The mercury has soared in some neighbourhoods in Vancouver, a city that has seen its mercury levels surge in recent months.
A report by the Vancouver Climate Centre found that in 2016, the city recorded a 5.6-per-cent rise in the mercury in a single day, an increase that was greater than the 10 per cent increase over the previous two years.
“Vancouver is a city with a very healthy environment,” said Lisa DeSimone, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of British Columbia.
“The mercury has risen in Vancouver for many years, but not as quickly as some people might think.”
DeSimon and a team of researchers analyzed mercury measurements collected from air samples from a number of neighbourhoods across Vancouver from December 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017.
They found that mercury levels rose more than 5.7 per cent in one neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver in one day in January.
In some areas, the mercury level was up by more than 10 per, according to the report.
In others, the rate of increase was faster than the city average.
“This is very concerning,” said DeSimons co-author, University of Victoria professor and climate scientist Michael Klotz.
While mercury levels have risen over the past year, they are still well below the peak of 2.2 milligrams per liter in January 2017, the Vancouver Environment Assessment Centre said in a news release. “
We are now seeing some areas that are in the middle of a mercury surge, and in some cases are at risk of the mercury rising much higher than the national average.”
While mercury levels have risen over the past year, they are still well below the peak of 2.2 milligrams per liter in January 2017, the Vancouver Environment Assessment Centre said in a news release.
The BC government recently announced a $5-million fund to help communities deal with the problem.
The city is also working with the province to find ways to reduce the amount of mercury emitted by its power plants.
The mercury spike has also been linked to more severe weather, which has affected people’s ability to get to work, shop and eat.
“People are worried about their health,” said Klotzen.
“A lot of these pollutants are going into our environment and are going out to sea. “
It’s a big deal.” “
A lot of these pollutants are going into our environment and are going out to sea.
It’s a big deal.”
A previous report by DeSimones and Klotzes group found that about half of the 1,100 mercury readings collected from a sample in downtown Victoria in February 2017 were above the recommended level for concern.
The province announced plans this week to replace some of the old mercury collection equipment, and will work with municipalities to assess the mercury levels of neighbourhoods and other locations.