Lead testing clinic expands its reach

Trail Health and Environment Committee will hold its annual children's lead testing Sept 23-25 and Oct 1-3 at Kiro Wellness Centre.

Correction: Residents of Warfield are also included in the invitation  to attend clinics by the Trail Health and Environment Committee.

The Trail Health and Environment Committee (THEC) is set to hold its annual children’s lead testing clinic next week and is hoping parents from outside its usual testing area will participate in the clinic.

The clinic will run at the Kiro Wellness Centre, on Columbia Avenue in East Trail over two separate schedules, Sept. 23, 24, and 25, and again Oct. 1, 2, and 3.

The annual fall clinic will be offering blood-lead testing to the usual participants; children living in the program target areas most directly affected by potential environmental lead contamination, East Trail, West Trail, Tadanac, and Rivervale.

However, this year parents of children living in neighbourhoods of Greater Trail outside of the usual focus area of the study are also being invited to bring their kids in for screening.

“We’re doing it a bit different this year,” said Jeannine Stefani, Lead Family Health Services coordinator at Interior Health. “We’re also inviting families from Oasis, Casino, Waneta, and Annable to come in as well. We haven’t included them in testing in recent years and we’d like to check in with these areas to see if they should be included in the program.”

Stefani said that families with children from all communities in the Greater Trail area are welcome to come in for blood lead testing but that they want to determine if these areas should be included in THEC’s Family Health and Home and Gardens services.

“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,” Dr. Andrew Larder, senior medical health officer with Interior Health, said in a press release. “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. It has been at least 10 years since we have done community-wide testing of young children in these communities.”

The clinic is putting out a call for anyone with children between six months and three years of age who live in Trail, and the surrounding neighbourhoods and communities, or spend the majority of their day there.

They are also inviting anyone with children between the ages of six months and five years who are either living in a recently renovated home or are new to Trail or Rivervale.

Anyone who is interested in attending the lead testing clinic or who wants more information on the Trail Health and Environment Committee can either call Jeannine Stefani at (250) 364-6223 or on the web go to www.thep.ca.