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  QUESTION: Doctors who carry out chelation therapy for lead poisoning. 28 Jun 2004, New South Wales Australia

My brother aged 47 has been diagnosed as having lead poisoning. I would very much appreciate being able to pass on to him the names of preferably Sydney or Central Coast hospitals which offer chelation therapy for adults. Many thanks.

ANSWER: 05 Jul 2004

Dear Esther,

Your search needs to be focussed on a doctor who can carry out chelation therapy rather than a hospital. If your brother's blood lead level is very high (over 70 micrograms per decilitre, which is written as 70 g/dL) and he has symptoms of lead poisoning then any hospital emergency department will organise chelation therapy even if they have to seek advice from one of the toxicologists who are on-call by phone from anywhere in Australia 24 hours a day. If the blood lead level is lower or the lead poisoning has been determined by urine lead level or urine chelation challenge testing or hair lead analysis, then you need to find a doctor who will carry out chelation treatment on that basis.

You can phone ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine) on 0395896088 or email them at mail[at]acnem.org or seek a chelating doctor in your area from Practitioner Listing Good luck and I would be very interested to know the outcome of your search. It is of course vital to determine the source/s of the lead poisoning so that the source/s can be eradicated. If the blood lead level is over 15 g/dL in NSW then the Public Health Unit (PHU) can carry out a lead assessment of your brother's home (especially if his doctor requests them to do so - ph NSW Health Dept switch on 93919000 and ask for the appropriate PHU) but if the lead poisoning occurred at work, a hazard assessment of the workplace or work practices and a hazard management plan is required.

Feel free to write again or phone 1800 626 086 for more specific case management advice.

Yours Sincerely Elizabeth O'Brien

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