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Lead Dangers to Men, Women and Children

A recent report published to medical professionals highlights the dangers of lead in our environment.

Yes using lead shot for duck shooting is now illegal - like drinking alcohol while shooting and illegally camping on the foreshores - all of which still happens. Irrespective, the use of lead shot over many years has built up in the environment and takes many many decades to break down.

Terrestrial shooting ranges were recently tested by EPA with at least two in Victoria shut down due to toxic lead traces found.

We demand our Ministers investigate the hundreds of waterbeds and the fish caught within them, where shooting has occurred for decades, and that until this happens, any further shooting or fishing be immediately ceased under the "precautionary principle" as an urgent priority for public health and safety.

No blood level of lead is considered safe.

The report states; lead is a "particularly insidious hazard with the potential of causing irreversible health effects." Despite efforts to control it, "serious cases of lead poisoning still appear in hospital emergency departments".

Further that "lead poisoning is probably the most important chronic environmental illness affecting modern children".

Poisoning can occur after a single event or chronic exposure even at low levels. Food has been an important source of lead exposure. Reports exist of lead poisoning developing from "absorption of lead from lead from retained bullet or shrapnel fragments".

Adults develop lead poisoning "as a result of a hobbies involving bullets".

The above suggests that we ought be very concerned re lead in fish caught in areas where decades of shooting with lead pellets has occurred. Fish will ingest the lead on the waterbeds. When we eat the fish, we ingest the lead.

Morbidity relating to lead poisoning remains common. It "perturbs multiple essential bodily functions." Men with lead poisoning "have lower sperm counts and may experience frank impotence". Women can have "an increase in miscarriages and smaller babies". Adults are believed to be affected "at a lower level of exposure than was once assumed".

Mounting evidence suggests that "lead poisoning in childhood produces a long term problem with learning, intelligence and earning power". In children, "virtually no system is immune to the effects of lead poison." Of most concern is the developing brain.

Children are also at risk if parents, siblings or carers are involved with lead.

The "effects of lead poisoning on the brain are manifold and include delayed learning, permanent learning disability, coma and even death."

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