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Hollinger Park to undergo further studies after heavy metals found in soil

Hollinger Park in Timmins, Ont. will undergo further testing for heavy metals, after a city report found high levels of antimony, arsenic and lead present in the soil.

No 'adverse health effects' to park users expected, says city

Further testing will be done at Hollinger Park in Timmins, Ont., after higher than normal levels of metals were found in the soil. (Google Streetview)
The Porcupine Health Unit has sent out a notice saying there are higher than normal levels of metals in the soil in Hollinger Park in Timmins. 7:56

Hollinger Park in Timmins, Ont. will undergo further testing for heavy metals, after a city report found high levels of antimony, arsenic and lead present in the soil.  

The report indicated the levels of metals are 'above what would be found in most parks' and pointed to higher metal concentrations found in the grassed area of the baseball diamond, south soccer field, north central and bandstand areas.

Although the higher levels are cause for concern, Timmins mayor Steve Black said they are well below those found in many similar communities across the country that have been home to metal smelters or mining activity.

Hollinger Park was previously a lake that was historically backfilled with mine tailings.

Not expected to see any adverse health effects

Black said the city will be doing further testing to determine what additional action is required.

"[We will] bring someone in to do a complete risk assessment and possibly add another level of cap to the park," Black said, "or remove some soil in some of the higher-concentrated areas and refill it with clean, fresh soil."

According to a City of Timmins press release, the metals are not present at levels that would be expected to result in adverse health effects to park users.

The Porcupine Health Unit, though, cautioned users of Hollinger Park to wash their hands after spending time at the park and before eating. They also encourage people to remove footwear before entering their house; sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floors to clean away any soil; and brushing pets with a damp brush after spending time in the park.

with files from Wendy Bird. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges