Dust in homes 'proves lead risk'The true-believer Libertarians will tell you this is not so. Or that the market would "punish" this type of firm.
DUST collected from window sills, airconditioning units and floors in Mt Isa provides hard evidence that emissions from the nearby mine are driving the dangerously high blood-lead levels found in the central Queensland city's children.
The first independent study to look at household dust, rather than air and soil samples, shows lead levels as high as 40 times international guidelines.
Environmental scientist Mark Taylor of Sydney's Macquarie University collected 101 dust samples from roadside verges and two schools' entrances, as well as from inside, outside and beneath houses.
All the household samples, analysed at the National Measurement Institute, exceeded the guidelines and showed high concentrations of fine lead and other heavy metal particles.
Dust samples collected outside the homes in the study, which was commissioned by solicitors Slater and Gordon, showed far lower levels of lead contamination as the soil was a mixture of contaminated and natural uncontaminated material.
"It's clear the data show there's ongoing and serious contamination of homes and gardens which demands urgent remediation at the source, the stacks and the slag heaps," Professor Taylor said yesterday.
Reality says that without strong government over-sight, free of special interests, such practices are common. Even with government over-site to help mediate the worst, it requires distressingly little effort to find horrible examples.