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The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group
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environment from lead in all its uses: past, current and new uses
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Media Release 11 April 2000

Lead Is Still An Issue! Despite Lead Replacement Petrol Now Locally Available

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Lead Replacement Petrol is now available to residents in Sydney’s Inner West through its introduction to BP’s Rozelle Service Station. "This is certainly an important step towards the phase out of leaded petrol Australia wide, however, it doesn’t mean that lead is no longer an issue" said Ms Elizabeth O’Brien of The LEAD Group Inc.

"BP is to be commended in their efforts to make this alternative fuel available to Sydneysiders. Their lead replacement petrol called Lead Free Super is already being sold in Western Australia the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Shell’s Lead Replacement Petrol is also available in Victoria. Now the Inner West of Sydney will benefit as well. Certainly the phase out will mean reduced air lead levels, but it will not eliminate lead poisoning in our children" commented Ms O’Brien.

"There are many sources of lead in our environment that are still accessible to children such as old lead-based paint and lead in dust in houses. Historical deposition of lead from petrol still exists in the cavity dusts (above the ceiling and in the walls) of our homes and in soil. The recent suggestion by the Western Australian Environment Minister that lead was no longer a problem in WA as they no longer have leaded petrol couldn’t be further from the truth. It is unfortunate that many people see only leaded petrol as a source of lead when there are so many others which could be causing irreparable damage to our own and our children’s health and development."

"The tragedy is that unless you have a blood lead test you won’t know if you’ve been lead poisoned as symptoms will only show up at very high levels", added Ms O’Brien. "Damage to children’s learning abilities and behavioural development occur at levels so low that symptoms are not observed."

"The types of people at the highest risk are children under five and pregnant or breastfeeding women, particularly where there are renovations taking place. I urge anyone who thinks they may be at risk to call The Lead Advisory Service Australia on 97160132 for information and advice" Ms O’Brien stated. "Also, if you’re planning renovations or a pregnancy call the service NOW as funding for the service has only been secured until the end of June 2000. We certainly hope to still be running the service in the future, but it’s important that we get the message out just in case" added Ms O’Brien.

For further information or an interview contact Elizabeth O’Brien of The LEAD Group, on 02 9716 0132 or Freecall 1800 626 086.

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Last Updated 09 March 2012
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