Toxic Truth: Boolaroo expert group holds first lead review meeting

Picture: Peter Stoop
Picture: Peter Stoop

THE first meeting of an expert group set up to review the Boolaroo lead abatement strategy held its first meeting on Wednesday.

The group was established in response to community concerns about the 2010 lead abatement strategy, which have been highlighted in the Newcastle Herald's continuing Toxic Truth series.

Chaired by the EPA, the group's members include representatives from NSW Health, Lake Macquarie Council, Macquarie University, University of Sydney and independent site auditors.

Chairman and EPA Hunter Region manager Adam Gilligan said Wednesday's meeting focused on the group's expertise and setting immediate priorities.

"The group is made up of people with expertise in the areas of lead contamination and environmental health who will be asked to consider actions taken to date to limit exposure of children to lead and provide options for further lead management, should a need be identified," he said.

The results of a new blood lead monitoring program being planned by NSW Health will also be reviewed by the group.

The development of a strategy to communicate the findings of the group to the community was among the priorities identified on Wednesday.

A literature review to establish best-practice lead remediation and compare that with the lead abatement strategy as well as liaising with NSW Health about blood testing timelines and reporting were listed as other priorities.

The group will meet again in early February.