Reducing children's exposure to lead and other smelter metals in the community of Trail

The community of Trail has developed around Teck Trail Operations, one of the largest lead and zinc smelters that has been operating for more than a century. Living next door to a smelter has created unique challenges in terms of minimizing exposure to lead in the environment.  Members of the program team share the comprehensive program in place to improve air quality, support family health and keep homes, gardens and parks healthy and safe.

Review of Trail Community Lead Task Force Work 2021

Trail Area Health & Environment Programs are rooted in scientific research and input from the Trail Community Lead Task Force. Several studies were undertaken between 1990-2000. Steve Hilts, THEC community member, provides an overview of the studies and key findings. 

Home Gardening in Trail

Andrea McCormick from the Trail Area Health & Environment Program’s Home & Garden team provides an overview of research on Pb (lead) and produce including an update on Pb levels of produce grown in Trail. The 2019 study on produce in Trail is available on This presentation is from 2021.

"Made in Trail" Series Trailer

We strongly encourage you to watch Getting Started on a Lead Safe Renovation first before checking out the different projects. It will give you key information to become your own lead safety expert, able to problem-solve your specific renovation challenges.

Getting Started on a Lead Safe Renovation

Mike, Lisa, Stella and Frankie know they need to be lead safe when renovating their home to protect their family from lead dust. This video points out the risks from lead during renovations and introduces the keys to a lead safe renovation.

Getting Started on a Lead Safe Renovation

Liz and Eric demonstrate how to set up a work area to keep dust out of the rest of the house. Keeping dust out of non-project areas protects people from exposure to lead and helps make clean-up much easier. Liz and Eric will make a flapped entry door and also show how to seal off part of a room with plastic sheeting. If you are a Do-it-Yourselfer, you can get most of the containment supplies from us free of charge.

Indoor Projects

Jaylene and Richard show the best ways to safely complete an interior renovation and demolition project. The first step: Keep the kids out of the project area! Demolition is a key time to keep dust down. This video shows you how to set up the space, stay safe around lead-based paint, store debris and clean up thoroughly.

Flooring Removal

Vanessa has a plan to remove the old carpets in her apartment…and she knows how to do it safely. Using a spray bottle and HEPA filtered shop vacuum, Vanessa shows how to keep dust down while removing flooring and cleaning up after! She outlines two ways to remove dusty old carpets to a secure outdoor storage area. Do-It-Yourselfers , contact us for a free loan of a HEPA shop vacuum.

Outdoor Projects

Keeping dust down on outdoor jobs requires a bit of creativity but isn’t hard to do. Watch Peggy and Mitch set up an outdoor project area and work safely to remove some old, chipping lead-based paint.

Soil Excavation

Shelley-Anne and Kyle need to landscape their yard: their dog is digging up the lawn and they want a play space for their son, Miller. In this video, they show the best practices to keep dust down when excavating soil. The bottom line: watch the video and contact our office at 250 368-3256 or if you’re planning to excavate soil in Trail or Rivervale.


Roofing is a dusty job, especially old roofs with layers of old shingles. Watch Kolina and Tyler show the best ways to keep dust down on a roofing project, including using an outdoor misting station to suppress dust on the roof and beside the debris pile.

Tips for Contractors

Lance is a Trail Area Lead Safe Contractor (hyperlink to list of TALSCs) who demonstrates some tips for professionals in this video. This includes using HEPA tools and equipment and making sure workers stay safe on the job and go home healthy at the end of the day. This video will be relevant for contractors and people hiring contractors. Join our Lead Safe Contractor Program and we’ll promote your business to People Hiring Contractors.

Less Lead in Children's Blood Thanks to the Trail Health and Environment Committee (2011)

The Trail Health and Environment Committee (THEC) has worked tirelessly to improve the health of citizens and the environment around its city. While navigating a complex mix of municipal, provincial and federal regulations, the THEC became an internationally recognized model of effective partnership and community engagement.