Government of Canada announces the release of the latest results from 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

December 14, 2021 | Ottawa, ONTARIO | Health Canada

Chemicals are part of everyday life. They are essential to our economy, our communities and our homes, but if not properly managed, they may also have harmful effects. The biomonitoring component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) collects meaningful data that informs evidence-based decisions to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announces the release of the Sixth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada featuring recent results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) cycle 6 (2018–2019). The most recent results, paired with results from previous cycles of the CHMS, allow us to report on trends in chemical exposure over time.

Also released today are a series of new Biomonitoring Fact Sheets that highlight key trends in chemical concentrations in the Canadian population and comparisons with certain vulnerable subpopulations.

Key findings demonstrate that lead levels in the blood of Canadians have dropped by more than 80% since the 1970s. Similarly, between 2007 and 2019, the biomonitoring data from the CHMS have shown a 77% decline in the concentration of the plasticizer DEHP, and a 43% decline in the consumer product chemical bisphenol A. These results show the effectiveness of actions taken to reduce the exposure of Canadians to these substances.

The CHMS, which is a collaboration among Health Canada, Statistics 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, providing a picture of chemical exposure in the general Canadian population.

The wealth of human biomonitoring information in the CHMS has been used in more than 800 scientific publications, and the summary data is 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 Canadian Health Measures Survey. The research excellence demonstrated through the CHMS helps us make informed decisions to protect the health of Canadians and reduce exposure to chemicals."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"Since 2007, the Canadian Health Measures Survey 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 Anora
Chief Statistician of Canada

Quick facts

  • The national biomonitoring program conducted under of the CHMS is part of the Government's actions on chemicals, including the Chemicals Management Plan, and provides essential information about chemical exposures and their effects on human health and the environment.

  • The CHMS is led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

  • Since 2007, more than 250 chemicals have been tested in around 35,000 Canadians from three to 79 years of age, at nearly 100 sites across Canada.

  • The presence of a chemical in a person’s body does not necessarily mean that it will affect their health. Factors such as the amount to which a person is exposed, the duration and timing of exposure, and the toxicity of the chemical are important to consider.

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Contacts

Marie-France Proulx
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca


Public Inquiries:
Health Canada
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

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