Action News Volume 7 No 4, 2000, ISSN 1324-6011
Review of Govt Plans re: Leaded Consumer Products
Review of NSW & Federal Government Plans / Policies on Lead in Consumer Products - from Publications from the 1990s in Australia
By Elizabeth OBrien, National Coordinator, The LEAD Group Inc. Sydney
The following series of 6 articles are all linked in that each is a review of the parts of a government plan related to lead in consumer products [see note* below].
It is very important to state at the outset that the absence of a lead strategy in every state apart from NSW and Victoria in no way should be regarded as indicative of the remaining states and territories having no lead problem. NSW is to be applauded for having the most comprehensive Lead Management Action Plan and other strategy documents, which eclipse even the federal government plans in the level of detail. It also must be said that the NHMRC strategy is by far the broadest plan - if only it had been implemented there would be no need to keep asking governments for even the basic actions on lead such as blood lead surveys and the phase-out of leaded petrol.
But the prize for writing the most achievable plan must go to Ros Kelly - the Lead Roundtable Agreements, though admittedly focussing on only leaded petrol, has achieved the highest score for the number of items acted upon.
When seen together, I trust that this review of the detailed, the broad and the achievable plans will allow insight for those states and territories and indeed the federal government who all need to now create their own public health success stories. The attainment of the Australian blood lead levels goal (all non-occupationally exposed adults and children to be below 10 micrograms per decilitre) is certainly achievable in the short term. It may even be possible to achieve the blood lead goal in workers within the next decade.
I have requested a review of the Northern Territory's policy on inhalant substance abuse because leaded petrol is potentially fatal when inhaled and I hope to report on that in the next LEAD Action News. I am also waiting on information from the Victorian Health Minister to be able to carry out a review of the plans made in their "Lead Strategy" 1993.
Note*: plans regarding consumer products which allow lead into drinking water, eg leaded plumbing solder and lead flashings for roofs used for tank-water collection, will be dealt with in a later issue of LEAD Action News and are not listed here.
IMPORTANT REQUEST TO READERS I have written italicised comments after each component in the following government plans regarding consumer products but I would love to hear from you if my comment is wrong or incomplete and will be happy to print a retraction with the good news about what has actually happened, in a later issue of LEAD Action News.
Review of NSW Lead
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Updated 21 November 2013