Lead and bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations in the Canadian population

Release date: November 13, 2019

Infographic: Lead and bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations in the Canadian population
Description: Lead and bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations in the Canadian population

Lead and bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations in the Canadian population

Lead

Used historically in gasoline, paint and plumbing.

Main sources of exposure include:

  • food and drinking water
  • household dust
  • soil
  • some art and craft supplies

Detected in 99.7% of Canadians in 2017

Ongoing exposure to high levels of lead can cause anemia, weakness, as well as kidney and brain damage in all ages, and reduction of IQ or increased behaviour problems in infants and children.

Average blood lead in Canadians aged 6 to 79 years decreased 27.7% between 2009 and 2017

Concentration of blood lead in Canadians aged 6 to 79 (µg/dL)
Year Concentration of blood lead (µg/dL)
2009 1.3
2011 1.2
2013 1.1
2015 0.96
2017 0.94

In 2017, children and youth had lower levels than adults.

Most Canadians are exposed to low levels of lead.

BPA

Used in the production of plastics and other materials.

Main sources of exposure include:

  • food and drink containers
  • food packaging
  • thermal printing paper
  • some toys and medical devices

Detected in 81.5% of Canadians in 2017

In 2010, the Government of Canada banned BPA from use in baby bottles. BPA continues to be studied to determine its effects on human health, such as possible links to obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Average urinary BPA in Canadians aged 6 to 79 years decreased 32.5% between 2009 and 2017

Concentration of urine BPA in Canadians aged 6 to 79 (µg/L)
Year Concentration of urine BPA (µg/dL)
2009 1.2
2011 1.2
2013 1.1
2015 1.0
2017 0.81

In 2017, adults had lower levels than children and youth.

Most Canadians are exposed to low levels of BPA that are not thought to pose a health risk.

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Health Measures Survey.
Health Canada, Fifth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada.

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