A toxic legacy that demands the attention of all pregnant women and parents of young children.

Lead in pre-1978 paint remains a dangerous source of lead. Advice from the federal government about lead exposure refers to avoiding lead in pre-1960 homes. While lead levels were highest before 1960, lead levels in paint remained at dangerous levels until 1978. Indeed, Canadian regulations did not apply to exterior paint until the late 1990s. The most precautionary approach is to follow advice about lead paint abatement for any buildings built before 1978. Advice to parents provided by federal agencies in the United States and NGOs in the US and Canada is more precautionary. In Canada, any exterior paint applied until at least the end of the 1980s may also be lead-contaminated. Ensure that young children do not play in the soil in the "drip-line" around an older home, especially alongside painted porches, staircases and windows.

Studies from the US and Canada commonly find small amounts of pesticides and heavy metals in indoor dust. These substances come from indoor sources and are also tracked in from outdoors. Lead from old paint is a big concern. About 50 percent of the daily lead intake of two-year old urban children comes from house dust through normal hand-to-mouth behaviour. Lead can build up in house dust through normal wear and tear of both indoor and outdoor painted surfaces. During renovations extremely high levels of lead can occur in dust and can create very dangerous lead exposures for children and pregnant women (the concern here is exposure to the fetus).

Fact Sheets, Publications, On-line Resources

 

In the CPCHE Child Health and the Environment Primer, see in particular the Environmental Childproofing Top Ten List, in Chapter Six.

  1. November 7, 2012
    Letter
  2. June 16, 2011
    Letter
  3. 2010
    Web page, Background information
  4. 2010
    Web page, Background information
  5. 2010
    Brochure
  6. April 2010
    Brochure
  7. February 2010
    Article
  8. November 2009
    Web page, Article
  9. April 29, 2009
    Letter
  10. January 2009
    Web page, Video
  11. 2008
    Fact Sheet
  12. March 2008
    Fact Sheet
  13. 2007
    Brochure
  14. April 2007
    Report
  15. June 2006
    Position Paper
  16. 2005
    Web page
  17. 2005
    Web page
  18. 2005
    Web page
  19. 2005
    Web page
  20. September 15, 2005
    Book
  21. September 2005
    Brochure
  22. November 2004
    Policy Paper
  23. 2004
    Brochure
  24. 2003
    Fact Sheet
  25. May 2000
    Fact Sheet
  26. 1992
    Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions