A child in the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa develops lead poisoning every nine days, a newly released study claims.

The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, suggests that children are being exposed to dangerously high lead levels, according to The Australian.

The study suggests that historic and continuing emissions from a large Xstrata mine and smelting operations caused the poisoning.

Two years ago, Queensland Health testing found 11% of the town’s children had lead poisoning.

The report’s co-author, Mark Taylor, has accused Xstrata and the Bligh government of consistently denying that mining was the cause of the high levels of lead poisoning and doing nothing to address the problem.

“Cleaning up the river is good, but that’s the easy part. It’s cleaning up what comes out in the air which is the hard part, and that’s still not being addressed,” Taylor said.