Mount Isa has a long history of lead mining. Along with the naturally occurring lead in the area, there is an elevated level of lead in parts of the region. The presence of lead and its potential to elevate blood lead levels in people living and working in the city has been acknowledged for many years.
Who is at most risk?
Exposure to lead occurs mainly through ingestion and inhalation of dust and air contaminated by lead. Lead can affect anybody, but children under the age of four and pregnant women are most at risk.
The poisonous effects of lead can damage the developing brain and nervous systems of unborn and young children much more easily than adults.
How to reduce lead exposure?
- Wash your hands frequently
- Eat a balanced diet
- Reduce dust in the house
- Keep kids’ play areas safe
- Check for peeling or deteriorating paint in your house if it was built before 1970
- Take care if renovating a house built before 1970
- Protect yourself from lead at work
Council supports the Lead Alliance's initiatives to implement various community programs in Mount Isa to raise awareness of lead and its potential health effects and to bring behavioural changes to limit exposure to lead. These programs include:
- Free blood lead level testing
- LEADSmart education program
- LEADSmart schools
- Backyard improvement program
For more information, visit the Lead Alliance's website.