Queensland Blood Lead Testing

Queensland Health Bled for Lead Campaign 2006/2007 – 400 children aged 0-5 years of age were tested in Mount Isa. The 2006-07 survey showed that 45 (or 11.3 per cent) of children sampled had elevated blood lead levels (greater than 10 micrograms per decilitre) of these, two had blood lead levels greater than 20µg/dl. It also showed that the average mean blood lead level was 4.97µg/dl (micrograms per decilitre).

Queensland Health Blood Lead Testing 2010 – In 2010, Queensland Health commenced a second study in Mount Isa of children aged 0-5 years in order to continue to monitor blood lead levels in this age group. Results of this study indicate that the average blood lead level (geometric mean) for the group sampled was 4.27µg/dl. This study of 167 children identified that eight children (4.8 per cent of those in the study group) had blood lead levels greater than or equal to 10µg/dl. Of these, one had a blood lead level greater than 20µg/dl.

Statistical analyses revealed a significant decline between this survey and the 2007 survey in both the geometric mean blood lead levels and the percentage of children’s blood lead levels at or above 10 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dl). While care should be taken in interpreting such declines, the results do however indicate a step in the right direction.

However, the study demonstrated a declining but continuing significant association between elevated blood lead levels and Indigenous status.

Both Queensland Health Blood Lead Surveys are available on our resources page.