TORONTO — The level of lead contamination in the bloodstreams of
Canadians has plummeted over the past 30 years, a likely result of the
phasing out of lead in gasoline, paints and the solder used to seal
food cans, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.
Where 25 per
cent of Canadians had blood lead concentrations above the unsafe
threshold in 1978, a survey conducted in 2007-2008 showed that figure
had dropped to under one per cent. Blood contamination levels were also low for two other dangerous metals, mercury and cadmium, the report showed.
head of the occupational environmental health laboratory at McMaster
University in Hamilton, Ont., called the numbers "amazing." "To
go from 25 per cent down to about one is a pretty dramatic drop," said
Brian McCarry, who holds a research chair in environment and health at
the university. "This is a good news story for sure."