LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 10 no 3, June 2010, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Anne Roberts

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Editorial: The work of a Summer of Interns

In this newsletter it was decided to draw special attention to the work of interns.

The noun “intern” began by meaning an assistant resident physician or surgeon in a hospital, there to gain experience after graduating in medicine. Now it also has the wider meaning of a person with academic training in a particular technical area, gaining work experience with an appropriate organization – such as The LEAD Group or the Global Lead Advice Service. The group who wrote this newsletter worked over the university summer vacation.

You will notice that only three of the authors have an Anglo-Celtic or European name. The other names indicate a Chinese, Indian or African origin.

This variety of names reflects the large number of overseas students now studying at Australian universities, since Australia set out to compete as a provider of higher education for the Asia/Pacific area.

This newsletter, appropriately enough, focuses on the problem of lead poisoning in mainland China. China is a giant in more ways than one. In relation to lead, three problems stand out: frenetically-fast industrial development, often riding roughshod over local populations and paying insufficient attention to the safety of workers and local residents; a legal system not always able to deal with corruption at the local level, and millennia of agricultural, waste disposal and other practices that have added lead to the soil of agricultural land and to the water supply. India and Africa have some of the same problems. Thanks to the work of interns and volunteers, we are trying to do our bit to help.

At the end of May 2010, Elizabeth O’Brien met a Chinese researcher at the first meeting of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint, held in Geneva under the auspices of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Environment Program. This researcher is planning a study to further pinpoint the sources and pathways of lead poisoning in China. We hope that some of the articles in this newsletter will make a useful starting point. China does after all, have the world’s largest lead-poisoned population under one government.

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