There's new evidence about the damage that lead is doing to children in the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa. An internationally renowned professor of neuroscience has found that prolonged exposure to lead is causing grossly elevated blood lead levels, brain damage and retardation.
The mining giant Xstrata and the Queensland Government have long disputed claims that emissions from the company's mine were causing the lead poisoning.
But in The Australian newspaper today the state's chief medical officer, Jeannette Young, confirmed the Mount Isa mine was responsible for the toxic emissions.
The admission has forced Xstrata finally to agree to be interviewed and it's sent the Government into full damage control. By this afternoon Dr Young's office had issued a contradictory statement and the chief medical officer was not available to talk.