PBT Persistent bioaccumulative toxins PBTs do not break down in the environment; they are highly toxic, posing serious threats to human and animal health. Can be airborne, waterborne, or found in food Persists in soils and in the built environment where it can be re-emitted through disturbance such as building (soils) and renovations (built environment).
Harmful effects of Lead (Pb) Lead can cause several unwanted effects, such as:- Disruption of the biosynthesis of haemoglobin and anaemia A rise in blood pressure Kidney damage Miscarriages and subtle abortions Disruption of nervous systems Brain damage Declined fertility of men through sperm damage Diminished learning abilities of children Behavioural disruptions of children, such as aggression, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity It can also pass through the placenta to the foetus…
Major sources of Lead (Pb) Old paint from buildings built prior to 1970 Can be displaced by paint-stripping during renovations etc Exhaust emissions from leaded petrol Dust in the roof void, wall cavity or under floor area Can be displaced by installation of skylights, renovations, extensions etc… Certain occupations Lead lighters, glazers, car battery workers, furniture restorers, others… Water pipe corrosion
Details on Leaded fuel consumption and Melbourne. The Australian Government phased out the sale of leaded petrol nationally by 1 January 2002. The Australian, State and Territory Governments have also agreed on a National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality. The Measure contains national air quality standards for six key air pollutants, including lead. The Measure aims to keep the concentration of lead in outdoor air to less than 0.5 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over one year. This goal has already been met across most of Australia as the result of the phasing out of leaded petrol. However, lead in air remains a problem in several locations close to smelters.
Evidence of success National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality lead in air goal of less than 0.5 μg/m3 by 2008, in all major cities: LEAD (lead education and abatement design) 10 year report (2002) monitoring undertaken in Dandenong (an outer suburb of the city of Melbourne) in 2010 demonstrating that lead content in ambient air was between 0.009 and 0.01 ug/m3
Evidence of success National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommendations to reduce the blood lead content in all Australians to below 10 μg/dL. The only nationwide survey of blood lead concentrations was conducted on 1,575 children in 1995 (Donovan, 1996), nine years after all new cars were required to run on unleaded petrol, and whensales of unleaded petrol constituted 50–60% of all sales. The average (geometric) blood lead concentration in 1995 in 1–4-year-olds was 5.1 μg/dL, with 7.3% exceeding 10 μg/dL and 1.7% exceeding 15 μg/dL. Communities close to known sources of lead pollutionwould have contributed only a very small fraction to the national sample, but it is worth noting that a recent survey in Mt Isa (Queensland Health, 2008) found that 11% of children surveyed had blood lead concentrations in excess of 10 μg/dL. A recent five-year longitudinal study of 113 children living in Sydney, aged six months to 31 months at recruitment, showed a mean blood lead concentration of 3.1 μg/dL (Gulson et al, 2006).
Lead poisoning in Mt Isa, QLD – ABC August 2010
Lead poisoning in Mt Isa, QLD – ABC March 2011