LEAD Action News vol 4 no 3 Winter 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.
The LEAD Group deeply regrets that the new federal government has not seen fit to continue its funding of the national lead information service LEADLINE. Funded by the federal Labor government, LEADLINE was able to provide for one year only, from 1 June 1995 to 31 May 1996, an invaluable service to all Australians. The federal government collects $152 million annually from Australian taxpayers in its tax on unleaded petrol, and yet most Australians now have no access to the wide range of information available from LEADLINE to assist them in dealing with their problems with lead.
It is therefore fortunate indeed for the residents of NSW that their government has had the vision to pioneer the first State-funded Community Lead Advisory Service (CLAS). Despite receiving no assistance from the federal government to deal with lead issues, the NSW government has provided funding to The LEAD Group generous enough to also make possible a community outreach and education program.
There has been clamorous demand for CLASs resources right from its start. On the day the office moved to its new premises, staff dropped everything in order to assist a mother to deal with a ceiling collapse which dumped leaded ceiling dust into her young childrens bedroom. July was "The Month of the Mini Blinds". In August CLAS encountered the tragic case of the highest blood lead in a worker of which The LEAD Group is aware. Time constraints due to the pressure of relocating offices and establishing the new service have prevented the documentation for this issue of any more of the fascinating case histories that keep pouring in. They will however continue to figure in future editions, illustrating better than any statistics the human face of the lead problem.
The rest of this issue contains articles covering the usual wide range of topics relating to lead. Other articles of particular interest to NSW residents will be results of Dr Michael Miras survey on blood lead levels in Sydney children; a Sydney GPs urgent request to his colleagues to consider opportunistic blood lead testing of young patients; and reports on the situation in Broken Hill, where the local community face an additional lead burden from mining operations, and public education is seen as vital in their coping strategies.
People planning the potentially hazardous cocktail of pregnancy and renovation are also catered for, as are drinkers and duck hunters. The answer to the vexed question of lead in pencils is revealed. The literary amongst us will find references to lead in literature. A warning note from across the water is sounded in the account of the prosecution of a painting contractor in New Zealand for lead contamination of a family home, resulting in the lead poisoning of 2 small boys. Closer to home is the sombre story of petrol sniffing in Aboriginal communities.
Editorial Committee: Robin Mosman and Elizabeth O'Brien
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Updated 26 November 2012