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Less Lead in Children's Blood Thanks to the Trail Health and Environment Committee

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Published on Apr 15, 2011

2010/11 Premier's Awards Regional Finalist -- Interior/North
Category: Partnership

For twenty years the Trail Health and Environment Committee (THEC) has worked tirelessly to improve the health of citizens and the environment around its city. A study in 1989 showed that average blood lead concentrations in Trail's children were nearly three times the U.S. national average and high enough to adversely affect cognitive development. The THEC (then known as the Trail Community Lead Task Force) sprung to life to tackle this serious issue head-on. With representatives from the ministries of Environment and Health, local municipalities, Teck Metals Ltd. and the community, the THEC set out to reduce children's blood lead concentrations to acceptable levels. And they succeeded. From 1990 to 2010 average blood lead concentrations in children dropped three-fold while annual lead emissions from the smelter dropped almost 100-fold. While navigating a complex mix of municipal, provincial and federal regulations, the THEC became an internationally recognized model of effective partnership and community engagement.

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