Keeping on top of lead levels in Notre Dame
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/08/2021 (661 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Since being elected as your MLA in 2019, one of the issues facing our community close to my heart has been lead contamination in our soil.
Lead contamination can have harmful impacts on human health and our fight as a community to get the improvements we need is still ongoing.
Children under seven are most sensitive to lead exposure as their nervous systems are still developing. There can be irreversible effects on learning, behaviour, and intelligence. For adults, long-term lead exposure can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney problems and reproductive effects.
In Notre Dame, the field at Weston School on Logan Avenue was closed for three years over concerns about lead in the soil. In spring 2020, the field was re-opened with no work done and children were allowed to play on it. After one and a half years of further community organizing and raising this issue in the legislature, the government finally agreed to conduct remediation at Weston School, which is currently underway and expected to be complete before school starts this fall.
It should not be this difficult to get government to protect the health of our community. Getting remediation done at Weston School is a big win, but it is only the tip of the iceberg for what people in Notre Dame need to be safe.
We need a public awareness campaign promoting measures like frequent handwashing, container gardening, and seasonal landscaping to mitigate the effects of lead in soil.
Additionally, monitoring is just as important as mitigation. Blood-lead level testing should be widely available, especially to kids under seven.
I also recently joined a special advisory committee on lead contamination. This committee will conduct research and propose policy changes to make our communities safer.
I encourage you to reach out to my office with any information you would like me to bring to the committee. You can also get involved by signing a petition created by members of our community when it is ready, so that we can push the PCs in the legislature to provide the improvements our community needs. Please contact me if you would like to sign this petition.
We all have to work together and keep the pressure on government to keep our families and community safe from lead exposure. Contact my office anytime at 204-788-0800 or email@example.com
Notre Dame constituency report
Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.