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MEDIA RELEASE  Monday 21 December 2009

Climate Change AND Lead Poisoning: what governments should be doing

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Tomorrow at a Climate Change Conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS), run by an Australian Charity (The LEAD Group) will tackle two huge issues: climate change and lead.

“In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, governments should be developing strategies to stop the spread of contamination of lead mining and smelting wastes which will occur as a result of the predicted regional intensified rainfall/flooding and dust-storms due to aridity,” says Elizabeth O’Brien, Manager of GLASS.

“Since the majority of the world’s current population has probably had a blood lead level (during their childhood) above 10 micrograms per decilitre (which reduces IQ by 7.4 points), it is more than appropriate that the current Climate Change era of out-of-control consumerism has been named “The Age of Stupid”.“

“As if adding lead to petrol (“The Mistake of the 20th Century”) wasn’t enough, lead poisoning continues to be a global problem with more lead mined every year, mainly due to ever-increasing lead acid battery demand for the planet’s runaway vehicle population and alternative power storage. “

GLASS recommendations include: taxing hydrocarbons used in transportation and stricter regulation of combustion of materials that may contain lead; toughening of diesel emissions standards; raising awareness of the need to add insulation to buildings after removing leaded ceiling dust and recycling it for its lead content; researching biosequestration or chemical stabilization of lead waste; taxing lead mining to encourage recycling; banning leaded AvGas (aviation fuel for propeller aircraft), and in the developing world, regulating (and policing) to prevent lead diversion from lead acid batteries to reprehensible and potentially fatal uses eg food or drug additives, children’s toys, jewellery and crafts.

To reduce total fuel combustion, it is vital for individuals to join 10:10 Global ( ) and convince their affiliated organisations, councils, state and federal governments to join up their organisations to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2010.

GLASS has written a factsheet at which addresses the question: What can I do about Climate Change AND Lead?

See conference slide show at
find the speech at
and the paper at

Contact Elizabeth O’Brien (0431 184 933), Manager, Global Lead Advice & Support Service ###

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