MEDIA RELEASE 13th September 1999
Lead Poisoning Is Recognised Internationally As One Of The Greatest Environmental Health Risks Facing Children Today
It Is Lead
Poisoning Awareness Day
Could you please support lead awareness day by preparing an article? It would be greatly appreciated and will help to raise the community awareness of lead poisoning.
Why is lead called "the Silent Epidemic"?
At least 75,000 Australian children aged between 1-4 and countless other older children are estimated to have too much lead in their blood. Most parents never know lead has and is affecting their children because hardly any few blood lead tests are done in Australia on at-risk children. Unless you know the blood lead level of your child you are unable to respond appropriately. The attached Risk Factor Questionnaire needs to be published widely so parents know to ask their doctors to order the test for their children.
What lead does to your health.
Lead can affect children by causing learning and attention problems, hearing loss, slowed growth and bad behaviour. Lead can affect pregnant women and pass through the mothers body and harm the unborn baby. Lead can affect adults too. Low levels of exposure can cause joint and muscle pain, high blood pressure and infertility. Higher levels of lead poisoning can cause memory loss, nerve problems and at very high levels, fits and death.
Who is most at risk?
Lead can effect anybody but children under the age of five and pregnant women are most at risk. The poisonous effects of lead can cause damage to the developing brain and nervous system of unborn and young children much more easily than in adults. Children absorb 50% of the lead they take into their bodies. Adults absorb 10% of the lead they take into their bodies. Children have more hand to mouth activity and are more sensitive to the effects of lead.
SOURCES OF LEAD - The most common forms of lead exposure are from:
Lead based paint Used in many Australian homes before 1970. The risk increases if paint is flaking or containing residues of lead from paint chalking and is particularly high when removed by sanding, hot airguns, sandblasting or burning during renovations.
Household dust from soil, paint removal or fallout from petrol vehicles and industrial emissions. In some areas the dust also may contain lead from mines or smelters.
Soil contamination due to previous industrial activities leaded petrol emissions or contamination by lead based paint.
Air Pollution Mainly due to emissions from leaded petrol, lead industries, mining and smelting. Air pollution doesnt just go away, it settles as a fine dust in the ceiling void and in carpets and soft furnishings etc.
Food when contaminated with leaded petrol fallout, grown in contaminated soil, or stored in lead crystal glassware, in pottery with lead based ceramic glazes or in cans with soldered seams.
Hobbies and Occupations When people take lead residues back into their homes after contact with lead in their homes after contact with lead in their work or hobbies.
Do not burn candles that have a metal core in the wick. Remove the lead weights from curtains or mosquito nets if these are accessible to your children. Return leaded PVC mini-blinds to the store. Dont let your plumber use leaded solder, etc.
Prevention of Lead Hazards.
Contact The Lead Advisory Service for lead information and referrals
Phone - 1800 626 086 or (02) 9716 0132, Fax 02 9716 9005
Thank you for your time.
For further information
Please contact The LEAD Group ph (02) 9716 0014 ###
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Last Updated 26 March 2012
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Phone: +61 2 9716 0014