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  QUESTION: Is home lead fishing sinker-making legal in Bega Valley Shire Council area? , 12 Nov 2005, New South Wales Australia

Dear Sir / Madam,

We were wondering if it is still legal to make our own lead sinkers at home?

If so, what type of precautions should we use?

Regards,
Ian Gordon

ANSWER: 22 Nov 2005

Dear Ian,

sorry for the delay in researching and responding to your query but we've been trying to avert the closure of our entirely volunteer-run service by shoring up some funding and although we've gleaned none from state or local governments, we were advised today that if we can avoid paying bills until 8th December then the federal environment minister will come to our rescue.

I was able to contact your local council (see emails below) for the answer today and I trust this helps. If you would advise your members that prevention of lead poisoning (and lead contamination) is the best "treatment", then I'd sleep a lot better at night. Better still, you could let them all know about non-lead sinkers now available in Australia from www.aquariummonsters.com.au Lead Free Fishing Sinkers.

It is important if people do proceed with this activity that they do not leave themselves open to being sued by their neighbours by allowing lead fumes or lead dust/debris to enter the neighbours' property. If any of your members is the type that says "I've been making sinkers for years and there's nothing wrong with me" then an excellent "proof" of this allegation is if they can also provide a very low blood lead analysis report for themselves organised through their doctor. Please refer your members to the following relevant factsheets:

LEAD ALERT FACTS: Lead in Recreational Activities and Beware the Lead in Lead Lighting (I know this is not leadlighting but the management is similar)

Regards
Elizabeth O'Brien

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