Impact of Lead on Health
Why is Lead in Drinking Water an Issue?
In January 2016, the American Pediatric Academy published a report stating that there is no safe level of lead in drinking water. Primary prevention, reducing or eliminating the sources of lead in the environment of children six years of age and under before exposure occurs is the most reliable and cost-effective measure to protect children from lead toxicity.
High blood lead concentrations may cause significant overt symptoms - protracted vomiting, encephalopathy and even death. Low-level lead exposure is a causal risk factor for diminished intellectual and academic abilities, higher rates of neurobehavioral disorders such as hyperactivity and attention deficits, and lower birth weight in children. (Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity, Council on Environmental Health, Pediatrics; originally published online June 20, 2016)
Stricter Monitoring and Testing?
As a result, the decision was made to implement stricter monitoring and testing requirements including updated sampling and flushing, use of filters and corrective action requirements for schools and childcare centres. The newly amended regulation requires Ontario schools, private schools and childcare centres “to identify and test all taps/fountains for drinking water/food preparation (washroom and science room taps exempted).
We’ve provided a series of links and resources further explaining the negative effects of exposure to lead from drinking water.
Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality
Drinking water: what about lead?
Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality - Summary Table
Water Talk - Lead in drinking water
Reducing your Exposure to Lead from Drinking Water
Lead in Drinking Water
Centres for Disease Control-CDC-Lead Resource