Children in Lake Macquarie to be tested for lead following Pasminco investigation

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

NORTHERN Lake Macquarie residents can have their young children tested for high lead levels early next year.

Blood lead testing will be offered to all children under five years of age in Boolaroo, Argenton and Speers Point.

Hunter New England Health public health physician Dr Craig Dalton said blood lead levels had declined dramatically since the Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter closed in 2003.

“We did an earlier survey of children’s blood lead levels in the area in (2005 and 2006) and found a pleasing decline in lead levels and we are hopeful that the new survey will provide evidence that this trend is continuing,” he said.

“Our ongoing surveillance of blood lead levels in the community since the closure has not identified elevated blood lead levels in children in the area since 2009.”

During the 2005-06 blood lead survey 240 children had their blood lead level tested, with 4 per cent of under 13-year-olds and 7 per cent of under five-year-olds returning elevated blood lead level readings.

Last month a joint investigation between the Newcastle Herald and Macquarie University revealed high levels of lead pollution in soil up to eight times recommended levels in children’s play areas in Speers Point and Eleebana.

Lead exposure has been linked with diminished academic abilities and antisocial behaviours in young children in the past.

Planning for the 2015 children’s blood lead survey is under way and parents or carers in the testing area who wish to participate can contact Hunter New England Health.

■ For more information about the lead blood testing phone the Hunter New England Public Health Unit on 4924 6477.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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