LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 6 no 3, 1998, 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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Talks by the Lead Advisory Service

Sutherland GP Division

Dr Ben Balzer, Vice-President of the LEAD Group’s Committee recently organised a Heavy Metals Information Evening for the Sutherland Shire Division of General Practice. Dr Balzer, Ann Carroll from the Lead Reference Centre (LRC) and Michelle Calvert of Lead Advisory Service (LAS) were the speakers. Dozens of doctors were in attendance and they were enthusiastic about the services provided by LAS and were encouraged to undertake more opportunistic blood lead testing of their young patients (ie when blood is being tested anyway for other reasons).

One of the attendees of the Heavy Metals Information Evening is the medical advisor for Sutherland Shire Council who will ensure that the parents of all preschool aged children in Sutherland Shire will have The LEAD Group’s Lead Risk Factor Questionnaire administered to them by Early Childhood Centre Nurses. [See the article above titled "Medical Lead Awareness – LEAD Group Campaign".]

This is the first lead "specialised" doctor information evening and is a great first in our efforts to increase awareness and encourage targeted screening among our medicos.

Many thanks to the efforts of Dr Ben Balzer!

Battery Factory

Together with LRC staff, Michelle Calvert, LAS Education Officer, spoke to three shifts of battery workers at GNB Technologies at Padstow, Sydney. More than 150 workers attended and it was wonderful to find members of the lead industry seeking us out to educate their staff about the dangers of lead and how to minimise risks.

Police Pistol Instructors

Michelle was also called in when it was discovered that a number of NSW Police Pistol instructors had suffered elevated lead levels. Unlike the battery workers at GNB Technologies these men and women were not aware of the risk in their work environment and were not even being regularly blood tested. Some of their blood lead levels exceeded 70 g/dL. It appears that the high lead levels were as a result of poor ventilation, the increased number of rounds being shot as a result of weapons training for the new Glock firearm being introduced to the Service and the fact that the Glock ammunition is "dirtier" when fired compared to the old firearm. Fortunately new protocols are being developed to protect the instructors and we are assured that all pistol instructors will now be regularly blood lead tested. WorkCover is now prosecuting the Police Service and the Police Association has also launched legal action.

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Last Updated 06 October 2011
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