Levels of arsenic, lead, and antimony have all been found in the soil at the Hollinger Park. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change finished a report on soil samples taken four years ago at the park, which was released to the city in 2014. Those results prompted the city to do a full sampling study at the park, which is when the higher levels of metal were detected.
They were mainly in the grassy areas of the baseball diamond, the south soccer field, north central and bandstand areas. The city agrees the levels are above what is found in most parks, but claims they are well below levels found in similar mining communities in Ontario.
The Porcupine Health Unit says there are potential risks associated with high metal levels, but does say that regular use of the park may continue. The health unit says the following tips will help to keep park goers safe:
- Washing hands after time spent at the park, and before eating
- Removing outdoor footwear before entering the home
- Cleaning any soil or dust that is brought into the home by sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floors
- Brushing pets with a damp brush after time spent at the park and before entering the home
The city is planning on doing further testing to see what the next steps need to be.