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  QUESTION: The effects of lead in the smelting environment, 30 Jul 2004 Limpopo Province (Northern Province) South Africa

I am currently undertaking an MSc thesis on the effects of lead in the smelting environment in which our employees find themselves. I was wondering if you would be able to supply me with the sublimation temperature of lead. This is one bit of information most people seem not have regarding lead, and it's physical properties that play an important role in the exposure properties of the substance in our working environment.

I would also appreciate any help with questionnaires that you may have access to for my thesis, hobbies, other exposures etc?

Thanks and regards.
Mornč de Beer.

ANSWER: 30 Jul 2004

Dear Mornč,

I finally got an explanation as to why I never received an answer from Pasminco's smelter manager when I forwarded your question to him the day you sent it to me - he retired a year ago!! I rang Pasminco today, though as of 5th April 2004 the company name has changed to Zinifex, and I spoke to Mark Stevenson who is in coordinating lead recycling among other things, within two secondary smelters: Australian Refined Alloys (ARA) in Melbourne and ARA in Sydney; and a primary smelter: the world's largest lead smelter at Port Pirie in South Australia. Mark explained that there is no sublimation temperature for lead because lead does not sublime like, for instance, arsenic does. Lead has a melting point of 327 degrees C and a boiling point of 1740 degrees C.

I also asked Mark about a questionnaire for potential smelter workers but he said rather than a simple questionnaire, the workers are given a thorough training course before starting work in the smelters. He would be happy to correspond with you on this issue (see his email address above).

Yours Sincerely.
Elizabeth O'Brien

Update 2010: 

Australian Refined Alloys (Nyrstar Simsmetal) lead acid battery recycling plant

  1. Australian Refined Alloys (ARA), Melbourne, Victoria,  or phone 03 9314 2111.
  2. Australian Refined Alloys (ARA), Sydney, NSW  or phone 02 9516 5099.
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