2023 ILPPWA Lead Experts Q&A Panel

Protecting families from lead exposure was a hot topic on the live Lead Expert Q&A Panel.

Lead exposure is a silent danger that can affect the health and well-being of all organisms on earth including adults and children but especially foetuses and young children. On our Q&A panel, our experts shared valuable insights on how to safeguard families from lead exposure.

Our panellists were:

  • Professor Richard Banati
  • Elizabeth O’Brien (Grandma Lead)
  • Tim Pye
  • Ananda Card
  • Brian Arndt

Let’s delve into the key takeaways from the discussion.

Understanding the Sources of Lead Exposure

The importance of understanding the history of lead exposure was emphasised.

Whether it’s from occupational or hobby lead exposure, or residing in old houses with lead paint, or growing up in a base metal or lead mining or smelting community, or just drinking lead-contaminated rainwater or mains water, knowing your lead exposure history is crucial.

Blood lead levels (BLL) are essential markers for assessing recent lead exposure at any time in your life, but also during periods such as ageing, menopause, lactation, pregnancy, drastic changes in exercise levels, etc – when stored lead in your bones and teeth enter your bloodstream.

For pregnancies, special care needs to be taken as lead lingers in bones for an extended period and may leach back into the blood, even when earlier-in-life lead exposure was minor, e.g. just from breathing the air.

Diet and Contaminated Food

To protect your family, paying attention to diet was also discussed.

Some supplements are essential including adequate intake of vitamin D3 and calcium.

In Australia, food safety standards are stringent yet trace amounts of lead are still found in grains.

It’s essential to be cautious about backyard vegetable gardens and especially backyard chicken eggs in urban areas or wherever the soil may be lead contaminated.

Lead can find its way into unexpected places, such as underneath iconic structures like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Hidden Lead Sources

The panel discussed the persistent issues surrounding lead exposure.

Despite leaded petrol being banned in every country for road use, leaded petrol is still used for racing cars and boats, and leaded AvGas is used for general aviation (propellor planes and older helicopters) in all countries although the United States has a plan in place to phase it out by 2030.

Unfortunately, lead-related problems continue to affect us.

Radioactive and non-radioactive lead persists in our environment, necessitating long-term action plans to clean it up or cover it up.

There are uncontrolled and undocumented sources of lead – and very little mapping of lead contamination levels – all of which makes it hard to address.

Contaminated Water

The issue of lead contaminated waterways was raised – and this can result in the circulation of lead.

Automotive and marine race fuels still contain lead, posing risks within a 20-mile radius. Beyond that, the toxicity of organic lead found in leaded petrol and leaded AvGas storage tanks (which always leak) and in the sludge from old storage tanks which has been known to have been dumped in marshlands in New Zealand and doubtless many other places, persists for centuries.

Minimising Exposure

The importance of taking action to minimise lead exposure was emphasised.

Simple practices like removing shoes and ensuring pets’ paws are clean can help reduce the spread of lead dust into homes.

There are cheap, quick and easy ways to reduce the risk of lead exposure, such as laying down plastic under chalking or flaking lead paint, gearing up with protective equipment, wet-scraping, wet-sanding, sugar-soaping and rinsing and lead-safely discarding the paint flakes double-bagged in plastic.

Taking the Initiative

Protecting your family involves taking an active role after reading up on the issue.

Leaflets with essential information on lead safety should be readily available, as well as online credible sources such as by NGOs and some governments. New Zealand government online lead paint management information is atrocious and was relied on by one of the registered Panel attendees, sparking a 20 year battle with lead poisoning.

Communities must engage with government and industry to advocate for change.

Find Out More

Our experts shared crucial information during the panel discussion, and we encourage you to watch the video for a more in-depth exploration of lead exposure and prevention.

Stay informed and take steps to protect your family from lead hazards.

Here’s the replay –

You can gain deeper insights into lead safety and understand the proactive measures you can take to protect your loved ones.

Join us in our mission to create a lead-safe world and spread the word about lead poisoning prevention.

Your awareness and actions can make a significant difference in safeguarding families from lead exposure.

If you’re concerned about potential lead exposure in your home, using The LEAD Group Kits is an effective, efficient way to get expert advice for your particular situation. Or, reach out to us here if you’d like to book a consultation with Grandma Lead, Elizabeth O’Brien.

#ILPPWA2023 #LeadSafeWorld #LeadExposure #LeadPoisoning #ProtectYourFamily #GrandmaLead #TheLEADGroup #LeadPoisoningPrevention The LEAD Group – protecting families from lead exposure.

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