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  QUESTION: Blood lead testing and Precautionary steps for lead poisoning prevention, 09 Oct 2005, New South Wales Australia

I live in a terrace (built 1890s) in Redfern with my family. Our daughter is 3 years old and our son is 22 months old.

I would like to test for lead levels in us all (to see if we are at risk) as we are planning renovations and our house is old and falling apart. I am increasingly concerned about the probability of lead dust in the house and follow your instructions on the most effective house-keeping (wet mopping, etc.) as a matter of course.

I don't have cause to think that any of us suffer from lead poisoning - the children are healthy and developing normally - but I want to take precautions.

I believe there is a saliva test which children/ people can take to roughly determine their risk level prior to a full blood test. Our GPs cannot tell me about where we can undertake the saliva test. Could you provide me information about/ contacts for GPs in inner Sydney who know a bit about lead testing, etc. and could you also tell me if I should just cut to the chase and do blood tests rather than the saliva tests?

It would be a tragedy if your fantastic service closes down due to funding cuts.

Many thanks in advance for your response, Liz Potter.

ANSWER: 11 Oct 2005

Hi Liz,

We are currently without funding so apologies that I will have to be brief. Yes, you are right - don't bother with saliva lead testing, just ask the doctor for blood lead testing.

I hope that you will find answers to precautionary steps on how to prevent lead poisoning at our Fact Sheet Index or see the links at our Useful links page we are working strenuously to avert the closing down of our service and our website.

Regards,
Shahilla

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