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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News Briefs

Call for Lead Petrol Ban in Indonesia

A new blood lead study of school-children in Jakarta recommends reducing lead in Indonesian petrol as well as more monitoring of lead exposure. 26.7% of the children had blood lead levels above 10 Ķg/dL (micrograms per decilitre). [Ref: website http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/1998/106p499-501heinze/abstract.html]. It’s good to see this evidence of greater lead awareness in Asia. Hopefully, the most sensitive populations, ie inner city pre-school aged children will be tested in future studies. ®

Mucus Removes Toxic Metals from Water

New Scientist (date xxx) cites research by Powell et al in London, that the mucus exuded by fresh-water snails, algae and bacteria (which grow on gravel) can soak up toxic metals from the water. e.g. aluminium concentration in water fell 80% when snails were put in a bucket. Only a fraction of the aluminium went into the snails, most was in the slime in the bucket. The research was inspired by the knowledge that human digestive tract mucus absorbs toxic metals. [Ed: does human female cervical mucus remove metals from semen?] ®

New Mass Transit People-Mover

Sydney company Bishop Austrans released a revolutionary light rail vehicle prototype on 8th December 98. The Austrans system will be developed under the largest ever ($14 million) Federal Industry Research and Development Board Start Grant. The steel wheel on rail system allows rapid point-to-point personalised journeys. ®

Hunter News

Formation of Hunter Branch of The LEAD Group Inc

The Hunter Branch of The LEAD Group was started on 14/10/98. The branch is run by parents of lead poisoned children and residents who care about children and the environment they live in.

The Hunter LEAD Group want to help as many children and adults as they can. We believe that every child deserves the best out of life and no child should have to suffer from lead. We are more than happy to help with information and advice about lead to anyone.

The LEAD Group is a non-profit community group that depends on donations in the way of money, time, stationery, equipment, furniture and any useful thing. The LEAD Group also depends on membership fees, which include a newsletter subscription to LEAD Action News. We always appreciate and acknowledge all donations and sponsors in LEAD Action News.

Hold onto those Pasminco Shares!

While some people would see the Pasminco lead smelter upgrades (enlargements) and the opening of the new Pasminco lead mine at Century in Queensland, as the environment losing out. But one prominent share market advisor, Rene Rivkin, on his subscribers-only (but very popular website), says to "hang in there" for an expected "near-doubling of Pasminco’s profits" after 1999. ®

Comment on Questionnaire-Based Assessment:

The NHMRC have established a clear recommendation that the use of questionnaire based surveillance be studied. I am unaware of any such data to date (some data was collected in the Mira 1996 study but not published).

This proposal is probably not rigorous enough to be published in peer-reviewed literature as a study but will hopefully give good hands-on experience of the use of this approach. Hopefully, it will make it clear if this is a useful and cost-effective approach, which is the main pragmatic issue.

Funding News

 Mira Grant for Doctor Education

Professor Michael Mira, Director, Central Sydney Division of General Practice (CSDGP) has successfully applied for an $80,000 grant to educate Central Sydney GP’s in their own surgeries on lead poisoning, through academic detailing. The federal government grant is from the General Practice Education Program (GPEP) and work will begin in February 1999, following ethics approval.

 Will LEAD Group get GVCO Grant?

By mid December 1998, The LEAD Group should know whether we’ve been successful in gaining funding from the federal government’s Grants for Voluntary Conservation Organisations (GVCO), for The LEAD Group to set up Regional Branches in:

  • Hunter

  • Illawarra

  • Broken Hill

  • Mt Isa / Cannington / Century (QLD Mines)

Here’s hoping!

 Gulson Bone Study Funded

Great news!! The very deserving Professor Brian Gulson, a member of The LEAD Group’s Technical Advisory Board has been awarded another $1 mill. grant from the US NIEHS (National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences). Prof Gulson of Macquarie University and CSIRO will continue to research mobilization of lead from bones during pregnancy and lactation. The research is specifically aimed at determining the protective effect of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium, especially using calcium supplements.

Call for Volunteers for the Study

Prof. Gulson needs help to recruit 50 Eastern European women aged 18 to 36 years, within 3 months of their arrival in Australia. Phone (02) 94908713, if you can help. ®

New Appointments

Dr ChloŽ Mason Reducing Car-Use

ChloŽ Mason of The LEAD Group’s Technical Advisory Board has a new job as car-use reduction project leader at NSW University.

Don Bartlett joins CTI Consultants

Don Bartlett has joined CTI Consultants, taking charge of the Victorian branch since September 1998. Don was previously Secretary and Executive Officer for APAS (Australian Government Analytical Laboratories, formerly the Government Paint Committee).

Don has long been involved in the assessment of residential properties for lead paint, including similar work for the Dept of Housing in Melbourne.

Don’s impressive background in coating technology and corrosion science complements CTI’s existing fields of expertise, and his experience in Lead Paint Management will reinforce CTI’s reputation as Australia’s pre-eminent consultancy for assessing and managing lead paint. ®

Entertaining with Lead

You know that lead awareness is increasing when it starts appearing on game shows and comedies:

On Battle of the Sexes (Australian game show, Channel 10, 2/12/98) there was the question – "What heavy metal found in old paint is now considered a health hazard?" Of course we all know the answer!

And on Roseanne recently, when they were painting the house, they considered the possibility of intentionally lead poisoning the kids, as a joke!

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