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Republication of LEAD Action News

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The republication of LEAD Action News marks a new phase in the global campaign against lead contamination.  Elizabeth O’Brien, the United Nations award-winning President of The LEAD Group, stressed that the newsletter would highlight the fact ‘that removing lead from motor vehicle petrol is only the first step in a global strategy to rid the earth of the great menace of lead poisoning.’

She said that ‘Too many people believe the war was won when we removed lead from petrol in Australia.  This is just not the case.  The newsletter highlights the continued contamination by lead of houses and whole towns like Esperance in Western Australia.  It explores the pernicious export of lead, wait for it, from AUSTRALIA, to make the additive for road-use leaded petrol for sale in 16 countries in Europe and the developing world.’

Ms O’Brien reports on her recent UN meeting in Beijing, on the global phase-out of leaded petrol for motor vehicles.

Elizabeth O’Brien said that it was not all bad news, with places like the American state of Rhode Island introducing innovative measures to combat lead poisoning from lead paint in rental homes.

Continuing the series of our web-published history of lead poisoning in previous newsletters, is the story of the Spanish painter Goya poisoned by his lead paints.

Ms O’Brien also said that ‘Lead poisoning is a scourge, like polio or malaria, which we must eradicate from the earth and which we can do with the combined wills of the lead industry and world governments.  But it is up to the wealthier countries to lead the way and I call on the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom to act now on this issue.  The newsletter reminds their Prime Ministers that a quarter of a billion people could be spared exposure to lead in petrol, by a stroke of the legislative pen.

“The global end of leaded petrol is in our sights”
Cartoon by Adrian Hill

President O’Brien wishes to thank the Australian Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts * for contributing funding for the Global Lead Advice and Support Service Programme.

Contact: Elizabeth O’Brien, The LEAD Group - +61 2 9716 0132, mobile +61 431 184 933     ###

See: LEAD Action News Vol 9 No 1

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Last Updated 15 April 2012
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