LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 7 no 2, 1999, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Case study - child lead poisoned by ceiling dust

The following case study is reprinted from the WEEKLY SOUTHERN COURIER
Tuesday, October 3, 1995. Story: Susan Mooney

A two-year-old Mascot boy has recorded a blood-lead level three times higher than the approved safe limit. The shock reading was taken during renovations to his family home, which included the removal of the ceilings.

Rosemary Ayoub and her son Jack were tested two weeks ago. The blood test confirmed her worst suspicions – Jack’s lead levels were dangerously high: at 30 g/dL (micrograms per decilitre), three times the recommended safe level.

According to Australia’s national lead watchdog, The Lead Group, high concentrations of lead in children can lead to impaired brain function, kidney damage, problems with calcium absorption and generalised cell damage.

Mrs Ayoub knew most old paints contained lead and had been careful to remove any flakes. She also knew about lead in soil and had that tested. But she was unaware lead could be present in dust. The Lead Group told Mrs Ayoub the dislodged lead dust in the ceiling had been the source of Jack’s poisoning.

Since the diagnosis the Ayoub family’s life has been turned upside down. Jack cannot live in the home until all traces of lead are removed. He has moved to his grandmother’s home and only sees his father every third day. Meanwhile, his father has put his daytime job on hold and is working 12 hours a day to complete the renovations. Once they’re finished the Ayoubs must decontaminate the whole house by washing every surface with sugar soap to remove all traces of lead dust and thoroughly clean sheets, towels, clothes and floor coverings.

A teacher, Mrs Ayoub said: "I’ve tried to give him such a good upbringing – healthy food, keeping him active. "I thank God that something made me test Jack. If we had stayed living there for even a few months longer I hate to think what [his reading] would’ve been."

For more information about lead poisoning contact The LEAD Group on 02 9716 0132.

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Last Updated 08 October 2011
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