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The Mount Isa Hospital says a new hospital-testing regime in the north-west Queensland mining city will significantly increase the number of children tested for the presence of high levels of lead in their blood each year, with a focus on Indigenous children and those from poorer environments.
From next month, lead levels will be checked in every child under five who requires any other routine blood test at the hospital. Mount Isa Public Health Unit spokesman Dr Steven Donohue says since 2010, only 400 children in that age group have been tested, but it is important to get more results. 'We would like to change the process at the hospital so that among the standard or normal tests that are done we would routinely be offering lead testing, where appropriate, for under five if they haven't had one,' he said.
Concerns about lead poisoning from mining emissions are an ongoing concern in the Mount Isa community.
Source: ABC News