The approved EA measures are very complex, and will include freezing in place the huge underground dumps of arsenic trioxide which pose the greatest health risk. It is likely to take 25 years to freeze it all. The freezing system will have to be actively operated, forever. The arsenic will stay poisonous -- it does not improve with time.
In 2012, when Gatineau beaches were tested 12 times, the Parc Moussette beach received a D rating three times. In 2013, with eight test dates through the summer, the same beach was posted as unsafe for swimming once and this year. Health Canada estimates that, at the D-grade level, about 100,000 Canadians a year get sick from swimming in polluted waters.
Natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, are common worldwide and leave the affected public vulnerable to the harsh realities of nature, including the onslaught of infectious diseases. The reality of any disaster of this magnitude is that public health measures are all but forgotten as people do everything they can to survive. The viruses will surely arrive before the area has recovered.
So much for the five-second rule. Another urban mommy myth bites the big one. Seems anything that drops on the floor -- be it the cookie or the soother -- is contaminated long before those five seconds are up. According to the medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System, Jorge Parada. "When it comes to folklore, the 'five-second rule' should be replaced with 'when in doubt, throw it out.'"