THEC - 2018 Children's Lead Levels are the Lowest to Date

Posted on Thursday April 18, 2019

NEWS RELEASE issued by THEC
2018 Children's Lead Levels are the Lowest to Date

April 17, 2019

Trail, BC - The results from the 2018 children’s blood lead testing clinic show that the average blood lead level for children aged six -36 months in Trail and Rivervale is 2.9 micrograms per decilitre. This is a decrease from the 2017 average of 4.0. There continues to be a very high participation rate for this voluntary  program.

The THEC is continuing its efforts to further reduce children’s blood lead levels and is encouraged by the decline. We strive for continuous improvement working to deliver programs aimed to reduce exposure to lead in the community, and specifically exposure to children.

The THEC continues to strive to reduce lead in the environment through the Air Quality program managed by Teck Trail Operations. In 2018, the annual average lead in community air was 0.13 micrograms per cubic metre, which is a 47% decrease since 2016. This achieves and exceeds the THEC 2018 air quality goal of 0.2 micrograms per cubic metre.

Quotes:

“Our 2018 blood lead level results are the lowest to date for our community-wide average. With the support of the community and through the comprehensive Trail Area Health and Environment Program, we have reached another landmark with a blood lead level under 3.0. Teck Trail Operations’ continued investments in reducing fugitive dust emissions provides the greatest opportunity to further reduce lead levels in our community. In combination with our other programs such as soil testing and remediation, Healthy Families Healthy Homes, and lead safe renovation support, we are on course to achieve even lower blood lead levels in the future.” Mayor Lisa Pasin, City of Trail, Chair of the Trail Area Health & Environment Committee.

“We are pleased to see a reduction in the blood lead geomean for children in the Trail area. Even low levels of blood lead are associated with negative impacts on children’s health, so we will continue to work with THEC with the goal of further reducing exposure to lead and other environmental contaminants in the community.” Dr. Karin Goodison, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health.

“In recent years, major investments and operational improvements have been made to further reduce emissions from Teck Trail Operations, resulting in improved air quality. Our 2018 results show a significant reduction in our air emissions, and the lowest level ever for lead in community air. Our fugitive dust reduction program is having a positive impact and we are focused on continuous improvement going forward.” Dan Bouillon, Manager, Environment Teck Trail Operations.

About the Trail Area Health & Environment Program

The Trail Area Health & Environment Program (THEP) is a community-led program with five main areas of activity: Family Health, Home & Garden, Air Quality, Parks and Wildlands, and Property Development. THEP promotes a healthy environment through a comprehensive integrated program that successfully improves air quality and children’s blood lead levels, and promotes the health of the community. The Air Quality Program reduces smelter emissions and makes the largest contribution to achieving health and environment goals. All our activities work together to get the best results – lower exposure, lower   health risks, and a healthier environment.

The Trail Area Health & Environment Committee (THEC), a subcommittee of Trail City Council, oversees the program. THEC includes collaboration with the local community, Teck, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Interior Health. Over the past two decades children’s blood lead levels in Trail have reduced and air quality has improved. THEC’s community-led partnership has been recognized as an effective collaborative model for safeguarding health and the environment. In 2011,   the program received a Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award for Partnership. For more information please visit www.thep.ca.

For more information, contact:
Mayor Lisa Pasin, City of Trail, Chair of the THEC
(250) 364-0809 or lpasin@trail.ca

Catherine Adair, Community Relations Leader, Teck Trail Operations
(250) 364-4878 or Catherine.adair@teck.com

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