LETTERS: Manganese not just esthetic

Editor:
It is important for citizens to be aware of the latest information coming from Health Canada regarding manganese

Editor:

As it will take until approximately 2019 for the City of White Rock to deal with the manganese/arsenic problem in our White Rock water, it is important for citizens to be aware of the latest information coming from Health Canada regarding manganese.

Back in 1987, Health Canada guidelines for manganese in water systems were established specifically for esthetic objectives. However, a study published last May, “Document for Public Consultation Prepared by the Federal Provincial Territorial Committee on Drinking Water”, proposes that the aesthetic objective be lowered from 0.05mg/L to 0.02mg/L which would minimize the problem of discoloured water.

White Rock exceeds the current objective many times, as can be seen from the Metal Results 2016 testing results on the city website.

However, more worrying to many of us, this study addresses health concerns – especially for children – regarding manganese in our drinking water. A maximum acceptable concentration of 0.1 mg/L manganese is being proposed because of neurological effects observed in rodents and similar effects having been observed in epidemiological studies conducted in children. The Canadian study, Intellectual Impairment in School-Age Children Exposed to Manganese from Drinking Water, clearly demonstrates decreases of over six IQ points for children exposed to lower levels of manganese than exists in White Rock drinking water.

White Rock test results show many instances of the 0.1 mg/L currently being exceeded.

For the reasons above – plus arsenic worries – many of us, for some time, have chosen to drink only bottled water until a proper city filtration system is in place.

I urge citizens to do the same out of concern for their and their children’s health.

Patricia Kealy, White Rock