LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 13 Number 4, June 2013, 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.
Editorial Team: Elizabeth O’Brien, Zac Gethin-Damon, Hitesh Lohani, Shristi Lohani and David Ratcliffe

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Articles collated and summarised by Lan Nguyen, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Interns at The LEAD Group, May 2013 and Rama Veeraghanta  MBA (Finance&Marketing), volunteer The LEAD Group Inc.

  • Beware of lead paint when renovating

Darcy Wilson, Build.com.au, edited by Elizabeth O'Brien, The LEAD Group Inc, Lead paint: is your home a threat? Many Australian houses built before the 80's contain extremely dangerous lead paint. Find out if your home's making you sick - Beware of lead paint when renovating Build.com.au BUILD online newsletter, Mon 26/11/12


It’s estimated that the vast majority of homes in Australia built before 1970 contain lead paint with up to 50% lead levels while it was reduced to up to 1% between 1970 and 1997. There are several methods to test the lead content of the paint, including a colour-change test kit, a DIY sample kit and a portable XRF machine. It is important that the process of removing lead paint and disposing of your contaminated waste is complicated and maybe dangerous so you need to manage it professionally.

  • Double murder trial delayed to investigate Black Leaf chemical site's effects on defendant

Jason Riley, The Courier Journal, 31 May 2012, http://louisville.edu/cepm/Double%20murder%20trial%20delayed%20to%20investigate%20Black%20Leaf%20chemical%20site%20Courier%20Journal%205-31-12.pdf

A double murder trial was postponed for further investigation about the possible effects of pesticides and heavy metals’ poisoning on the defendant and its link to the case. Clarence Stiff, the defendant, had lived near the former Black Leaf industrial site during his childhood. According to the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, this site was reported with elevated levels of toxic pollutants, including the now-banned DDT, dieldrin, arsenic and lead. Also, nervous system damage, dizziness, lower IQ, liver and kidney problems and cancer are some health issues related to this type of poisoning discovered on and near the chemical site.

Editors note: The trial, postponed by a year, was due to start last month, May 2013.

  • New report says lead taints economy; loss to developing nations calculated at $992 bn/yr

extracts are from Lead taints economy; loss to developing nations calculated at $992 billion, by Brian Bienkowski, Staff Writer, Environmental Health News, about a report published on 25 June 2013:

Editor’s note: the fact that one of the co-authors of the report, Leonardo Trasande, was quoted as saying: “There are only a few countries using leaded gasoline, so the majority of the exposures are from lead-based paint, lead battery production and hazardous waste sites,” would appear to indicate that the lead dust which settles in homes, on soil and in the sediments of waterways from the period of the use of leaded petrol, has not been regarded, by the authors, as a significant ongoing source of lead after the use of leaded petrol has been eliminated in a country.

Childhood lead exposure is costing developing countries $992 billion annually due to reductions in IQs and earning potential, according to a new study published today. The report by New York University researchers is the first to calculate the economic cost of children exposed to lead in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other developing regions. The researchers found that, despite major declines in exposure in the United States and Europe, lead is still harming brains and bottom lines in poorer regions around the world. The toxic metal is annually taking a 1.2 percent chunk out of the entire world’s gross domestic product, according to the new report. The researchers found that Africa’s economy is harmed the most, with annual economic losses estimated at $137.7 billion, or 4 percent of its gross domestic product. Lead paint, battery manufacture and hazardous waste sites are the major sources in developing nations.


Lead exposure in the United States has rapidly declined since the 1970s, largely due to the phase-out of lead in gasoline. In the 1970s, about 88 percent of kids 5 years old or younger had excessive blood lead levels (greater than 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2011, about 5.8 percent of U.S. kids had excessive blood lead levels. This dramatic decrease is in spite of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cutting its lead guideline in half, to 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, last October in response to mounting scientific evidence that low levels can harm children’s developing brains.

Similar trends have occurred in Europe.

But worldwide lead consumption has risen, from about 4.7 million tons in 1970 to 7.1 million tons in 2004, according to a 2010 United Nations report. The increase is largely driven by demand for lead batteries, according to the report.


Previous studies also have looked at economic costs of lead exposure. Every dollar invested in lead paint control results in a $17 to $220 return, according to a 2009 study. Reduced lead exposure in the United States since 1976 has resulted in a $110 billion to $319 billion economic benefit due to higher IQs and worker productivity, according to a 2002 CDC study.

“We’re basically pitting the health of our children versus economic health,” “Until we can prove it’s cost beneficial to protect kids we won’t do it. It’s really a strange thing for a species to do.”

The above work, by Environmental Health News, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 

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Last Updated 19 July 2013
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