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  QUESTION: Minimising exposure and how to manage house and garden lead levels, 01 Aug 2006, Western Australia


I have just come across your website and found much information of use to me. My family (including 3 children under 10 years) live in an urban area adjacent to a large tract of industrial land which is now being "remediated" for urban development. Former uses include a lead smelter. Heavy metal concentrations in the soils are high for a number of metals, most alarming of these being lead. Over the past 2 years our community has been heavily involved in trying to get the developer and our state government to ensure the clean-up is done as safely as possible.

The clean-up has just started and many families with young children have already moved out of the area. For some this is not an option. Although we have been assured that the cleanup will be done safely I am concerned with minimising our exposure, should dust fallout and lead contamination occur.

I read on your website about free community workshops and want to know if this would be an option in Perth. Specifically I would like to know more about minimising exposure and how to manage house and garden lead levels and how to monitor lead levels in our own homes.
I would appreciate your reply on these matters

Your sincerely
Rebecca Prince-Ruiz

ANSWER: 01 Aug 2006

Dear Rebecca,

I am sorry to say that the time that we had 7 paid staff and the ability to offer free community workshops is long gone and we do all our work now by internet and phone (with one waged position and lots of volunteers) and the occasional speech at a conference (most recently in South Australia and the Northern Territory).

I think you will find that the very first factsheet I ever wrote is still the most useful to answer your questions - please see "7 point plan for the MANAGEMENT OF LEAD by Australian parents and carers"

The best form of monitoring is blood lead testing of the most at-risk child in the house - especially before the work begins to get a baseline. We have also just last month created an egroup for parents of lead poisoned children so you are very welcome to join that and you'll be amazed how helpful other parents can be. Please join at

Please let me know if you'd like any specific questions answered.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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