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CWQA Bulletin Re: Many TDSB and PDSB schools fail drinking water lead tests

Monday, November 27, 2017  
Posted by: Aysha Muzaffar
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CWQA Bulletin Re: Many TDSB and PDSB schools fail drinking water lead tests

Issued: November 27, 2017




With aging infrastructure comes the inevitable challenge of lead contamination in water sources. In Canada, Ontario boasts the most stringent lead-testing standards nation wide. CWQA strongly stands behind the principle that no amount of lead is “safe”; a message that has been given time and time again by expert institutions like Health Canada, World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics and BC Centre for Disease Control. In Ontario any drinking water source (including food preparation) must pass the standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb) or less of lead.



Risk to Children

It is important to note that the health risks of lead ingestion are even greater for children because young children can absorb four to five times more ingested lead than adults. Both WHO and Health Canada note that lead can affect children’s brain development and result in lower IQ scores at even the lower levels of lead exposure that were previously considered safe.


CWQA is keeping abreast of the situation developing in the City of Toronto as noted in the Toronto Star’s article on lead in Toronto’s schools and daycares. The water quality improvement industry has a track record of working well with municipalities to help execute their lead reduction plans including extensive options for NSF or CSA certified Point Of Use and Point of Entry (POU/POE) products to remove lead from drinking water. In the recent past CWQA has worked directly with cities of Toronto, Waterloo, Regina and more on lead reduction.


It is CWQA’s understanding that Toronto has a well-established and rigorous strategy and lead reduction plan. For members of the public, if there is a concern, or if one has received a letter from a child’s school, they should follow the instructions provided or call 311 for more information. For anyone interested in purchasing water treatment for the home for the reduction of lead in drinking water, a water test is the first step; based on the result, a local member can be contacted for more assistance. (See CWQA member locator)


Free Test Kits

For testing for lead in water supplies - the City of Toronto provides free kits. Toronto residents can pick up and drop off free lead-testing kits at one of six locations. The city then sends the results back by phone or mail.

The locations are:

   Etobicoke Civic Centre, 4th floor, 399 The West Mall, at Burnhamthorpe Rd.

   North York Civic Centre, 2nd floor, 5100 Yonge St., north of Sheppard Ave.

   1530 Markham Rd., 5th floor, at Milner Ave., north of Hwy. 401

   2340 Dundas St. W., main floor. Near Dundas West subway station

   44 Victoria St., 18th Floor. Just south of Adelaide St., north of King St.

   175 Memorial Park Ave. Just west of Coxwell Ave., south of Cosburn Ave.


Reference Material: Education minister asks school boards to notify parents of lead in drinking water in ‘timely manner’ Toronto Star, November 27, 2017


For more information about lead and other other water quality issues, visit www.cwqa.com or call 1-866-383-7617

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