Managing individual exposure to lead in Australia – A guide for health practitioners (The Guide) provides health practitioners with general information to assist in the management of individuals with elevated blood lead levels. 


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The Guide provides information on: 

  • The risk of lead exposure in the community and the potential for harm in an individual 
  • Indications for testing individuals for exposure to lead 
  • Management of individuals who have elevated blood lead levels 
  • Environmental investigations for lead sources and interventions for reducing and preventing lead exposure.

The Guide was developed following a comprehensive independent review of the health effects of lead conducted by the NHMRC. The findings of this review were used to develop NHMRC’s Statement and Information Paper: Evidence on the Effects of Lead on Human Health (May 2015)

The Guide was developed in consultation with the NHMRC’s Lead Working Committee and with state and territory health authorities through the Environmental Health Standing Committee. The Guide provides the basic principles on the detection and management of exposure from which state and territory health departments can develop specific advice. 

The Guide is not intended to provide guidance to health practitioners working in communities where lead is endemic (such as lead mining and smelting communities). In these areas, health authorities provide information and run programs tailored to the needs of the local community. 

The Guide does not constitute a clinical practice guideline.