Physician advises pregnant women against consuming calabash chalk


A General Physician, Dr Agnes Nwoke, on Monday advised pregnant women against consuming “Calabash chalk’’ popularly called ‘Nzu’, to avoid lead poisoning.

Nwoke, who works in St. Charles Clinic in Urum, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that Nzu contains a high level of lead which could poison the unborn baby.

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NAN reports that Nzu (calabash chalk) is edible clay that is found mainly in Nigeria and other West African countries.

In Nigeria, most people call it Nzu in Igbo, Ndom in Efik/Ibibio and Eko in Bini/Edo language.

Nwoke said the chalk is a natural product, locally prepared from clay, sand, salt and other non-nutritional components.

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According to her, the craving for chalk is not peculiar to pregnant women and teenagers, even men eat it.

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