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Update on cadmium levels in Christmas Island flying-fox population

Number: D49/2020

Relevant: Christmas Island

Topic: Update on cadmium levels in Christmas Island flying-fox population

Date: 9 October 2020

The Australian Government has received advice that high levels of cadmium exposure has been detected in a sample of flying foxes on Christmas Island (CI).

The focus of the Australian Government is the health and wellbeing of the CI community and the protection and conservation of the unique endemic species that inhabit the Island.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications - through Service Delivery Arrangements with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and the Water Corporation of Western Australia — has undertaken water and air quality testing over a period of time that have shown levels of cadmium exposure on CI are below national standards for acceptable levels.

Phosphate Resources Limited undertakes regular, routine testing on its work sites and results are well within statutory requirements and with no exceedances of national standards for cadmium levels.

Based on this testing data, and advice from the Western Australian Environmental Health Unit, the Australian Government considers the risk to the CI community is low.

We encourage any person who is concerned about cadmium exposure, to attend the Indian Ocean Territories Health Services (IOTHS) for a cadmium test.

Claire Howlett
Assistant Secretary,
Indian Ocean Territories Branch