazil’s Technological Research Institute says limestone powder – widely used in building and gardening – can cause breathing problems.
Anyone exposed to it is advised to wear protective equipment.
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