News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

January 29, 2020

Manitoba Government Releases Independent Risk Analysis Report on Lead in Soil

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Report Reinforces Health Risk for Manitobans is Low

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An independent review on lead in soil in Winnipeg neighborhoods reconfirms that there is a low heath risk for Manitobans when it comes to lead in soil.  Manitoba Health Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) and Manitoba Conservation and Climate (MCC) commissioned a third-party review to determine if there are any potential risks to human health, and how best to identify and manage areas with elevated lead concentrations in soil.

The report was presented to government in December 2019, and the province has moved quickly to review its findings and prioritize the recommendations.

As recommended, the province will work towards making blood lead levels in excess of established guidelines reportable under The Public Health Act.  This move will assist the province to track and better understand where lead exposure may continue to pose a problem.  This new information will help focus future public health and environmental efforts where they are needed and will have the greatest impact.

MHSAL and MCC will also move forward with the recommendation to develop a communications and outreach plan that delivers a single, clear and effective message to the public and key stakeholders about how to mitigate potential risks.  This could include a public webpage or social media platform with regular updates for information sharing, and training for parents and caregivers of young children, as well as child care centres, community centres and preschools.

MHSAL and MCC will continue to work with Manitoba Education and school divisions to develop a plan to address recommendations for Weston School.

Given the primary source of lead emissions in Winnipeg are no longer present, the health risk of lead for Manitobans is low.  The report stressed that soil remediation was not recommended as a course of action.
To view the independent report’s findings and recommendations, visit:

The public is reminded to take precautions to prevent contact with lead impacted soil.  These actions can include avoiding ingestion of soil including preventing children from eating soil and washing hands after working with soil.  If homes have a lead service line or lead solder or fixtures containing lead in the plumbing system, take steps to reduce exposure.  Talk to local water suppliers for more information.

In communities that have a corrosion control program, such as the City of Winnipeg, run the tap until the water is cold before drinking the water or using it to prepare food or infant formula.  In other communities, additional steps, such as a point-of-use filter to reduce lead to acceptable levels may be needed.

Individuals who have concerns about their exposure to lead are encouraged to speak to their health-care provider.  Additional information is available in the lead in water fact sheet at

More information can be found in the provincial lead fact sheet at, and the gardening and soil contaminants fact sheet at

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