A 7-year-old boy in Brazil has died after he was photographed playing in a pile of limestone powder left on the side of the road, according to authorities.
On Aug. 3, Arthur Emanuel Bitencourt was pictured giving a double thumbs-up while sitting in a pile of limestone powder, which is commonly used in construction and agriculture, according to the New York Post.
Moments later, the boy was being rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, officials said.
Arthur reportedly jumped into the toxic dust while at a family property in Ipiranga, Paraná, in the South Region of Brazil, The Post reported.
Medics said his sudden death was a result of inhaling the powder, which apparently poisoned him.
His family shared that final picture of Arthur on social media as a tribute, but also as a warning to others.
The boy’s uncle Romaldo Bitencourt captioned the photo: “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.”
The family claims they were unaware of the risks of exposure to the limestone powder, and local police stated they are launching an investigation into the boy’s death.
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According to Brazil’s Technological Research Institute, or IPT, limestone dust can cause breathing problems and warns people to wear protective equipment when working with it.
The IPT also stated that limestone powder can be carcinogenic, especially when exposed to it in large quantities, and can cause lung damage, The Post reported.
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