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Esperance water tested as more birds die

Earth News: Australia
March 16, 2007

Esperance residents remain deeply concerned over possible exposure to lead poisoning which has been cited as the likely cause of thousands of bird deaths in the area. The mystery deaths of about 4,000 birds near the town, in Western Australia's south, between December 7 and January 2, had perplexed the Department of Environment and Conservation until tests recently showed the birds probably died of lead poisoning. Another 187 birds have died in the town during the past week. The DEC ordered the Esperance Port Authority to stop all lead carbonate shipments. "We don't know what's going on at the port, it all seems like a bit of a cover-up. There have probably been spillages and leakages for goodness knows how long ... people have no trust in the port." "We've got thousands of birds dead and everyone's asking the question, 'What about our own health?' Why did the system let us down, where are the health authorities, where are the environmental authorities, how was this ever allowed to happen?"

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