LEAD Action News

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.

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Contractor Prosecuted over Lead Poisoning

The following article is reprinted from the Nelson Evening Mail in New Zealand (8th March 1994) with kind permission from the Editor.

Occupational Safety and Health [OSH] is prosecuting a Nelson painting and water blasting contractor after two Wakefield children were treated in hospital for lead poisoning following the removal of paint from their home.

OSH Nelson branch manager Brian Stratford said yesterday the service had filed papers in the Nelson District Court against the firm.

The contractor was being prosecuted under a section of the Health and Safety in Employment Act, 1992.

Mr Stratford said OSH believed the contractor has a case to answer after sandblasting paint from the Neynens family’s Wakefield home mid-December [1993].

"We feel that in this case, the contractor was responsible for ensuring that no substance was left lying around or no process that they carried out should have been a risk to anybody," he said.

Connor Neynens, who turned one yesterday was readmitted to Nelson Hospital for further lead poisoning treatment on Monday, after being treated in hospital in January and February. His brother Cameron (5), is still being monitored by specialists after being admitted to hospital in January for lead poisoning.

OSH felt dry sandblasting in an uncontrolled situation was unacceptable as it was difficult to stop dust entering the atmosphere. Sand which contained silica was an added hazard, Mr Stratford said.

The boys’ father, Mike Neynens, said yesterday he was pleased OSH was prosecuting and said he was also taking legal advice about who was responsible for the estimated $50,000 lead cleanup required of the family home. The family was still in rented accommodation after being advised to vacate the home and was extremely worried about the children and their situation.

Nelson MP, John Blincoe last month called for a nationwide campaign on the dangers of lead-based paint on old houses following the Neynens’ problems.

He said older houses were potential "toxic time bombs" and great care was needed to avoid contamination from lead dust.

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Last Updated 26 November 2012
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