– The provincial government is urging residents of the southern Ontario city to stay away from an area of gellitoich mining that could be exposed to toxic mining waste, after a report found it could be contaminated by waste water.
The province issued a warning Thursday night after the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce reported the town was seeing more and more reports of high levels of a toxin called gelliton in the water supply, along with an increase in reported symptoms of the illness.
The chamber reported on Thursday evening that residents living near the site of a gellita mine in Sudbury were seeing an increase of gelling symptoms, including fever, muscle spasms, and respiratory problems, with more symptoms reported by children and pregnant women.
“It’s a serious situation,” said Chamber president Michael Deacon.
“It’s very concerning.
We are concerned that we are seeing more cases of gelled out children.”
Deacon said the symptoms started around three weeks ago, with the symptoms lasting for several days, and that many were reporting more symptoms and more severe symptoms than usual.
Deacon urged residents to stay at least 150 metres from the site and to avoid driving or working near the mine.
“We would like to warn the public that we have received reports of geliton and we are monitoring it very closely and we’re not sure if it’s related to any other spill, but we want people to be very aware,” he said.
The gellitalis mine, which has been producing gellitol since 2007, is located in the town of Sudville, just north of Niagara Falls.
The city of approximately 15,000 people has seen a surge in health complaints since the spill began in the summer of 2016, with some residents reporting symptoms of respiratory problems or other symptoms that appear similar to gelliasis.
The spill was discovered by the Sudville Chamber of Business and the province’s Environmental Health and Safety Department in August.
The Sudbury Water Department sent a team of researchers to the site in the middle of the night and found a significant increase in gelling.
In the past few weeks, the chamber said it has received more than 60 reports of symptoms that include fever, nausea, headache, and vomiting.
A representative from the Ministry of Environment said Thursday the department is aware of the chamber’s report and will take action as appropriate.
“There are reports that the gellitis is coming out of the gelsite and it’s not necessarily related to the gelling process,” said spokesman Scott Sowdon.
“We’re monitoring the situation very closely.”
Sudbury is in the heart of the province, and a large part of the community is also from Sudbury.
Sowon said there have been no reports of illnesses at the site.
Sudmouth has been on high alert since a spill of more than 8 million litres of gelsitin in the spring of 2016.
The gellite mine is one of the biggest in the province and the government said it was responsible for more than a quarter of the provincial total of 6.5 million litres spilled.
The province said it will have a spill response plan in place by the end of the year, with staff from the Environment Ministry, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry’s Natural Resources Division all working together.
The Ministry for Environmental Protection said in a statement that it will be taking action to prevent a spill.
The Sudbury Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment said in an email that “there is a high risk of an increase to gelling in the surrounding area.”
“As a precautionary measure, residents are advised to stay within a distance of 150 metres and to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities,” the ministry said.
“All health and safety measures are in place and will be enforced.”
Deacons told the chamber the gelled-out children were being fed a diet made with a diet containing only natural gels and that the local school district had already started offering classes on gelliflavin.
He said parents should check with their children’s school about any symptoms.
The ministry said that in addition to the government’s advice, all health warnings and warnings on the Environment Protection Act have been removed from local newspapers and television stations.