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.
by Robin Mosman, The LEAD Group
There is a constant flow of inquiry and information between LEADLINE and agencies of all three tiers of government.
The Australian Institute of Environmental Health, the professional body for local government Environmental Health Officers, in the process of formulating policy and guidelines on lead management, regularly make inquiries of LEADLINE.
It was found recently that premises in Norton Street, Ashfield, owned by Ashfield Council and used as a kindergarten by the Kindergarten Union, had high lead levels in the paint. LEADLINE gave advice to Ashfield Council officers on temporary remediation work, and referrals to lead assessment and abatement service providers.
Other councils which have been in touch with LEADLINE in the period of this report, or who have referred inquirers, are Botany, Canterbury, Marrickville, Manly, South Sydney (in Sydney), Cabonne (in Perth) and City of Fremantle.
A number of officers with Public Health Units have contacted LEADLINE. The Environmental Health Officer with the Public Health Unit of the Central Sydney Area Health Services, who regularly makes use of LEADLINEs resources, recently said that LEADLINE "has been invaluable for current technical references on a wide variety of issues relating to environmental lead." He also said that LEADLINE had been "a very useful resource base to which he had been able to refer members of the public with concerns about child lead poisoning, for detailed information on the avoidance of environmental lead exposure."
An employee of the Queensland Health Department contacted LEADLINE in order to ascertain for a doctor how often a lead-poisoned worker patient should be retested. The Health Department did not have a copy of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines for doctors. The Health Dept employee believed that the notifiable level of blood lead for workers was 3.4 µmol/L (70 µg/dL) in Queensland, that there had been no update of this in response to the NHMRC 1993 recommendations. LEADLINE researched this, and established that the Queensland Health Act had been amended in February 1995 so that 2.4 µmol/L (50 µg/dL) is now the notifiable level for persons known to be exposed to lead in their occupations, (Ref: Qld Govt Gazette No 15.) LEADLINE then notified the Health Department employee.
When an inquirer informed LEADLINE that a TV news program showed that workers involved in demolition and removal of ceiling dust in the Airport Noise Insulation Program for Sydney Airports Third Runway were not wearing appropriate safety equipment, LEADLINE contacted the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). DAS sought advice from LEADLINE, and began formulating new policy guidelines for insulation and demolitions. A meeting was held with LEADLINE for community input into the draft guidelines. Subsequently DAS asked for LEADLINEs comments in writing to assist with their finalisation of the guidelines.
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Updated 22 November 2012