University of Ottawa study finds high arsenic levels in several lakes within 15 km of Giant Mine
Another study has found high levels of arsenic in the lakes around Yellowknife’s Giant Mine.
The study, released Wednesday by researchers at the University of Ottawa, found arsenic concentrations higher than the Canadian drinking water guidelines in several lakes within 15 kilometres of the mine.
The guideline is 10 micrograms per litre. “Many of the lakes we sampled in the region were exceeding that value, particularly ones that are closest to the mine,” said Jules Blais, a professor of biology and environmental toxicology at the university and a co-author of the study.
“So we would advise that if there’s reason to think that the arsenic exceeds 10 micrograms per litre, [people] should be cautious when drinking the water, particularly if they’re relying on water on a day to day basis.
“If people drink water that exceeds the guideline slightly, just occasionally from time to time, that’s not the same as relying on that water every day.”
Blais said if people are unsure about the arsenic level in a particular lake, they can contact the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which has also done its own studies, partly based on the University of Ottawa study.
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