More on Xstrata’s record on heavy metal pollution…
The director of Townsville’s Environmental Health Unit says one in 10 children from Mount Isa, in north-west Queensland, tested for lead, have shown marginally elevated levels in their blood.
Dr John Piisanen says 185 children aged one to four have been tested since last December with 18 returning positive tests.
Environmental samples taken around the area show lead levels are more than 30 times above federal health guidelines.
Dr Piisanen says the next step is to find out how the children were exposed.
“We’ve used as a benchmark the world health guideline of 10 micrograms per decilitre and 18 children have gone over that, none of them are over 20 and it hasn’t shown any alarming contamination,” he said.
“What it’s shown is that there’s a need to case manage those 18 kids and find out where their exposures may have been and negate those exposures.”