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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New Information

"Hazards in Petrol" on ABC Website

Elizabeth O’Brien has written an 85 page website for ABC on Leaded Petrol, Unleaded Petrol and Benzene. The article is currently being legalled by the ABC prior to publication on Karl Kruszelnicki’s section of the ABC’s website.

New Web Addresses - LEAD Group

The LEAD Group will soon have a new website address (with greater capacity) and e-mail address. Our new internet server, ZipWorld, have kindly donated the set-up costs of our own domain. Website: www.lead.org.au & E-mail: www.lead.org.au/cu.html are the new addresses.

Lead and Cadmium on OECD Website

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) website has information on the 5 priority chemicals, the top priority chemical being lead, second priority being cadmium and fifth being mercury.
See www.oecd.org/document/49/0,3746,en_2649_201185_9217329_1_1_1_1,00.html

National Pollutant Inventory Website

Log on to www.npi.gov.au/substances/lead/index.html for information about the toxic substances being emitted into the Australian environment and where the sources of emissions are. The site is designed so that you can search by geographic region, by the name of the substance or by the name of the source eg Pasminco –Cockle Creek smelter (though you can only search for one substance at a time from a particular source, eg cadmium, then mercury, etc.). The site includes links to similar inventories overseas, and info on publications.

Deleading News in LEAD Gp Library

The publishers of Deleading Magazine have kindly agreed to barter their magazine for LEAD Action News. In addition, Tim Gooden of Blastmaster in South Australia, has kindly donated several years worth of previous issues of Deleading Magazine, so The LEAD Group’s library will have a valuable addition with ongoing issues of this US magazine, which focuses on lead abatement and removal.

New "Renovator’s Guide" by Lead Reference Centre

The following media release was written by the Lead Advisory Service (NSW) in response to a request to do so by the Lead Reference Centre (LRC). LRC funding to write media releases has been withdrawn.

There are over 3.5 million pre-1970 Australian homes which contain lead paint. Many renovators of these homes will be parents of young children or expectant couples getting the nursery ready.

A new booklet was released in September 1998 by the Lead Reference Centre. ‘A Renovator's Guide to the Dangers of Lead’ will provide people with the knowledge to conduct renovations in a safe manner and hopefully prevent many of the lead poisoning cases that we see resulting from unsafe work practices.

Renovating pre-1970 homes is well recognised by experts to be one of the most significant risk factors for lead poisoning. It is a past-time that doesn’t mix well with young children or pregnancy though. "It can be done safely, but people need to be aware of the dangers and take a bit more care" says Michelle Calvert, of the Lead Advisory Service NSW.

Lead laden dust from lead-based paint or ceiling spaces and wall cavities have resulted in the health of too many children being damaged. Unfortunately, professional and do-it-yourself (DIY) renovators, working unsafely, have been responsible for lead poisoning cases. Recently, two young children were poisoned during renovations and the problem was only identified when the family dog died from lead poisoning.

"One important message that we would like to send to renovators," said Ms Calvert "is that if you have been renovating a pre-1970 home and dust has been created that could be lead contaminated - you should speak to your doctor about a simple blood test. Damage is happening long before symptoms are present. Health effects for children include learning and behavioural problems, IQ loss, hearing and kidney damage. Adults can suffer joint and muscle pain, high blood pressure and infertility. The blood test will determine if your blood lead levels are too high and if there is a problem we can take positive steps to minimise the health impacts."

"Australia is a nation of renovators" she added "If you are not renovating you are sure to know someone who is. So the other important message is to get a copy of this free booklet (phone 131 555) and do the job right in the first place to ensure the best possible outcome for your children and yourself."

Lead Miner Releases Inaugural Environmental Performance Report

RGC sent its inaugural Environmental Performance Report to shareholders on 28th October 1998, in order to comply with its commitment as a founding signatory of the Australian Minerals Industry Code for Environmental Management and to "promote transparency of our operations". This compares with the promised date for Pasminco’s first report, of August 1999, following the August 1997 signing of the Industry Code by Pasminco. Why the delay?

According to the report, RGC has a 100% interest in the Thalanga (North QLD) zinc/copper/lead mine which produced 14,029 tonnes of lead concentrate, in the year before it ceased underground operations on 30 June 1998. RGC also has a 69% interest in the nearby Reward mine which commenced production on 13 July 1998. By comparison, Pasminco owns and operates one open-cut mine (Potosi, at Broken Hill, NSW), and three major underground zinc/lead/silver mines at Broken Hill, Elura and Rosebery, which produced respectively 165,749 tonnes of lead concentrate (Broken Hill including Potosi), 72,444 (Elura) and 19,646 tonnes (Rosebery). [Ref. Pasminco Annual Report 1998]

One of the "Environmental Challenges" reported by RGC is an "unresolved legal action against [RGC] Thalanga [Pty Ltd]" in which a neighbouring pastoral land-holder alleged there had been ground water contamination "as a result of wind dispersal of sulphates from the tailings dam surface and acid mine drainage.

Asbestos Info in Six Languages

National Asbestos Awareness Day, November 27 1998, was marked as a day of remembrance for the hundreds of victims of asbestos diseases in Australia. With the number of sufferers rising daily, especially among migrant workers, the Asbestos Diseases Foundation has decided to make available information in Turkish, Spanish, Greek, Italian and Arabic as well as English. For further information phone (02) 9637 8759.

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Last Updated 08 October 2011
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