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Drinking Lead in Canada
News Bytes 11/5/2019 26 Comments

Gulp. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have high levels of lead in their drinking water. A recent study shows serious pollution in several cities. Some are worse than in the infamous Flint, Michigan, case. Now some Canadian cities are taking action.

God created water to be essential for life. When water sources are polluted, humans suffer. Studies show that lead in water can damage brains and kidneys. Even low levels can affect IQ and the ability to pay attention. Children younger than seven and pregnant women are most at risk from lead exposure.

During a yearlong investigation, journalists tested lead in 11 cities across Canada. One-third of those exceeded the country’s national safety guidelines. Some showed levels three times higher than recommended.

In a country that boasts of clean lakes, sparkling springs, and rushing rivers, there are no national mandates to test drinking water for lead. And even if agencies do take samples, residents usually don’t find out about contamination.

“I’m surprised,” says Bruce Lanphear, a leading Canadian water safety researcher. “These are quite high given the kind of attention that has been given to Flint, Michigan, as having such extreme problems.” (See “Contaminated Water in Detroit Schools.”)

Canada is one of the only advanced countries in the world without a nationwide drinking water standard. Even countries that struggle to provide safe drinking water, like India and Mexico, have guidelines about lead levels. Some Canadian officials say they’re working to replace aging infrastructure (facilities and services like roads, utilities, etc.).

Results showing possibly dangerous lead levels trouble many Canadians. “It’s a little bit disturbing to see that there’s that much,” says Andrew Keddie of levels at his Edmonton house. He replaced his pipes years ago. He assumed his water was clean. But alas—he couldn’t replace public service lines delivering water to his house. After learning of his levels, Keddie says, “We won’t be drinking and using this water.”

(Corroded water pipes are being replaced in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Mackenzie Lad/Institute for Investigative Journalism/Concordia University via AP)

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Most recent comments

I hope they fix it.

I hope they fix it.

That's disturbing. I didn't

That's disturbing. I didn't know lead poisoning through water even happened anymore. I agree with Mirela, I hope they are able to fix it.

Oh no!

This is bad! I know someone from Canada! I hope they fix it soon!

Oh no!

This is not good! Hopefully nobody gets sick and they fix it soon.

@ Nadia A

Sorry I din't mean to copy you I didn't see your comment

To Above

Haha! Its OK! I was just thinking how funny it was that every one who commented after Mirela commented after each either within minutes!

A thought

This must be scary to those in Canada who are aware. Its like there's poison in the water. I would not want to live there right now!

That must be so scary! I

That must be so scary! I would be so mad at the Canadian government for not having standards and keeping the water clean.

Oh man!

That's terrible!! We are going to visit Canada in few months, so I hope they have it fixed by then!!! I would be scared if I lived there.

@ Carys

you should drink bottled water then!


I wonder how long this has been going on? That’s kinda scary!


So are we going to do what Nadia suggested? Like the whole commenting thing?

I have friends in Canada too.

I have friends in Canada too.

@ Nadia

she has the same name as you (the one in Canada), just spelled differently.

I bet the pipes are lead.

I bet the pipes are lead.


I hope they get this water problem solved, and I knew a lady whose dog got cancer from drinking contaminated water. So hopefully they can get the water clean again.

@ Lily

Oh, neat!

Do you guys drink tap water

Do you guys drink tap water or do you purify it somehow? My family uses a Berkey to purify ours.

@ Beth G

I drink tap water. We don't purify it. I hardly ever drink bottled water.

@Mirela J

I read that tap water standards are rigorous in the UK so it is probably a lot better idea for you than for me. Where I live we would drink that water if we had to but it is still not very good.

@ Beth G

We just drink the tap water.

@Beth G

We have a well that we pump our water out of so it’s pretty good water not city water!

To Above

Oh. Some place es we go to have well water:-\ it taste like dirt to me.


Oh. Yeah when our best friends used too come up a lot they thought it tasted weird too! :) I couldn’t stand their water! Lol

To Above

Hah! I guess you get used to it!!


Wow. I used to live in Canada.

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