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NHMRC Draft Information Paper: evidence on the effects of lead on human health

Closed on Monday, 15 September 2014, 05:00pm (AEDT). Submissions are no longer being accepted.

As part of NHMRCs role to ensure that Australians receive the best available, evidence-based and reliable health advice, NHMRC is examining the evidence on the effects of lead on human health.

As part of this work, NHMRC is currently seeking feedback on the NHMRC Draft Information Paper: Evidence on the effects of lead on human health which provides a plain language summary of NHMRCs assessment of the evidence related to exposure to lead.

The NHMRC assessment of the evidence was commissioned by NHMRC and conducted by the Cochrane Public Health Group, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.  Evaluation of the evidence related to exposure to lead includes:

  • a background literature review on health effects, testing and management of blood lead levels in individuals;
  • an overview of evidence (i.e. a systematic review of systematic reviews) of health effects associated with blood lead levels (i) less than 5 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dL) and (ii) between 5 to 10 µg/dL in children and adults; and
  • a systematic review of evidence of the effectiveness of strategies for reducing blood lead levels in children and adults in non-endemic lead environments.

The Evaluation of the evidence related to exposure to lead has been released for background only, to assist interested parties in considering NHMRCs draft Information Paper.  The content of this report is not subject to consultation. 

The purpose of public consultation is to ensure that that the relevant evidence has been identified and appropriately considered in the development of the draft Information Paper. NHMRC is also seeking feedback about whether the paper is presented in a manner that can be understood by the Australian community.

Further information on NHMRC’s review of Lead Exposure and Health effects in Australia can be found on the NHMRC website.

You are invited to make a submission to NHMRC by providing your comments on the NHMRC draft Information Paper and submitting any additional evidence for consideration.  NHMRC will only give consideration to submissions that address the public consultation questions, are within the scope of the review, and meet the criteria regarding evidence discussed below.

All submissions must be made through this online public consultation portal.  If this is not possible, please contact the NHMRC Project Officer to make alternative arrangements.


Submissions of evidence

NHMRC will take into account the level, quality, strength and relevance of any additional evidence submitted in response to Questions 3 and 4 below.  NHMRCs approach for assessing evidence is consistent with an internationally accepted standard. NHMRCs Evidence Hierarchy is available below.

NHMRC additional levels of evidence and grades for recommendations for developers of guidelines (PDF, 140KB)

Any additional evidence that is submitted will be considered in the context of the body of evidence already considered in the review.

Personal stories, medical records and raw data will not be considered.

NHMRC will only consider peer reviewed studies that are published in English.

Please submit evidence in the form of a full citation to the relevant study or article, and a web link to full text of the study (if possible).  The particular document should be easily identifiable from the citation.  Documents (e.g. full text articles) cannot be uploaded through NHMRC’s online public consultation portal and should not be provided to NHMRC via email or post.  NHMRC will source the full text of submitted citations as required.

Scope of the review

The following issues are outside the scope of the review of Lead Exposure and Health effects in Australia and comments or evidence on these issues received during public consultation will not be considered:

  • which treatment, if any, a person should have if a blood test shows that they have a particular amount of lead in their blood
  • how lead-contaminated sites should be managed
  • how health risks due to lead should be managed in communities living near lead smelters or mines, or in people who work in industries that use lead
  • how state, territory or federal governments should reduce lead in the environment or manage health risks due to lead across the whole population.


Consultation documents

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Consultation date

Please note the Timezone is AEDT.

Closing date: 
Monday, 15 September 2014 - 5:00pm
Please note that for some NHMRC consultations no extensions will be given. Where extensions are available you will need to contact the project officer using the contact details at the bottom of this page. However, in order for NHMRC to extend the date of a submission you will need to have created an account and started a submission.
Contact for further information
Public submissions

Page reviewed: 17 February, 2016