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A co-operative approach to risk management in an active lead/zinc smelter community

Abstract

Trail, Canada has been the site of a large lead/zinc smelting facility since 1916. In mid 1990, the Trail Community Lead Task Force was established and given responsibility for developing a strategy to reduce children's blood lead levels. With funding from the provincial government, the smelting company and the municipal government, the Task Force has carried out blood lead screening, case management, community education, exposure pathways modelling and remediation trials. The decline in children's blood lead levels appeared to accelerate following the implementation of these programmes. The average blood lead in Trail children aged 6–72 months fell 14% from the autumn of 1991 to autumn of 1992, whereas for the previous 16 years, the average annual decline had been about 4%. In subsequent years, blood lead levels have appeared to plateau. Throughout the 5-year history of the Task Force, its members have demonstrated a strong sense of common purpose and have worked co-operatively to reach consensus on most issues.

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Hilts, S.R. A co-operative approach to risk management in an active lead/zinc smelter community. Environ Geochem Health 18, 17–24 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01757215

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Keywords

  • Risk management
  • blood lead
  • remediation