Lead Aware Times

Lead Aware Times Volume 1 No. 1 ( ISSN 1440-4966)

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The case of the plastic mascots

Greenpeace has called for the withdrawal of the Olympic mascots because they are made of PVC. Olly, Syd and Millie, the official Olympic figurines, are made of PVC say Greenpeace. The miniature figures are of native Australian animals - the kookaburra, the echidna and the duck-billed platypus. Although it is yet to be established if the figures contain lead or cadmium like some PVC can, Greenpeace have suggested the withdrawal of the figures because they do not comply with Olympic guidelines which require avoidance of the use of PVC.

Call for legislation on lead shot

The LEAD Group have called for legislation to prevent the use of shot-gun mustering. According to the Cattle Council of Australia, the presence of lead shot in beef may not be detected until after it has been exported, with the result that key export markets can be jeopardised.

Air pollution kills

Air pollution kills up to 24,000 people each year in Britain, according to a report commissioned by the [British] government. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants says that low-level ozone, created by sunlight acting on vehicle exhaust fumes, causes 12,500 premature deaths each year. Sulphur dioxide claims another 3,500 lives.

Nearly four years ago, calculations conducted for New Scientist estimated that the fine particles known as PM10s - also mostly produced by vehicles - kill around 10,000 people a year ("Dying from too much dust", New Scientist, 12 March 1994, p12). The new report comes up with a figure of 8,100.

The report also estimates the number of hospital admissions each year caused by air pollution, attributing 10,500 to PM10s, 9,900 to ozone and 3,500 to sulphur dioxide. [Extract from New Scientist, 17th Jan. 1998, p17, reprinted with kind permission]

Closing roads cuts traffic

A new British study claims that once a road has been closed, overall traffic volumes in the area decrease. The report claimed computer models used by transport planners assumed traffic would move onto surrounding roads following a road closure, and were therefore flawed. The report, by Phil Goodwin of University College, London, shows an average drop of 20% in traffic volumes, and up to 60% in some cases.

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