I Contacted Health Canada

I sent this email on May 28, 2019:

” Hi Health Canada.

I am wondering if there are any studies about the air quality surrounding gas stations ?

I live in London, ON. The commercial lot next door was recently converted to a 24 hr gas station, and the vent for the underground storage tanks are now located 4′ from the property line, adjacent to my doors and windows. I have experienced gasoline vapours within my home on numerous occasions, during tanker refills, depending on the wind direction.

Does Health Canada have any studies or research about what a safe distance a residence should be from a gas station ?

I have been in contact with the TSSA and the Ministry of the Environment and have gotten nowhere with their representatives.



Health Canada replied on May 30, 2019:

“Thank you for contacting Health Canada.

Your recent inquiry has been redirected to the appropriate area for a response.

Sincerely, Health Canada ”

On June 10, 2019 I received this reply from ESRAB Director (Existing Substances Risk Assessment Bureau):

” Dear Andrea,

Thank you for your inquiry.

To date, Health Canada has not conducted any monitoring studies related to the air quality surrounding gas stations.

Gasoline is a complex mixture containing a number of chemicals, including benzene. Benzene was assessed by Health Canada in 1993 and found to be harmful to human health due to its hazardous properties. It was added to the List of Toxic Substances (schedule 1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Many risk management actions are in place to reduce Canadian’s exposure to benzene, including the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations and the Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Despensing Flow Rate Regulations.

Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are currently conducting a draft risk assessment of gasoline under Canada’s Chemical Management Plan. The draft conclusions on the potential human health and ecological risks will be published for public consultation. The assessment will consider exposure of Canadians to gasoline from periodic refuelling of vehicles, as well as long term exposure due to living near service stations and bulk gasoline storage facilities. You can sign up to be notified via email with updates that provide the latest news on actions being taken by the Government of Canada to assess and manage chemical substances under the Chemicals Management Plan here: http://www.chemicalsubstancesschimiques.gc/ca/listserve/index-eng.php

If you detect strong gasoline vapours, ensure that windows and doors to your home are closed and that household ventilation systems are well maintained and operating properly.

Health Canada recommends Canadians speak to their doctor or health care provider if they are concerned about their exposure tp gasoline.

If you repeatedly notice a strong gasoline odour in your house that you suspect may be coming from a nearby service station, health Canada recommends that you contact your local Provincial or Municipal Environmental or Health Department.

Ontario has Ontario regulation 455/94 RECOVERY OF GASOLINE VAPOUR IN BULK TRANSFERS, last amended as O. Reg.257/11 that describes the required infrastructure and actions for the filling of underground gasoline storage tanks. You may wish to discuss these requirements with the Ministry of the Environment representative.



Acting Director, Existing Substances Risk asessment Bureau”

This vortex of unhelpful bureaucracy, felt like receiving a reply from an Orwellian robot.

Health Canada has never conducted ANY monitoring studies about air quality near gas stations ? After they have been in widespread operation for more than 100 YEARS ?! And I am advised to keep my doors and windows closed ? And to contact the local health department if I smell strong gasoline vapours ?

This nightmare just goes around in circles.

1 Comment

  1. The one bright spot was at least there’s an email list so you can follow the news/actions from the current studies. If nothing else, it may strengthen your position as you continue to be at the forefront of what regrettably should have been handled many decades prior.


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