Canadians are exposed to lead through many sources, while non‑food items containing lead (such as dust, lead-based paint, soil) and drinking water remain among the top sources of exposure. Lead is a toxin that can affect the neurological system, including the brain. Children under 6 years old and pregnant women are the most susceptible to lead. It is important to ensure the safety of drinking water and building materials to protect them.
Many buildings in can carry an elevated lead content in drinking water due to a network of old piping systems. Recent studies found that up to 15 per cent of Toronto water has dangerously high levels of lead, and 5.4 per cent have lead levels double what’s considered safe. The city of Montreal has sent notices and pamphlets to 128,000 residences that might have lead pipes connecting their homes to the city’s water supply. This could mean that there is lead in the drinking water of some residences. Cities across the country are in the midst of multi-year processes to remove those pipes. Meanwhile, it is advisable to test your water for lead to ensure safety.
See these sources for more details:
Health Canada on lead:
CTV News about lead in pipes:
Healthline for symptoms of lead poisoning:
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