Study confirms brain damage in Mt Isa lead case

Issue 
Mt Isa.

Five families are suing Xstrata, the Queensland government and the Mt Isa council over alleged lead contamination.

As part of their case, they commissioned US neuroscientist Theodore Lidsky to examine brain tests on Mt Isa children. His report found some Mt Isa children had brain damage from long-term exposure to lead, the families’ lawyer, Damian Scattini, told ABC News on September 17.

AAP reported on September 17 that, referring to a four-year-old, Lidsky said: "The developing brain is most sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of lead exposure and the period of Bethany's poisoning is one of prodigious post-natal development. Based on the current information Bethany's educational prognosis is grim."

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines chief operating officer Steve de Kruijff challenged the families' lawyers to quickly bring the case to court.

But Scattini said he had been battling for two-and-a-half years to get Xstrata to come to a compulsory conference, which is required in Queensland under the Personal Injury Proceedings Act (PIPA) before a matter can go to court.

"If Mr de Kruijff wants to have a compulsory conference next week, we'll do it”, Scattini told AAP.

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