Tuesday, December 31, 2019


I guess it's all about perspective. We're all going to die eventually so if heart failure at 85 isn't your preferred exit strategy then how about cancer at age 65? In the list of chemical compounds above, the first three are the more recent surprises for me. With the exception of dioxin (#5) the rest of them I have been aware of since 1989-1990. Dioxin I believe first came to the attention of Elmira and Woolwich residents around 1994 at a UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting. It was of course known about for decades earlier at Uniroyal, the Ministry of Environment and most probably the Region of Waterloo and Woolwich Township.

Back in the earlier days of the Elmira Water Crisis (Nov. 1989-1991) local residents asked our authorities for a health study. The Region of Waterloo were asked as well as the province of Ontario. Both declined. Dr. Rosalie Bertrell, a cancer expert, was consulted and she strongly advised in favour of such a study. Our authorities politely but firmly declined.

Methane is an explosive gas that is generated by municipal landfills such as the Bolender Park Landfill. It was discovered off site in 1983 as it had travelled north to the then Martin Pet Foods Plant (now Elmira Pet products). Monitoring since then has been pathetic with reliance on a non-functioning gas collection system for decades.

Lead and asbestos are currently in our drinking water courtesy of old lead pipes and old asbestos cement pipes. Woolwich staff and council appear satisfied with very slow removal of them at their convenience.

NDMA, chlorobenzene, benzene, toluene etc. are still very much in our groundwater although our drinking water comes from a pipeline from Waterloo.

DDT, dioxin, mercury and PCBs are all in fish currently in the Cangagigue Creek. Generally concentrations are higher in larger, fatter fish such as carp and suckers. Via bio-accumulation however they may well be in bass, pike, birds of prey, coyotes, mink raccoon etc.

Adjust your lifestyle accordingly and you can avoid some of these hazards. Preferably don't live near Bolender Park, eat local fish, drink unfiltered tap water and maybe even best not to breathe to heavily when in Elmira. Air issues are better than they were but hardly pristine.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I just saw that Metformin, the most popular Type 2 diabetes oral medication, is now being probed for NDMA contamination same as Zantac was. Metformin probably has 1000x the users Zantac did. Yikes.