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PDF of this file What can I do about climate change AND lead

What can I do about climate change AND lead?

By Elizabeth O’Brien and Robert Taylor, Global Lead Advice & Support Service (GLASS)

What do I need to know about climate change?

The IPCC {Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that global temperatures may rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees (from a baseline averaging 1960-1990) sometime during the 21st century. The general scientific consensus that emerged in forums like the Bali conference is that for there to be an around 50% chance of limiting the rise of global temperature to a 2°C increase since industrialization, we would need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in developed countries by 25-40% by 2020, developing nations must peak GHG emissions before 2020, and total global emissions by 50% of 1990 levels by 2050. Even with these reductions, the following are predicted: Global emissions would have to peak by 2020 at the latest (see graph). To date, the rise has been about 0.6°C since industrialization.

With a 2°C increase we should prepare for:

  • Disappearance of mountain glaciers
  • Damage to coral ecosystems
  • Severe impact on the Sahel
  • Thawing of arctic including Greenland

What do I need to know about lead poisoning as a global problem?

Lead Health Impacts

Lead replaces minerals (notably iron and calcium) within the body. Prevents haemoglobin formation in red blood cells producing anaemia

  • 10 µg/dL decreases kids IQ by 7.4 pts compared to 1µg/dL so this is aptly called “The Age of Stupid”
  • 2 µg/dL of lead in the blood increases risk of early death
  • WHO considers <10 µg/dL an adequate goal; researchers calling on WHO to halve that level
  • The LEAD Group says reduce goal to < 2 µg/dL
  • >50% of people alive today have probably had a Blood lead above 10 µg/dL
  • We would all be smarter and live longer were it not for lead

Lead is in Everything & Everyone

  • 2.5 billion have no regulation of lead in house-paint
  • Lead petrol not yet banned in 14 countries
  • Savings following US ban: $110-319 billion
  • Karachi (2002) 80.5% of kids >10 µg/dL
  • 5 Indian cities (2005) kids average. 12.1 µg/dL
  • >33% kids in China >10 µg/dL (2004)

Lead is in unleaded petrol, diesel, coal, biomass, dung, computers, solar panels...

What do I need to do about lead poisoning AND climate change

Ask your politicians to follow the following recommendations.

Recommendations: Greenhouse Management

  • Taxation of hydrocarbons used in transportation; abandon biofuels
  • Tougher diesel standards to restrict black carbon emissions
  • Reducing biomass combustion for farming/domestic purposes
  • Adding insulation to houses while removing ceiling dust
  • Price incentives to industries to reduce GHG emissions
  • Funding for biosequestration programs rather than geosequestration

Recommendations: Lead Management

  • Biosequestration or chemical stabilization of lead waste
  • Tax on lead mining at the mine to encourage recycling
  • Tax new vehicles & reduce numbers of vehicles being made, by providing public transport, bikeways, walkways & incentives to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT)
  • Enhance lead recycling, battery deposit or repurchase and convert small-scale lead battery works into collection points, and ensure all batteries are recycled at large-scale facilities covered by OH&S and Environmental Controls
  • Ban leaded AvGas (aviation fuel for propeller aircraft) globally

Recommendations: A Smarter World

  • Laws to prevent lead diversion from lead acid batteries to unregulated uses
  • Regulation of combustion of materials that may contain lead & vacuuming of leaded ceiling dusts for recycling
  • Education & nutritional supplements, veganism
  • Decrease all fuel burning by localising all production, encouraging urban gardens, decreasing manufacturing & ending the era of consumerism & long-haul transport
  • Prevention of lead poisoning in every way we can, will promote the Age of Reason necessary to mitigate and adjust to climate change

Yes, but what can I do personally?

As an individual, be sure to manage lead paint safely and have ceiling dust removed before adding ceiling insulation (instead of using air conditioning), increase your public transport use, cycling and walking and decrease your car use or try to live without a car altogether, decrease or eliminate air travel and buy local produce (preferably not animal products). Decrease your consumerism, and ensure that your household follows the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, repair.

Join 10:10 Global as an individual and convince your organisation, your council, and your state and federal politicians to join up their organisations to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2010. Join up at

Read up about Climate Change & Lead Toxicity:

See the slide show at
& the speech at 
For all references & graphics permissions see the paper at

PDF of this file What can I do about climate change AND lead

The LEAD Group Inc. Fact Sheet Index

NSW Lead Reference Centre and NSW Government Publications On this site

  1. About the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS)

  2. Main Sources of Lead

  3. How Would You Know If You or Your Child Was lead poisoned?

  4. Lead aware housekeeping

  5. Ceiling dust & lead poisoning

  6. Is your yard lead safe?

  7. Health Impacts of lead poisoning

  8. Rotary Questionnaire

  9. Lead poisoned Pets and Your Family

  10. Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Factor Questionnaire

  11. Is Your Child Safe From Lead? - What Can You Do About Lead?

  12. Lead in Drinking Water in Australia

  13. Have We Really Resolved The Lead Issue?

  14. The Importance of the Availability of "Spot Tests" for Lead in Paint

  15. Pregnant or Planning a Pregnancy

  16. Breastfeeding and Lead

  17. Lead in breast milk

  18. Beware The Lead In Lead Lighting

  19. Renting and Lead

  20. What to do if you have too much lead in your tank water

  21. Lead Contamination in Stormwater

  22. Contamination At Shooting Ranges

  23. Banned: Leaded Wick Candles

  24. Lead, Ageing and Death

  25. Metal miniatures: How to minimise the risks of lead poisoning and contamination

  26. 7 Point Plan for the MANAGEMENT OF LEAD by Australian parents and carers

  27. Countries where Leaded Petrol is Possibly Still Sold for Road Use, As at 17th June 2011

  28. Lead Poisoning And The Brain - Cognitive Deficits And Mental Illness

  29. Facts and Firsts of Lead

  30. Lead mining royalties by state and territory

  31. Lead Mining Stewardship - Grey Lead and the Role of The LEAD Group

  32. Preventative Strategies of The LEAD Group

  33. What do Doctors need to do about Lead?

  34. A Naturopath's Experience Of Lead & People With Diagnosed Mental Illness

  35. Case File: Helping Manage Australian Lead in Petrol - How GLASS Works

  36. Glass Web & Service-Users, Experts & Volunteers, by Country; Countries with Leaded Petrol for Road Use & Worst Pollution

  37. Lead in ceiling dust

  38. Lead paint & ceiling dust management - how to do it lead-safely

  39. Esperance parliamentary inquiry follow-up factsheet: Where to from Here??

  40. Broken Hill lead miners factsheet 1893 with Note 20081015

  41. Helping a Doctor Help 35,000 Lead-Poisoned People Around the Lead Smelter at La Oroya in Peru
    Ayuda a un doctor que ayuda 35,000 personas envenenadas por plomo alrededor de la fundidora de plomo en la Oroya-Peru

  42. Fact sheet for Australian toy importers and traders

  43. Iron Nutrition & Lead Toxicity
    Informe de Acciones – Hierro y Plomo en la Nutrición

  44. Sanitarium-Are You getting Enough Iron

  45. Do-It-Yourself-Lead-Safe-Test-Kits-flyer

  46. Blood lead testing: who to test, when, and how to respond to the result

  47. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to both adults and children

  48. Lead Exposure & Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There A Link?

  49. In CHINA - Blood lead testing: who to test, when, and how to respond to the result

  50. Why you should have your ceiling dust removed before you take advantage of the Australian government's Energy Efficient Homes Package: Insulation Program

  51. Alperstein et al Lead Alert - A Guide For Health Professionals 1994

  52. Ceiling Dust WorkCover Guide Lee Schreiber Final Nov 1999

  53. What can I do about climate change AND lead?

  54. The Need for Expert Clinical Assessments in Diagnosis Of Heavy Metal Poisoning

  55. Why you should have your ceiling dust removed before you have insulation installed

  56. Thirty Thought-Starters on Ceiling Void Dust in Homes

  57. Pectin: Panacea for both lead poisoning and lead contamination

  58. Nutrients that reduce lead poisoning June 2010

  59. Lead poisoning and menopause

  60. Fact sheet For Schoolkids From Professor Knowlead About Lead

  61. Prevention of Exposure to Lead at Work in Indonesia

  62. Mencegah kontak dengan timbal di tempat kerja di Indonesia

  63. How to Protect Your Family from Lead in Indonesia

  64. Bagaimana melindungi keluargamu dari timbal di Indonesia

  65. Cigarette Smoking & Lead Toxicity
     صحيفة معلومات: التدخين والتسمم بالرصاص

  66. Medical Evaluation Questionnaire For Occupational Lead Exposure

  67. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to children

  68. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to adults

  69. Biosolids used as fertilizer in China and other countries

  70. What are the lead poisoning risks of a lead pellet, bullet or shot lodged in the body?

  71. Alcohol’s link to higher lead and iron levels

  72. USA Case Definition of Adult (including Occupational) & Child Elevated Blood Lead Levels (EBLL)

  73. Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children - A Renewed Call for Primary Prevention

  74. Occupational Health & Safety Fact Sheet Dangers of lead for roofers

  75. Let’s Make Leaded Petrol History - Let’s Make Leaded Gasoline History

  76. Lead, Your Health & the Environment. Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Macedonian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese 

  77. Lead Safe Housekeeping

  78. Old Lead Paint

  79. Working safely with lead

  80. A Renovator's Guide To The Dangers Of Lead (Brochure 30 pages)

  81. A Guide For Health Care Professionals (Brochure 34 pages)

  82. A Guide To Keeping Your Family Safe From Lead (Brochure 20 pages)

  83. Lead Hazard Management In Children's Services (Brochure 15 pages)

  84. A Guide To Dealing With Soil That Might Be Lead-Contaminated

  85. Exposure Assessment: Lead Neurotoxicity - Is the Center for Disease Control's goal to reduce lead below 10 µg/dl blood in all children younger than 72 months by 2010, good enough?

About Us | bell system lead poisoning | Contact Us | Council LEAD Project | egroups | Library - Fact Sheets | Home Page | Media Releases
| Q & A | Referral lists | Reports | Site Map | Slide Shows - Films | Subscription | Useful Links |  Search this Site

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 Last Updated 02 May 2014
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