LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 13 Number 1, November 2012, 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: Zac Gethin-Damon

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letterLetter to The Honourable Anthony Roberts re: lead in consumer products.

From: The LEAD Group Inc

Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:14 PM

To: The Honourable Anthony Roberts

Cc: Choice Magazine (ACA); Jo Immig (President, National Toxics Network)

Subject: Can NSW please be the California of Australia re: lead in consumer products, esp. jewellery?

To The Honourable Anthony Roberts,

NSW Minister for Fair Trading

Dear Minister,

Can you please ask Product Safety and Standards section of NSW Fair Trading, to investigate using the California state legislation on lead in consumer products as a role model, for creating AND policing stringent regulations on lead in consumer products, especially lead in jewellery?

Please see “APNewsBreak: Calif. tests show lead in jewelry” reported this month, at


which includes:

“State investigators uncovered hundreds of lead-laced trinkets marketed to children and adults, including some pieces contaminated with lead levels more than 1,000 times the legal state limit.

“The state was expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday against 16 companies — retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and distributors — doing business in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The companies are accused of violating lead standards and engaging in deceptive practices by falsely advertising tainted jewelry as lead-free.

Ardhika Wira“It's against the law to make, ship or sell jewelry that contains dangerous levels of lead. Children's jewelry cannot contain lead content exceeding the legal state limit of 600 parts per million. For adults, the limit is 60,000 parts per million.” (see photo by Ardhika Wira to the left)

Wouldn’t it be too tragic for you to bear, if a child died of lead poisoning by ingesting leaded jewellery during your time as Minister? A fatal child lead poisoning via ingestion of a leaded heart charm in 2006 in the USA was the provocation for the world’s largest consumer product recall (150 million items), the US national regulation on Lead in Children’s Products, and various state Regulatory Actions on Lead in Children’s Jewellery and Adult’s Jewellery (with California’s being the best), while in Australia, the only jewellery which has any heavy metal content limit by law is jewellery which is sold as “Children’s Toys” eg bead sets.

I have already, along with Jo Immig, President of the National Toxics Network (based in NSW), approached the ACCC asking for federal regulations on this issue and received the astounding reply on April 18, 2012, that:

“We have noted your concerns regarding the absence of mandatory standards on heavy metals in products and the potential deficiencies of the current regulatory framework. This information will be logged into our database and may be utilised for future investigations and regulatory development.”

The ACCC is clearly happy to do nothing until a death comes. I trust you are not.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

President, The LEAD Group Inc. (a Health Promotion Charity on the federal Register of Environmental Organisations)

PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia

Ph +61 2 9716 0132 Freecall 1800 626086


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Last Updated 29 November 2012
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