#MimicoCreek; #blue-greenalgae; #HumberBayParkEast; #Cyanobacteria #TorontoPublicHealth; #TPH; #MinistryofEnvironmentConservationandParks
Toronto, Jul 17 (Canadian-Media): Confirmation of the presence of blue-green algae blooms at the mouth of Mimico Creek and in Humber Bay Park East had been received by Toronto Public Health (TPH) from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, media reports said.
Toronto Public Health. Image credit: Twitter handle
Water samples taken and tested by the Ministry indicated the presence of blue-green algae.
Cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as blue-green algae occurs naturally in a wide variety of environments including ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.
These are reportedly easily visible plant-like organisms that can range in colour from olive-green to red and should be avoided due to the potential health risks associated with it.
Some species of blue-green algae produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals.
Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking and coming into contact with water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins.
Exposure to blue-green algae toxins, if present in sufficient amounts, can cause symptoms including: Headaches; Fever; Diarrhoea; Abdominal pain; Nausea or vomiting; Skin rashes; and Mucous membrane irritation
Residents are encouraged by TPH to take precautions when visiting this part of the Toronto waterfront as beaches in this area are not regularly monitored for water quality or supervised by lifeguards.
Public is asked not enter the water in this section of Mimico Creek and to avoid contact with or ingestion of the water.
Pets should also not allowed by the residents to enter the water in Mimico Creek.
Individuals who come into contact with the water should wash themselves off as soon as possible with clean water.
If any of the above symptoms are experienced following a potential exposure to blue-green algae, a health care provider should immediately be contacted.
#DrEileendeVilla; #TorontoBoardofHealth; #Ontario; #decriminalizealldrugs; #AngieHamilton; #FamiliesforAddictionRecovery; #MattJohnson; #PeterLeslie; #LynnAnneMulrooney; #DougFord
Toronto, Jul 16 (Canadian-Media): According to the Toronto's chief medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Toronto Board of Health, became the first in Canada to officially call on the federal government to decriminalize all drugs, media reports said
Dr Eileen de Villa. Image credit: Twitter handle
Besides removing the penalties for personal drug use, the motion which was passed unanimously on Monday, required the federal government to add more harm-reduction and treatment services.
It should also set up a task force to examine the feasibility of legalizing and regulating all drugs the same way as alcohol.
“I am really grateful to this board for taking this bold step, which is going to save lives,” said Angie Hamilton, the executive director of Families for Addiction Recovery. “It’s going to save our kids.”
During the meeting Hamilton said that addiction was a common illness, and children should receive treatment, not punishment, for being ill.
Other experts who supported the motion, included Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre worker Matt Johnson, Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force educator Peter Leslie and Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario senior policy analyst Lynn Anne Mulrooney.
Mulrooney pointed out that decriminalization did not address the problem of people dying from poisoned drug supply; rather a fully regulated legalization should be considered.
303 opioid-overdose deaths occurred in Toronto in 2017, a 63-percent increase from the year before and more than double the amount from 2015.
Between August and October, 2017, Fentanyl was responsible for three-quarters of overdose deaths in Ontario .
The move reportedly is unlikely to get support from the new Ontario government.
Premier Doug Ford had clearly stated his personal opposition to harm-reduction efforts such as supervised drug-use sites.
His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mulrooney said she hopes the motion will start a national conversation on harm reduction, especially if other nurses’ associations speak out as the RNAO has done.
“I think there’s a lot of nurses … that have already moved for a long time towards harm reduction and supervised injection services, so I think this is the next logical step,” she said.
Hamilton also hoped that the decision could eventually affect the law.
People who use drugs can be seen as less credible, she said, so it was important to have the weight of public health behind them.
“We’re guided by science and compassion,” she said. “And that’s what should guide all of these discussions. And I really think if we did that, we would be saving an awful lot of lives.”