LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 8 no 2, 2001, 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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Fully Referenced Expanded Version of
"New strategies needed to cut lead pollution",
Guest Article, Science and Technology Column, Canberra Times
Thursday 25th January 2001

Lead - From The Petrol Bowser To Blood And Bone - part 7

by Elizabeth O'Brien, National Coordinator of The LEAD Group and
Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Coordinator of the National Toxics Network

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A RESPONSE TO: "Lead may be dead but we've been had"

PDF version of this file: New strategies needed to cut lead pollution

Call for a new national lead strategy

It is still the best public health policy to remove lead from petrol even if some people have high blood lead levels due to paint or other sources – there is wisdom in taking the lead out of petrol as a first step to reducing the baseline level of lead in blood, to which all other sources are added. What remains to be done in Australia is to lower the goal for blood lead levels, eliminate lead poisoning and clean up the lead contamination of our environment. It would certainly be a fair and equitable tax if the 2c/litre levy was used to do this. Up to the beginning of 2000, the total income from this levy was in excess of $725 million. Around 40% of the children in lead smelter and mining towns in Australia are still lead poisoned and in South Australia and NSW they are receiving some state government assistance (a total of around $50 million) to clean up the contamination that industry continues to cause.

Unknown numbers of adults and children elsewhere are lead poisoned yet the federal environment minister contends that the $15,000 annual grant provided to The LEAD Group to run the Lead Advisory Service Australia is an appropriate level of funding to cover the annual call rate of over 5,500 calls handled by the service (Hill 2000; LEAD Group, 1996).

For information and referral about all lead hazards phone the Lead Advisory Service Australia [LASA] (staffed by dedicated volunteers due to insufficient government funding) - Freecall 1800 626 086.

PDF version of this file: New strategies needed to cut lead pollution

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