Research

Study highlights link between lead in blood levels and several cancers

A study containing research from US, Finnish, French and UK institutions led an analysis of nearly 30,000 workers with documented levels of lead in their blood, confirmed there is a significant positive relationship between exposure to lead and brain and lung cancers, and revealed "unexpected" links to rectum and oesophageal cancers and Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Here in Australia there are many workplaces and products which would expose workers to lead. Such as solders, batteries, radiation shields and ammunition. Additionally, Work Safe Australia states on it's lead information page "It was used extensively in lead paints and lead fuels before these products were banned, and [such products] may still be present in some workplaces."

In early 2017, Australia's WHS ministers reduced the acceptable levels of workers' blood after an SWA regulation impact statement warned that the prescribed thresholds were higher than in other countries, and inadequate. Reminds me of our current battle to get the Silica exposure standard reduced to match what's going on overseas.

The full report can be found here:

Cancer incidence among workers with blood lead measurements in two countries.

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