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  QUESTION: How I could test my home & find local lead resources? 25 May 2005, Montreal, Canada

Hello,

I am the parent of a young child and pregnant with another currently living in Montreal, Canada. I am very concerned about the possibility of lead exposure in my children since our housing situation fits the description of a potentially hazardous environment. I realize your organization is based in Australia but if you have any information about how I could test my home, or any local resources that would be available to me, I would be very grateful,

Sincerely, Gillian Kirkland

ANSWER: 25 May 2005

Dear Gillian,

You are very lucky in Canada to have an excellent lead campaigner called Kelly O'Grady who has a wonderful website which will probably answer all your questions - "The First 6 Years" formerly known as Lead Environmental Awareness and Detection l.e.a.d.. See www.first6years.org/ - but, probably due to Kelly's great work, Health Canada is also worth asking for info about lead - 

  • By Mail:
    Health Canada
    Address Locator 0900C2
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0K9
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 613-957-2991
  • Toll free: 1-866-225-0709
  • Facsimile: 613-941-5366
  • Teletypewriter: 1-800-267-1245 (Health Canada)

An excellent starting point though is to have your child blood lead tested by the doctor and to have a blood lead test yourself, since you are pregnant. The blood lead result for your child tells you whether your child has recently absorbed an excessive amount of lead from your environment but your blood lead result will give you some insight (especially if you compare it to your blood lead level later in the pregnancy and during lactation) into your lead exposure for the whole of your life and your current nutritional status.

Spot test kits for testing lead in paint, ceramics and miniblinds etc are made by 3M™ LeadCheck® Test Kit in the US and you could find out their Canadian distributors by phoning 1-800-494-3552 or use the form at http://leadcheck.com/contactus  or check out their website www.leadcheck.com

Good luck with it all.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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