This brief communication provides a critical evaluation of environmental lead problems, human health issues, and the minimisation of risks by industry and government authorities in Mount Isa, Queensland. Recent data indicates significantly elevated childhood blood lead levels in Mount Isa, and the evidence suggests health authorities have downplayed the risks of lead exposure in affected children. The minimisation of the risks of environmental lead exposure has led to complacency with respect to its harmful effects on human health. Given that the effects of lead exposure are largely irreversible, there is a strong argument for greater action at a government and industry level around community awareness, early intervention and regulatory controls.
Bibliographical noteCorrigendum can be found in Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, Volume 65(2), 116, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19338244.2010.482458
- heavy metal exposure
- neurological disorders
- soil contamination