Media Release

CELA seeks commitment from Ontario for swift action on lowering tritium standard

Jun 10 2009

Toronto – With the release yesterday of a report on the recommended standard for tritium in drinking water, CELA notes that once again, an expert review has concluded that the regulatory level of this carcinogen should be dramatically reduced.

The Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council has echoed the recommendations made 15 years ago by Ontario’s previous Advisory Committee on Environmental Standards. More recently, in response to concerns raised by the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health called for a similarly dramatic lowering of the standard for tritium in drinking water to make it more health-protective.

“Clearly, any independent expert review of the evidence will arrive at the same conclusion, that we must place stringent controls on this carcinogen in drinking water,” stated Theresa McClenaghan, CELA Executive Director and Counsel. The recommendation is to lower the standard from its current level of 7000 becquerels per litre (Bq/L) to 20 Bq/L. “In 2005, CELA called for such a revised standard and recommended that it be lowered to 5 Bq/L after five years with an ultimate goal of zero,” Ms McClenaghan noted.

The ODWAC recommendation underscores CELA’s long-held position that nuclear power is a toxic and expensive mistake that requires an orderly and determined phase out for the sake of ensuring both cancer prevention and the availability of public and private resources for developing a green energy future for Ontario.

CELA has today called upon Environment Minister John Gerretsen for his continued leadership on environmental issues in Ontario and asked him to swiftly place the ODWAC recommendation into a revised drinking water standard for public review and comment.

 For more information:

 Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel 416-662-8341