Air monitors installed on street poles across the city of Hamilton found concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene higher or much higher than health guideline recommendations. Long-term exposure to BaP can significantly increase cancer risk.
Residents of Hamilton, Ontario could be inhaling the BaP equivalent a couple of cigarettes per week, every week.
The largest air-monitoring experiment in city history has found unhealthy levels of a cancer-linked contaminant across Hamilton — including in neighbourhoods kilometres away from polluting bayfront industries.
The results suggest coal-fired steelmaking pollutants like benzo(a)pyrene travel far beyond the lower city and pose “an even greater (health) impact than we may have expected,” said Matthew Adams, an urban air-quality expert who is co-ordinating the study alongside city staff.
A promised cut in coal use by Hamilton’s biggest steelmaker should eventually help clear the air — but not before 2028.
A University of Toronto professor says residents of Hamilton, Ont., could be inhaling the chemical equivalent of one or two cigarettes per week — at minimum — due to elevated levels of a cancer-causing compound in the air.
Last Updated on August 5, 2023