Queensland Health are expected to announce the blood tests results, which are predicted to show that at least 45 children have high level of lead contamination that could impair their behavioural and intellectual development, reports The Australian.

A researcher who visited Mount Isa in 2001 discovered contaminants in the Leichhardt River, which was located upstream from the town’s drinking water source.

The lead levels in the river and soil around the north-west mining town were found to be significantly above recommended levels. It is estimated that around 900 homes were built on contaminated land.

Dr Mark Taylor, of Sydney’s Macquarie University, who discovered the contamination, told ABC Radio in Australia that he was surprised to discover that no prior research had been done on the area.

“Why wouldn’t somebody have undertaken research into environmental contaminants in a mining town like this?” asked Dr Taylor.

In other news, the Los Angeles Times reports that dangerous levels of lead have been found under a proposed playground in the city.

The levels on the site were found to be 100 times the recommended limit of 255 milligrams per kilogram.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie