A recent Macquarie University study has found that children living in suburbs with higher lead levels are more likely to commit violent crimes later in life. Five suburbs were included in the study and Lane Cove was one of them.
The study found that lead exposure is likely to increase impulsive behaviour. This study was lead by Professor Mark Taylor (pictured below so you know we are not talking about Mark Taylor the cricketer).
ITC was fascinated as to why Lane Cove would be included in a study about lead levels and aggressive behaviour. We contacted Macquarie University and asked them why Lane Cove was included in the study. It appears that the answer is a simple: Lane Cove was considered a suburb with low lead levels!!!! It had nothing to do with perceived crime rates.
The results of the lead air quality monitoring are below and a link to the report is here.
The findings back up earlier studies, which found that early lead exposure is a risk factor for criminal behaviour, including violent crime, in adulthood. So you can go to bed tonight resting a little bit easier about Lane Cove lead levels!!
It is good to note that the lead levels have dropped. The reason for this decrease is due to the phase-out of leaded petrol, which began in 1993. Prior to this, the national air quality standard for lead was regularly exceeded in urban environments. Levels are now less than 10 per cent of the national annual standard of 0.5 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Another research paper by UTS found that plans in the next 15 years to increase Sydney’s tree canopy cover by 50 per cent would have a bigger impact on reducing air pollution – including dust, dirt and smoke – than if the city were to reduce traffic. That is why we need to keep Lane Cove as Leafy Lane Cove.
In fact planting, more trees may also reduce the air temperature. The Federal Government recently announced there are plans to work with cities to increase urban canopies in an attempt to reduce the heat in our suburbs and improve health and quality of life. Trees in urban areas provide shade for buildings, and by limiting direct sun exposure people are able to walk, cycle and use our parks more comfortably during hot weather. If you want to read more about leafy Lane Cove and preserving our trees, you should read our guest blog by Corrine Fisher.