The test device can give false negatives, the order says.

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The Quebec Chemists Order is asking the government to retest for lead levels in water in schools in the province.

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Data released Friday afternoon shows that more than one-third of water sources and taps in Quebec public schools have too much lead, and about two-thirds “meet Health Canada’s new recommendation of five micrograms of lead. per liter of water “.

In 2019, after Health Canada lowered the recommendation from 10 µg / L to 5 µg / L, Quebec asked public and private schools to test for lead using portable Kemio Heavy Metals devices. Michel Alsayegh, president of the order, said he expressed doubts at the time that this type of device has “a high risk of false negatives” and the samples should instead be sent to an accredited laboratory.

On Friday, Louis Martel, director of the Center d’expertise en analyze environment du Québec, part of the environment department, said that “the analytical method using the Kemio Heavy Metals device that the Ministry of Education has made available can be used effectively to determine lead concentration in drinking water samples in a screening context “.

Alsayegh said a detection “is not an accredited test” and the order calls for devices declared negative to be sentenced until an accredited laboratory test is performed.

Presse Canadienne requested an interview with the Education Minister on Saturday, but did not get an immediate response.

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