Mar 21, 2013 / 7:17 pm
The British Columbia government has shut down a marina and campground near Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, after the discovery of high levels of arsenic, selenium and cobalt.
Health officials say they are most concerned about arsenic in the Toquaht Bay marina and campground, which can be poisonous in small doses.
Dr. Paul Hasselback, the medical health officer for central Vancouver Island, said any exposure would come from drinking or eating the arsenic, though that's unlikely to happen.
"The water isn't drinkable, it's salt," he said in an interview. "Most people don't consume soil."
While he conceded those who used the recreational area would certainly be concerned, he said the health authority isn't aware of anyone getting sick.
Symptoms of acute arsenic poisoning including stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and impaired nerve function, which could result in a pins-and-needles like sensation in hands and feet.
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