Daily Archives: November 6, 2013
By Sue White, ABC Environment
Questions are being raised as to the ‘safe’ level of lead in children’s blood. They come as a popular Australian lead advisory group has its funding taken away.
ANY DAY NOW, the phone is about to ring in a small Sydney-based not-for-profit for the 100,000th time. But when caller number 100,000 gets through to the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS), there may be no one to take the call.
It’s not for a lack of concern. In fact, according to the organisation’s founder, Elizabeth O’Brien, the heavy metal that’s well known to be toxic when ingested, even in small doses, remains a very real health problem. But in June, the charity’s free service of 22 years did not have its funding renewed.
“It was just $115,000 a year,” says O’Brien. “But it allowed for a few paid staff to manage the 150 volunteers, and things like public liability insurance,” she says.
And it looks like those meagre funds will not be reinstated any time soon. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt says of GLASS’s funding, “This was a decision made by the previous Government. Due to Labor’s financial mismanagement, we are not in a position to overturn their decision.” Read More