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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Reducing lead exposure in children in Broken Hill Volume 14 Issue 3

Hugh Burke, Bill Balding, David Lyle

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 14(3) 52 - 54 Published: 01 March 2003

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About the author/s

Hugh Burke

Bill Balding

David Lyle


Broken Hill is a mining town located in the semi-arid region of western NSW. It is the site of one of the world’s richest deposits of silver, lead and zinc. Mining activities began here in 1883 and continue to the present time. In the early days, lead poisoning was a cause for concern but was primarily viewed as an occupational hazard. The evidence emerging in the 1980s describing the health effects of lead, particularly in pre-school aged children, and the downward revision by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of the blood lead level of concern, motivated a re-evaluation of lead exposure as a public health issue in the town.