Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

It's now easier for residents of Broken Hill to be LeadSmart

Media release: 11 November 2016

With some simple changes, residents of Broken Hill can reduce their risk of lead exposure according to the Broken Hill Environmental Lead Program’s new LeadSmart education campaign.

Launched today by Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries MP, the campaign features residents of Broken Hill giving their top tips to reduce lead exposure and address elevated blood lead levels in local children.

“In 2015, 47 per cent of all children under the age of 5 in Broken Hill had an elevated level of lead in their blood. For Aboriginal children, this was even higher, with 79 per cent showing a level of 5 micrograms or more of lead per decilitre,” said Barry Buffier, Chair and CEO of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“What’s worrying, is the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in these figures.”

“We know that the damage done by lead before the age of 5 can cause health, learning and behavioural problems that can last a lifetime, but with some easy changes, we can all help protect our kids.”  

“It’s wonderful to see some of the $13 million in funding result in the LeadSmart campaign that will help residents of Broken Hill make these easy, but potentially lifesaving changes,” continued Mr Buffier.

“It really is so simple - regular hand washing, leaving work boots and work clothes outside to keep the dust outside and keeping homes as dust free as possible.

“Eating the right amount of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy is also known to reduce lead absorption and lower blood lead levels. There are some great recipes that can be found on the LeadSmart website”

The LeadSmart campaign uses radio, TV and Facebook advertising, a dedicated website as well as brochures, factsheets, posters, recipe cards, a cookbook and kids educational tools.

The LeadSmart campaign is just one component of the Broken Hill Environmental Lead Program – other focus areas include lead remediation, research and monitoring.

LeadSmart materials were developed in partnership between the NSW Environment Protection Authority, Far West Local Health District, Child and Family Health and Maari Ma Aboriginal Health.

For more information on how to reduce lead exposure, visit www.leadsmart.nsw.gov.au.

Simple ways to be LeadSmart:

  • Wash your hands before eating and after being outside
  • Keep children away from dust, dirt and soil. A sandpit that you can cover is a great play area
  • Wipe down children’s toys and household surfaces regularly
  • Eat lots of fresh, healthy food
  • Drink tap water, not rainwater
  • Check for old, flaking and chipping paint around the home
  • Keep young children and pregnant women away from renovations
  • Leave shoes, work boots and work clothes outside

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 11 November 2016