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28 Moxhams Road, Northmead    NSW   2152 Ph:  0418 276 819 (Fred)    or    0418 207 106 (Carol) CTI Consultants Pty Ltd

© 2016  CTI Consultants Pty Ltd                                                                                                                                               ABN: 56 003 824 815

Revision of Safe Work Australia  Exposure Standard for Lead

On April 27, 2018, Safe Work Australia published its latest revision of Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminants.

Included in this latest revision is the long-awaited lowering of the Exposure Standard for Inorganic Lead (dust and fumes) to 0.05 mg/m³ (50 µg/m³).  The previous standard was set at 0.15 mg/m³.

The step brings Australia into line with most other countries that have significant lead industries.  In the US, the equivalent TLV for inorganic lead has been set at 0.05mg/m³ since 1994.

This revised Exposure Standard for lead formalises the Action Level for workplace lead exposure at 30 µg/m³, which is 60% of the Exposure Standard as suggested in the latest September 2017 revision of AS/NZS 4361.1, Guide to hazardous paint management. Part 1: Lead and other hazardous metallic pigments in industrial applications.

This revision of the Exposure Standard was first foreshadowed in the Safe Work Australia Consultation Regulation Impact Statement Managing risks associated with lead in the workplace: blood lead levels and exposure standards, dated December 2015.  

We draw this revision to the attention of the industry, especially of those people who have completed CTI’s training course “Responsible Person for Hazardous Paint Management”, and ask them to update their own records accordingly.

The 2015 Consultation Regulation Impact Statement also foreshadowed the reduction of the Blood Lead removal level (for males and females not of reproductive capacity) from the present 50µg/dL to 30µg/dL, and the revision of the definition of lead risk work (above which health monitoring is mandatory) from the present 30µg/dL to 20µg/dL (also for males and females not of reproductive capacity).  CTI understands that both of these additional changes have been accepted in principle by the relevant agencies and are currently going through the process of formal enactment.

Fred Salome

Update on  Fred’s Health

Fred was diagnosed with a large tumour in one of his kidneys in 2012 and underwent surgery to remove the kidney completely.  After that, his prognosis was for complete recovery, but the doctors did start a program of 6-monthly CT scans.

Unfortunately in April 2015, the CT scan detected more tumours in his abdominal cavity and subsequent testing confirmed metastatic renal carcinoma, with multiple tumours rendering his condition inoperable.

Clinical Trial

Fortunately, at that time Westmead Hospital was running a Stage 3 open-label clinical trial to assess the efficacy of a new monoclonal antibody treatment to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells, focussing specifically on renal cell carcinoma.  Fred was recruited into the trial and commenced receiving treatment in July 2015.

Such immunotherapy has been found effective for other types of cancers, especially melanoma, but had not yet been shown to be effective for renal carcinoma which, although relatively slow-growing, has usually been found to be non-responsive to chemotherapy.

One early bonus of the treatment was that unlike traditional chemotherapy, this treatment caused Fred only minor side-effects and has left him free to live an almost normal life.

Latest News (May 2018)

CT scans at 6-week intervals since October 2015 have shown continual reductions in the size of the target tumours.  Most of the affected lymph nodes are now regarded as being back to normal size.

From June 2016, the CT scans became three-monthly and the results have consistently been excellent, with no sign of disease.

The trial (Checkmate 214 for those who may want to follow this up) has been completed and was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2018. Fred was amongst the 9.7% of people who reported complete remission which was a huge improvement over previously available treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. A further 42% of trial participants experienced significant benefit in terms of reduced severity of disease and prolonged survival, with the mean not yet reached at 24 months when the trial was closed off.

For the time being, Fred continues to receive the treatment as the trial is open ended for those who continue to display benefit from treatment.

We couldn’t be happier with this outcome to date and while we recognise that there is no guarantee about the future, Fred is able to look forward with some confidence about life in semi-retirement, combining a reduced workload in his chosen field of hazardous paint management with recreational pursuits and travel.

It is our intention to update this column regularly for those who are interested in Fred’s health and well-being.

Fred Receives ACA’s  Victor Nightingall Award

At the annual ACA Conference in November 2017, Fred Salome received the Victor Nightingall award from ACA President Matthew Dafter. The Victor Nightingall Award is recognition of distinguished achievement in the development, manufacture or application of protective coatings or advancement of the protective coatings industry.

Fred has some connection to this award which was first presented in 1997 by the newly formed Protective Coatings Technical Group within the ACA. Fred was the founding Secretary, and Don Bartlett (also formerly with CTI) was the founding President. In 1999, Fred presented the Award to John Hartley at the Sydney ACA Conference.

Fred feels greatly honoured and somewhat humbled by the regard shown to him by his colleagues in corrosion.