Submission 0007-KOVACS

Submitter: Barbara Kovacs

Community: Chilliwack

Date Submitted: March 24, 2024

The removal of lead-based paint from the Lions Gate Bridge in 2005 may have released toxins that affected salmon returning to the Fraser River. An investigation should be conducted into the amount of lead and other toxins in these salmon.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2023 The Province wrote an article regarding lead based paint being removed from the Lions Gate Bridge. Residents in the area noted lead dust raining down on their properties. Since the lead was being removed freely and without containment from the bridge it might be assumed it was also in the river. The first major decline in salmon was noted in The Province Sunday, April 13, 2008. Just about the turn around time for a salmon’s cycle.

The World Health Organization did suggest the removal of lead based paints from bridges. I guess they assumed this would be done a responsible manner. Many states and provinces did proceed with due care and caution, however that was not the case here as evidenced by all the lead being detected by people for miles around the bridges where lead removal was in progress. Many became ill too. If humans were sick at their much higher body weights how much more so the salmon?

I think at the very least, there should be an investigation related to toxins and especially lead, that may have affected the salmon. Are these salmon even safe to eat? I know I haven’t eaten any in years. In addition to that, I wouldn’t live within 20 miles of any of those bridges either.

What is needed is a central reporting station, where people can bring their concerns. ALL these concerns should be dealt with correctly to minimize future problems. Also results and action should be published so that people have confidence in knowing that proper action has been taken to address their concerns. Perhaps this would minimize concerned though frustrated and fanatical behavior on the part of people that are suffering the ill effects of indiscriminate exposure. We are not usually the only ones affected, our environments suffers even before we do.

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