More residents of N.B. village test positive for elevated levels of arsenic

Several more Blackville residents have tested positive for elevated levels of arsenic and health officials are still trying to identify the cause.

Four people who live in the Digby Street and Shaffer Lane section of the village tested positive for elevated levels of arsenic in their blood more than a month ago.

Now three more residents have received test results that show higher-than-normal levels.

But Dr. Denis Allard, the region’s medical officer of health, says so far only one person from Blackville has symptoms of arsenic toxicity.

Allard says tests have shown that three of the original four cases and one of the new cases have high levels of organic arsenic. It poses less of a health risk and can fluctuate with the intake of seafood and other products.

The Department of Health will conduct further testing on two of the new cases.

Health Canada’s website says arsenic can be found in a number of chemical forms that break down into two groups: organic and inorganic arsenic. The organic variety is considered to be non-toxic, while the inorganic kind is known to contribute to the risk of cancer and organ failure.

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