45 Australian children suffer lead poisoning
by David Masters
May 22, 2008
400 children in Australia have been tested for lead poisoning following concerns that they may have been living on contaminated land for years.
45 of the children tested were found to have levels of lead in their blood that could impair their intellectual and behavioural development.
The tests followed a warning by Dr Mark Taylor of Macquarie University, Sydney, who has been studying the area since 2001.
In 2001 he found that the drinking water supply for the town of Mount Isa was contaminated with lead significantly higher than recommended levels.
Additional research has led Dr. Taylor to estimate that around 900 homes have been built on contaminated land.
Dr. Taylor has also expressed his surprise that no prior research in the region had been carried out before, especially as Mount Isa is a mining town.
Opposition leaders in the region are accusing the government of a potential cover up.
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