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The Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise asks Parents
help LEAD the way against LEAD
In some areas of Sydney up to 1 in 4 children less than 5 years
of age have blood lead levels above what is recommended for good health.
If your child has too much lead in their blood something CAN be
done about it. If you know your child has too much lead, you can find out
where the lead is and how to stop it getting into your child. This will
help lessen the potential harmful effects of lead, such as learning and
behaviour problems or lowered IQ. Most children with too much lead in
their blood are never tested. These children often have problems at school
and families will never know why.
a moment to answer the following questions to see if your child should be
CHILDREN UP TO 4 YEARS OF
AGE ARE MOST AT RISK FROM LEAD
LEAD EXPOSURE RISK FACTOR QUESTIONNAIRE
If the answer is
to any of these questions your child may be at risk of an
elevated blood lead level - discuss with your doctor the need for a blood
your child is aged between 9 months & 4 years, does he or she:
in, or frequently visit, a house*
before 1970 with peeling or chipping paint?
before 1970 with previous or ongoing renovation where old paint
(inside or outside) has been burnt or sanded off, or where
ceilings, walls or floors have been demolished?
a lead releasing industry, eg lead mine, lead smelter,
(*- House includes day-care centres,
pre-schools and homes of babysitters, relatives etc)
with an adult:
with an adult whose job or hobby uses lead? (eg lead mining or
smelting, automotive repair, panel-beating, lead lighting, fishing
sinker making, electronics, shooting instruction, car-battery
service/ repair or manufacture).
a brother or sister, housemate or playmate with an elevated blood
- Sometimes eat non-food items such as soil or paint?
- Have anaemia due to not enough iron, behaviour
problem, learning problem or did they sit up, walk or talk late
** Other groups at
risk of lead exposure include
women and their unborn babies
who live in and/or renovate pre 1970 houses (especially children) /font>
where a family member works with lead or uses it in a hobby
who live near a source of lead contamination (e.g. lead smelter, market
garden once sprayed with lead arsenate, municipal incinerator, car
repairer where paint is stripped, battery breaking yard).
If your child is at risk of having a raised blood lead level, Medicare covers the cost of the test.
Painless blood lead testing is possible through the use of EMLA™
anaesthetic patches, which are available without a prescription from
The patch must be applied at least one hour before the blood sample is
that the absence of symptoms does NOT take away the need for a blood
Most children have no
symptoms until high lead levels are reached.
message to doctors
questioning of the patient to identify risk factors, followed by a blood
test, is the best way to confirm exposure to lead. Most cases of
lead poisoning show no symptoms.
there is a risk factor, a venous blood lead should be done.
blood samples remain the recommended sampling technique. Finger prick, hair and urine testing
are not recommended because of the risk of contamination and false
positive results. Blood samples can be sent to your chosen pathologist,
but it is suggested that parents use larger centres with two or more staff
or hospitals. Parents may like to purchase EMLA™ local anaesthetic
patches from their local pharmacy and apply this to one or both
antecubital fossae one hour prior to blood collection to reduce
Identification and Management of Lead Affected
more information GP’s and patients can contact:
The LEAD Group Inc
Phone 1800 626 086 or 9716 0014
the “Contact” form to send an
LEAD Group is a not for profit organisation that receives
some funding from the federal government
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group
Working to eliminate lead poisoning globally and to protect the
environment from lead in all its uses: past, current and new uses
ABN 25 819 463 114
more information about the
Rotary Club of North Sydney
or the Rotary International website: http://www.rotary.org/
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