Adverse health affects from Hamilton demolition dust cloud ‘unlikely’: city

The city of Hamilton has completed it’s testing on samples from a massive dust cloud that floated over Hamilton’s east end in September, minutes after the demolition of an old steel mill.

In a statement, a group that included the associate medical officer of health, a director from the healthy environments division, and a manager from the health hazards & vector-borne diseases program said the demolition “is unlikely” to result in any “adverse long-term health outcomes.”

A toxicologist employed by public health services says samples from the community were consistent with ordinary minerals and metals found in a simple dirt sample, with particle sizes of about 20 to 40 microns.

The analysts say particles that size are too big to be deeply inhaled by typical human lungs as nose-and-throat regions usually trap particulate matter above about 5 microns in size.

The report went on to say that the samples had no significant trace of toxins or substances considered volatile and that short term exposure poses no risk.

Meanwhile, samples from the demolition site itself turned up mineral dust, metallic pieces, some carbon and trace amounts of toxins which the group said was “not surprising” and also not likely to pose a health risk.

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