For decades, scientists have known about the harmful effects of lead on the human brain.
In 2011, SFU environmental-health expert Bruce Lanphear was awarded the Nora and Ted Stirling Prize in Support of Controversy for his efforts to raise awareness about this issue.
“In fact, the levels that you and I and our children experience today are somewhere higher than 100 times those levels experienced by our preindustrial ancestors,” Lanphear told the Straight at the time.
He pointed out that even when levels are at one to 10 micrograms per decilitre of blood, intelligent-quotient scores fall, on average, from six to seven points in children.
According to Health Canada, 10 to 15 micrograms per decilitre of blood “have been associated with adverse neurobehavioural and cognitive changes” in fetuses and children.
Despite this, unsafe levels of lead have been detected in drinking water in a quarter of B.C. schools.
In response, OneCity has launched an online petition calling for a "water refilling station that provides safe, clean drinking water for students" in every school.
But former CTV anchor Tamara Taggart has declared on Twitter that she's "outraged that we even need a petition".
She emphasized that it's "unacceptable" that children are being exposed to lead in drinking water in their schools.
"This isn't new, it's an old problem + no one in decades at the school board or in government has made it a priority," Taggart declared.
OneCity trustee Carrie Bercic replied that it's "an absolute priority to me".
"There is a safe, reliable option," Bercic stated. "Install at least one filtered water refilling station per school. Then we KNOW it's safe and we don't need to spend $ testing."
Taggart has kept a fairly low public profile since losing her broadcasting job in April. But if she were to decide to run for school trustee in the fall, she would likely be the most recognizable name on the ballot.More