Lead in Canada’s Water

Lead in Canada’s Water

Earlier this month, “Star Edmonton” published the results of a study that found parts of Edmonton’s water supply contains lead levels more than 120 times the level deemed acceptable by the Canadian federal health authorities. In addition, the results of a recently-published 2017 study found that the water in more than 2,400 Ontario schools exceeded the federal standards for lead in drinking water. A recent Concordia University study found that the highest lead levels were in parts of Montreal, Regina, and Prince Rupert BC.

How much lead is acceptable?

Health Canada sets the “acceptable” limits at 5 parts per billion. Several Canadian provinces, including Ontario, set the limit at 10 parts per billion. However, it’s important to note that the World Health Organization maintains that there is no acceptable amount of lead in drinking water. All organizations agree that lead is especially harmful to children and can cause long-term health problems and cognitive difficulties.

Why lead is a problem

Lead in drinking water is not just an issue for children. Lead poisoning in adults can lead to hypertension in men and a higher than average incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in women. Exposure to lead can also impair fetus development in pregnant women. Lead is stored in the body in organs and bones and isn’t released as many other toxic elements can be. Therefore, there can be a cumulative effect of lead exposure over a person’s lifetime.

What’s the solution?

The majority of lead exposure from Canada’s water supply comes from dated and aging lead pipes that leak the element into the water as it passes through the pipes. Individual homeowners can update their pipes, but the price tag is high, an average of $5,000 to $10,000 per home. What’s more, many of the public pipes, the ones that lead into your home, are made of lead. These pipes are the government’s responsibility to replace, but the sheer number of them can be overwhelming to local government budgets.

Filtering for safer water

One way to help keep your drinking water clean without investing tens of thousands of dollars and waiting for the government to act is to install a Berkey water filter. These filters cost only a few hundred dollars and remove a minimum of 99.9% of the lead and other heavy metals in your water. They also help keep your water healthy by removing viruses, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants.

To learn more about installing a Berkey water filter in your home and how you can keep your family safe from lead in your drinking water, contact us today. Our company was founded on the premise that all Canadians need and deserve clean, purified water for optimum health and to reach our highest potential.

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