Children`s blood testing clinic for lead to be held in Warfield, Oasis, Casino and Waneta
The Trail Health & Environment Committee (THEC) will hold a one-time children’s blood testing clinic this fall to confirm lead levels for children aged six months to 36 months living in Warfield, Oasis, Casino and Waneta in order to determine if its Family Health and Home and Garden services should be expanded to those communities.
“Interior Health and the Trail Health and Environment Committee have seen good success in identifying and addressing concerns related to lead exposure in Trail. This fall clinic will help us determine if there is a need in these other communities,” said Dr. Andrew Larder, senior medical health officer with Interior Health.
“There is growing scientific evidence that low levels of lead exposure may have subtle effects on young children. To make an informed decision about program expansion, we need to have up-to-date, representative data on children’s lead levels,“ he added. “It has been at least 10 years since we have done community-wide lead testing of young children in these communities.”
Jeannine Stefani, lead family health services coordinator at Interior Health said, “We have just started two new home visit programs for all expectant families and families with young children in Trail and Rivervale to support children’s healthy development and prevent their exposure to lead. We want to determine what services might be needed in Warfield, Oasis, Waneta, and Casino.”
Bert Crockett, mayor of Warfield, has reviewed the Health and Environment Committee’s proposal.
“I support this and would encourage families with young children to attend the clinic,“ he said.
This support was echoed by Ali Grieve and Linda Worley, directors of RDKB Areas A and B, respectively.
In August, Stefani will send an invitation letter to all families with children aged six to 36 months living in Warfield, Oasis, Casino and Waneta. If you are one of those families, please feel free to contact Stefani ahead of time at (250) 364-6223 for more information or to check that you’re on the list.
About the Trail Area Health and Environment Program
The Trail Area Health and Environment Program is a comprehensive, community-led program with five main areas of activity: Family Health, Home & Garden, Air Quality, Parks and Wildlands, and Property Development. Our mission is to promote people’s health and environment related to smelter metals, with a focus on preventing children’s exposure to lead. The Air Quality Program reduces smelter emissions and makes the largest contribution to achieving health and environment goals. All our activities work together to get the best results – lower exposure, lower health risks, and a healthier environment.
The Trail Health & Environment Committee (THEC) oversees the program. THEC is a partnership between the local community, Teck, the Ministry of Environment, and Interior Health. Over the past 20 years of successful collaboration, children’s blood lead levels in Trail have reduced significantly and air quality has greatly improved. THEC’s community-led partnership has been recognized internationally as an effective collaborative model for safeguarding health and the environment. In 2011 the program received a Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award for Partnership. For more information please visit www.thep.ca