Community awareness of living safely with lead in Mount Isa

Community awareness of living safely with lead in Mount Isa Conference Paper

15th National Rural Health Conference: Better together!

  • Author(s): Fatima, Yaqoot, King, Stephanie, Knight, Sabina
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2019

Abstract: Background: The Mount Isa Living with Lead Alliance runs a community awareness campaign aiming to reduce lead exposure in children living in Mount Isa. A broad range of informational and environmental strategies have been used to increase parental actions to reduce their children's exposure to environmental lead. The target audience of the health promotion efforts is community members, especially parents and carer of children less than seven years of age. Aims: This study aimed to examine the extent to which Mount Isa residents report hearing the Lead Alliance's campaign message, their knowledge level regarding home remediation strategies, and the extent to which they self-report acting on the health messages. Methods: A 32-item questionnaire was developed to assess parental and caregiver knowledge of reducing environmental lead exposure and evaluation of Lead Alliance’s campaign messages. In addition to online recruitment and data collection, i.e., by posting the survey link and study details on the community Facebook page, data were also collected through brief face to face survey. Survey responses were analysed by conducting basic descriptive statistical analysis including frequencies and percentage distribution. Results: A total of 272 surveys were completed involving participants from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Most participants had heard “wet wipe, wash and eat well” messages, but new families had significantly less awareness of lead contamination sources. Only 32% of participants were aware of a capillary blood test. It was also found that LEADSmart school program and newsletter from Lead Alliance had less penetration than other campaigns. Conclusion: Media campaigns and free blood lead test are well known in the community, but the Lead Alliance campaign messages need to focus on new entrants and promote availability of capillary blood testing in the community. It is expected that the findings of this study will assist the Lead Alliance in directing future promotional activities aiming to increase community awareness of living safely with lead in Mount Isa.

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Fatima, Yaqoot, King, Stephanie, Knight, Sabina, 2019, Community awareness of living safely with lead in Mount Isa, Conference Paper, viewed 13 August 2022,

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