Blood lead levels drop in Mount Isa

A study by Queensland Health has shown a significant drop in the blood lead levels of children in Mount Isa.

The study found that only 4.8% of children tested showed lead intensity above that recommended by the WHO, a drop from 11.3% in earlier studies, according to the ABC.

Despite being unsure of what was behind the drop, Queensland Health welcomed it.

However, toxicologist Mark Little believed that greater education was behind the reduction.

"My personal opinion is I’m sure it’s making a difference, even if it’s just making people more aware of the risk," he told the ABC.

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines has previously been accused to contributing to the elevated lead levels in Mt Isa children and is currently facing legal action from a local mother who claims her child has been severely disabled by lead poisoning.

Xstrata has been leading an education program in the Queensland city, on the dangers of lead and has put in place monitoring systems.

Xstrata Copper North Queensland chief operating officer Steve de Kruijff said “we stand by our record of never exceeding regulatory limits for respirable lead at any air monitor in the Mt Isa community since acquiring Mount Isa Mines in 2003.”

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