Government of Canada celebrates 10 years of human biomonitoring with the release of the latest results of the Canadian Health Measures Survey 

News Release

The survey provides a wealth of information, and helps inform Government of Canada actions to protect the health of Canadians from exposure to chemicals 

August 24, 2017 - Ottawa, ONTARIO - Health Canada

Chemicals are part of everyday life. They are essential to our economy, our communities and our homes. While chemicals provide benefits, if not properly managed, they may also have harmful effects. The Government of Canada is a world leader in protecting Canadians from exposure to chemicals. The biomonitoring component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) collects meaningful data that informs evidence-based decisions that protect the health and safety of Canadians.  

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the CHMS. To mark this occasion, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, join Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada, as Statistics Canada releases the results of Cycle 4 of the CHMS (2014-2015). This cycle adds important new knowledge to our understanding of Canadians’ exposure to chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), lead, mercury, cadmium, parabens, and two pesticides (chlorpyrifos and malathion). A complete list of the chemicals included in the survey can be found here.

The CHMS, which is led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is an ongoing national survey that collects information relevant to the health of Canadians through interviews and direct physical measurements. The biomonitoring component of the CHMS involves the collection and analysis of blood and urine samples to measure concentrations of certain environmental chemicals, and provides baseline concentrations of chemicals in the general Canadian population

The wealth of human biomonitoring information in the CHMS has been used in more than 350 research publications, and the summary data are available free of charge to provinces, territories, cities, researchers, students, and all Canadians through the Open Government portal and the CHMS biomonitoring site.


Quotes

"I am pleased to mark the achievements of the biomonitoring component of the CHMS on its 10th anniversary, and would like to thank Canadians for their ongoing participation. Their contribution is directly connected to actions the Government takes to help Canadians achieve and maintain good health, and build a healthier society."

Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

"I am proud to be the Minister responsible for a world-class organization such as Statistics Canada. The Canadian Health Measures Survey is a prime example of why our national statistical agency is recognized globally as a leader in producing high-quality data that are relevant to Canadians. The data from this survey ensure that Canadians have the information they need to make informed decisions that will lead to improved health services and better health outcomes."

Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"10 years young and the CHMS continues to be a world-leading and innovative ‎tool, providing researchers and policy makers a rich data source on which to base decisions, allowing Canadians to live healthier lives."

Anil Arora
Chief Statistician of Canada

Quick Facts

  • The national biomonitoring initiative of the Canadian Health Measures Survey is part of the Government’s actions on chemicals, including the Chemicals Management Plan, and is an important component of the vision for a healthy Canada, which focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.

  • Over the past decade, more than 250 chemicals have been measured in 29,000 Canadians from 3 to 79 years of age, at 81 sites across Canada.

  • The data are an important resource for assessing Canadians' exposure and informing risk assessment decisions and risk management actions under the Chemicals Management Plan.

  • For example, biomonitoring data from the CHMS has demonstrated that lead levels in the blood of Canadians have dropped by more than 70% since the 1970s, showing the effectiveness of actions taken to reduce the exposure of Canadians to lead. 

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Contacts

Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983

Media Relations
Statistics Canada
613-951-INFO (951-4636)
mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Public inquiries:

Health Canada
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

Statistics Canada
1-800-263-1136
infostats@statcan.gc.ca


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