Background: Environmental lead exposure has been a concern since the early 1970’s. With the reduction of airborne lead for inhalation, ingestion from food and water has become the major route of exposure leading to elevated blood lead levels. Previous research and the recent lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan demonstrate the vulnerability of young children and potential for exposure through drinking water. The purpose of this study was to assess and characterize the risk of lead contamination of drinking water for Metro Vancouver-area early childhood care facilities, and the effect of flushing fixtures as a control measure.
Method: 91 drinking water samples were collected from various fixtures at 16 child care facilities at progressive time points to observe the effects of flushing and re-stagnation on total dissolved lead content. Analysis was performed using Varian AAS-240 coupled with GTA-120 graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results were analysed statistically using Excel 2010 and SAS/STAT® 14.2 software with SAS Studio 3.6 interface.
Results: The mean (SD, min-max) lead concentrations of the water samples were 0.69 (2.32, 0.1-11.27) μg/L at zero minutes of flushing, 0.21 (0.44, 0.1-2.19) μg/L after one minute of flushing, 0.15 (0.17, 0.1- 0.87) μg/L after five minutes of flushing, 0.18 (0.17, 0.1 -0.64) μg/L after re-stagnation, and 0.31 (1.20, 0.1-11.27) μg/L overall. One outlier sample had a lead concentration of 11.27 μg/L, which exceeded Health Canada’s maximum allowable concentration of 10 μg/L. The decrease in mean lead concentration between zero minutes and one minute of flushing was statistically significant (p=0.0020).
Conclusions: The results indicate that lead contamination of drinking water in child care facilities is present but below regulatory action levels under normal circumstances. The flushing of fixtures for at least one minute was shown to be effective in lowering lead concentrations further. Efforts should be taken to identify facilities at higher risk of lead contamination and to educate operators of flushing as an effective control measure., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Lead, Lead contamination, Drinking water, Children, Daycare, Lead leaching, Child care facility, British Columbia, Metro Vancouver, Burnaby, Fraser Health Authority
Background: Daycares in BC fall under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act which require all daycare facilities to provide a safe environment, including drinking water. Young children who have been exposed to lead in drinking water at schools and daycares can incur serious health effects, including damage to cognitive development. Previous research has demonstrated that even low levels of blood lead concentration are associated with intellectual disability, slowed growth and development, lowered ability to concentrate, decreased academic achievement and behavioural problems. Individuals’ knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on drinking water can influence on how the children consume drinking water and potentially cause adverse health effects. This study evaluated daycare managers’ knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) on lead in drinking water related to this issue.
Method: This study was conducted by collecting 106 responses from a KAP survey to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding drinking water contaminants. The survey was distributed to daycare managers in Fraser Health region. The responses were analyzed with regression and correlation, one-way ANOVA, and chi-square tests.
Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between the age of daycare manger and their knowledge (t-test = 0.0309). All other tests showed no statistical correlation, difference, and/or association (p-value greater than significance level of 0.05 on all parameters) between managerial experiences, age of managers, types of daycares in their knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding lead in drinking water in daycare facilities. The data of KAP questionnaires indicated that most daycare mangers do not fully understand and not are sufficiently educated regarding lead toxicity in drinking water.
Conclusions: The results of KAP surveys showed that an educational intervention by the government or local health authorities is highly recommended and needed to improve the daycare managers’ knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding lead in drinking water. Additional research is required to confirm this., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Lead, Water contaminants, Drinking water, Daycares, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Perception
Background: Heterotrophic bacteria are commonly found in water supplies where there is inadequate or non-existent disinfection. Water coolers are known to have high HPC levels due to the filtered, non-chlorinated water provided. Water bottle refill stations utilize a carbon filter which can act as a food source for HPC. This study measured HPC levels in water samples from bottle refill stations to determine whether there is a difference compared to tap water at BCIT.
Method: Standard Method 9060 A was used to collect water from bottle refill stations to compare to non-filtered tap water. Samples were plated using R2A Agar and incubated for 7 days before enumerating HPC from water samples. Samples were collected from specific drinking water fountains that contained Carbon Filters and compared to the nearest tap water source.
Results: Mean HPC levels in bottle refill stations were found at 95 cfu/mL while mean HPC levels in tap water were 55 cfu/mL. A two-sample T-test confirmed that the mean HPC levels of bottle refill stations and tap water are statistically significantly different (P= 0.000124). Although the findings were statistically significant, the study’s power was low at 11%.
Conclusion: Based on the results, drinking water obtained from bottle-refill stations at BCIT contained on an average higher level of HPC compared to tap water. Overall, HPC levels were below recommended levels in drinking water and not considered to have any harmful effects. To continue the safe use of bottle refill stations, facilities should develop and follow written procedures to maintain stations and ensure regular changing of filters., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Heterotrophic, HPC, Carbon filter, Drinking water