Media Release - Friday 31st May, 1996.
$2 Per Child Is Too Much For The Environment
The National LEADLINE Project ceases operations at 5pm today.
The Federal government realised over $152 million last year from the tax on leaded petrol. We think that $150,000 per year is not too much to ask. One thousandth of the earnings on lead is a pittance. To keep taxing the Australian people and to give NO SERVICE to the community in return is a travesty.
The latest research shows that at least 75,000 Australian children are lead poisoned, which places lead poisoning as one of, if not THE GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RISK FACING AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN TODAY! However, we believe that this may be an under-estimation of the true extent of the problem" said Elizabeth OBrien.
"The studies are there for anyone to see. We know that in Sydney 25% of young children living in the inner suburbs have blood lead levels above the Australian goal. These figures could apply to any community in Australia with pre 1970 housing stock with old lead paint" said Ms OBrien.
We are surrounded by lead in our urban environment and our children are the most at risk. A lot of money has been poured into trying to address the problems of lead in point source communities such as Broken Hill and Port Pirie, but the sad truth is that many more children are poisoned in our urban communities by the homes that they live in and the well meaning renovation actions of their parents or tradespeople. If we can continue to get the message out to the community we will prevent our children from being permanently damaged and robbed of their intellectual potential.
The LEADLINE Project was funded on the basis of an expected call rate of 50 enquiries per month. The reality is vastly different. "We are presently taking over 300 calls per month from concerned parents, carers and workers from all over Australia." says Elizabeth OBrien, the National Co-ordinator of the LEADLINE Project and of the community advocacy LEAD Group. "As of today, we dont know where those people will be able to go for help." she said
Contact Elizabeth OBrien or Michelle Calvert - (02) 9716 0014 or 1800 626 086. ###
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