2008-11-15

B.C. pine beetle solution may cause toxic trees

What was hoped to halt the spread of the B.C. mountain pine beetle may actually be hazardous to human health.

B.C.'s Ministry of Forests is testing thousands of trees in the Okanagan-Shuswap region near Penticton to see if they contain a dangerous concentration of arsenic.

For two decades, ending in 2004, as many as 100,000 trees throughout the Interior were treated with monosodium methane arsenate (MSMA) in a bid to stop the spread of the mountain pine beetle.