In June, Communicable Diseases Branch reported:
- Invasive meningococcal disease –new cases and a winter alert
- Hepatitis E –new cases, two locally-acquired
- Measles – a new case
- Invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b disease – a new case in a child < 5 years of age
- Influenza – increasing activity in the community
- Hepatitis A – a case in a food handler
- Exotic arboviruses update – one Zika virus case, and a Brazil yellow fever alert.
NHMRC’s review of lead exposure and health effects in Australia
Lead, a heavy metal used in number of manufacturing processes, is toxic to human health when inhaled or ingested. Exposure to lead can cause toxicity to the nervous system in both adults and children and at high levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys.
In 2012, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) commissioned an independent review of the evidence relating to exposure to lead. A Lead Working Committee was established to develop the scope of the independent review, consider the findings of the review, and to assist in drafting of the information paper. The Director of Health Protection NSW’s Environmental Health Branch is a member of the committee and provided expert technical and jurisdictional advice to the NHMRC.
Evidence on the effects of lead on human health which provides a summary of NHMRCs assessment of the evidence related to exposure to lead was released on 16 July 2014 for public comment. The submissions close on 14 September 2014.
Further details on the NHMRC’s consultation process can be found at: http://consultations.nhmrc.gov.au/public_consultations/lead_on_human