LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 11 Number 2, December 2010, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times (ISSN 1440-4966) & Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Guest Editor, Dr Chrissie Pickin. Editor-in-Chief: Anne Roberts

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We canít keep meeting like this

By Anne Roberts

This newsletter is the response of various Tasmanian health, industry and municipal authorities to LEAD Action News vol 10, no.4, which was largely written by members of the community group, Tasmanian Toxic and Heavy Metals Taskforce (TTHMT) (ĎThe view from the trenches.í)

Itís about Rosebery, a small lead mining town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia.

TTHMTís newsletter was very critical of the official response to the claims by some residents of Rosebery that they had been poisoned by heavy metals; in particular, arsenic and lead.

If nothing else, the exercise is evidence of how complicated everything is, particularly the health effects of almost any substance. However, claim and counter claim are unlikely to be settled through the medium of an on-line newsletter, nor by comments on Facebook - some of which were distinctly unpleasant - by some residents who dispute that anyone has been poisoned.

Some good things have happened in Rosebery since the claims of poisoning were made. (See the last section of Dr Pickinís article ĎHow Government responded to concerns from Rosebery.í )

LEAD Action News remains open to further contributions on Rosebery, containing new information or new recommendations, but we donít plan to devote a whole issue to it in the near future.

Speaking of news: Lead isotopes show up in air reaching California from Asia; Prof Paul Ehrlich warns of the accumulation of man-made chemicals in living tissue; Germany sets new standards for blood lead levels, and have determined that no exposure to lead is safe, and The LEAD Group proposes a new lead poisoning prevention policy for Australiaís National Health and Medical Research Council.

Iím going to conclude this editorial by trying to lighten up. Thereís a risk that this will annoy everyone, but here goes:

There seems to be no reason for tourists to be afraid to visit Rosebery and the surrounding district because of a dispute over what effect being a mining town has had on the health of some residents and their pets.

Rosebery is not radioactive. It hasnít got asbestos fibres floating in the air.

The climate can be a bit cool, but itís Tasmania, after all. Tasmaniaís climate is described as Ďcool temperate.í If you need protective clothing in Rosebery, itís likely to be a jumper, scarf and wind jacket, warm socks, and so forth. (Iím guessing at this. One photo in this issue shows a person in shorts. )

What about rainfall?

The annual rainfall of Rosebery is about 2186 mm. Sydneyís is 1217 mm. But Rosebery is not the rainfall capital of Australia. (This title may belong to Tully, in Queensland.) But it is cool.

Oh dear Ė Roseberyís southern latitude (41 degrees, 46 minutes, 46 seconds), is almost exactly the same as the northern latitude where the Titanic struck the iceberg - 41 degrees, 46 minutes, seconds unknown.

(I did not go looking for this piece of information Ė I happen to be fascinated by the Titanic.)

Donít panic! Donít panic!

Heavy metal in Rosebery - cartoon by Anne Roberts

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Last Updated 24 January 2012
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