High levels of lead found in drinking water at court building, At several locations in the 50-year-old Toronto Superior Court of Justice building, lead was found to be in excess of provincial standards by Betsy Powell, Mach 5, 2018, Toronto Star
“There may be multiple sources of lead throughout the building’s potable water system,” says a Feb. 9 report prepared by Pinchin Ltd., an environmental engineering consulting firm.
At several locations in the 50-year-old Toronto Superior Court of Justice building, lead was found to be in excess of provincial standards
High levels of lead have been found in the drinking water at the downtown Toronto Superior Court of Justice building, according to a new report obtained by the Star.
Lead was identified in several locations inside the 50-year-old building in excess of Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards, reads the executive summary of the report prepared by Pinchin Ltd., an environmental engineering consulting firm.
“There may be multiple sources of lead throughout the building’s potable water system,” says the report dated Feb. 9, 2018.
The property manager retained Pinchin after its client, the Ministry of the Attorney General, expressed concerns regarding the quality of the water pouring through the taps, the report states. [Imagine that! Canadian ministries of AG’s don’t say a word when oil companies break the law and contaminate community or family drinking water supplies.]
Construction of the building was completed in 1967.
“Given the age of the building, it is possible that there are sources of lead in the site’s potable water system, including lead solder, and/or brass fittings that are contributing to the exceedances,” or excessive amounts.
“Historically, lead pipes were used in the city’s drinking water distribution networks. It is possible that lead pipes may be connecting the City of Toronto’s distribution network to the base building, contributing to the exceedances.”
Pinchin recommends the property manager post signs on the identified faucets advising the site’s occupants, who include court staff, lawyers, judges, police officers, jurors and prisoners, not to consume the water.
[Doublc standard: Judges, lawyers, police, their staff, prisoners, jurors, get protection at work but not ordinary Canadians in their homes! Authorities advise harmed citizens – in writing – that it’s safe for them to consume, breath, and live with highly explosive frac’d drinking water, contaminated with methane, ethane, propane, butane and other red flag indicators of pollution by the oil industry, just vent it. Ya right. Watch how that failed Bruce Jack and two of industry’s gas in water testers.]
The company is also advising the property manager install 53 certified water filters on the sources where the samples exceeded Ontario drinking water standards. Alternatively, water coolers should be added, the report says.
The building receives its potable water from municipal supplies and is not a regulated facility under the Safe Drinking Water Act. And because it is not a school or nursery, it is not subject to the Act’s regulatory requirements.
Water was sampled from a range of sources including the basement cafeteria, Toronto police and Crown attorney lunchrooms, a judge’s lounge, cell area kitchen faucet and various water fountains throughout the building.
Test results identified lead concentration levels exceeding the Safe Drinking Water Act in two group cell faucets on the eighth floors and four drinking fountains on the fifth and sixth floors.
The report says “a discussion on the potential exposure and health effects of lead in drinking water was outside the scope of this investigation.”
2.1 Health effects
Inorganic lead compounds have been classified as probably carcinogenic to humans, based on findings in experimental animals. However, the cancer effects are not the main health effects of concern in humans.
The toxicity of lead has been extensively documented in humans, based on blood lead levels (BLLs). Effects that have been studied include reduced cognition, increased blood pressure and renal dysfunction in adults, as well as adverse neurodevelopmental and behavioural effects in children. The strongest association observed to date is between increased BLLs in children and reductions in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. The threshold below which lead is no longer associated with adverse neurodevelopmental effects cannot be identified. ]
The Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MAG and Infrastructure Ontario recently awarded a $956.5-million contract to EllisDon Infrastructure to design, build, finance and maintain a new Toronto courthouse located across the street from the existing court building.
The new courthouse will unite many of Toronto’s satellite Ontario courts. But the Superior Court, or 361 as it’s commonly known, will continue to operate as one of the world’s busiest trial courts.
Construction on the new building is expected to start in the next few months. Its scheduled completion date is the spring of 2022.