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QUESTION: Pollutant Emissions at Boolaroo - 19 Apr 2007 NSW, Australia

My name is Kurt Williams and I currently reside at Second Street Boolaroo NSW 2284 which as you probably know is a lead contaminated area from the old Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter. We have been living at this address since November 2005 in which the Real Estate advised that pets and children under 12 are not allowed by council regulation to live in first second or third street Boolaroo.

For quite some time now I have noticed I have been lethargic, had loss of energy, had blood pressure at 148/90 at some stages ( I am only 20 ) and loss of appetite and constant mucus choking my throat is common. These symptoms have only came about since I have lived at Boolaroo and I was wondering if they are attributed to lead poisoning.

I was also wondering if you had any information on Incitec's factory which is still operational next to the old Pasminco site as the side of my car that is facing that factory has had paint bubbling off and is constantly dirty on that side of the car only. I also get small milky like deposits on my car that I need to scrub off that are from the same direction.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.


From: Kurt

To: The LEAD Group

Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:41 PM

Hi Patrick;

Thank you for your reply. I have since moved out of Boolaroo to the suburb of Jesmond 5km away. Incidentally I have sold the car and it will be getting picked up tomorrow so I will take pictures of it before it gets picked up. I have forwarded an email complaint to Incitec but I am unsure of any action in regards to my paint damage. I also noticed in my time at Boolaroo that 2 other vehicles facing the same direction also experienced the same paint damage. Thanks again

ANSWER: 07 Jul 2007

Dear Kurt,

Thank you for your query which we regrettably took a long time to answer. We have contacted the DECC (Department of Environment and Climate Change, NSW) and spoken with Trevor Henderson who is reachable on telephone 4908 6824. He advised that you should lodge a complaint directly to Incitec in Boolaroo.

He said the plant produces single grade super phosphate fertilizer and that it uses scrubbers to clean its dust and offensive emissions. He also said the plant will be closed by January 2009. When I mentioned about the damage to your car paint he indicated this was more common during the time when the Pasminco factory was in operation.

In relation to your health effects it is essential that you ask your Doctor for a Lead blood test. In your email, the mucus condition is the only symptom that we have not as yet seen related to Lead poisoning.

Hope this is useful.

Yours Sincerely,

Patrick M. Muraguri

Volunteer Research and Information Officer

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Last Updated 02 January 2013
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