OPP issues warning about lethal substance sent across province

The OPP has issued a public safety warning about packages, containing a potentially deadly substance, that may have been sent to individuals at risk of self-harm in communities across Ontario.

Investigators say the packages contain sodium nitrate, which was being sold online and distributed by mail. Police are asking if you, or someone you know has received a package from the businesses listed below, to call the OPP or local police service immediately.

• Imtime Cuisine
• AmbuCA
• Academic / ACademic
• Escape Mode / escMode
• ICemac

So far, investigation has revealed the packages may have been mailed to over a dozen communities in Ontario and other parts of the world.

The white, crystalline substance is as a food additive, commonly used in processed meats such as ham, bologna and bacon. The salt compount is used in very small amounts to cure the meat and give it a reddish colour however, the substance is lethal if larger, more pure concentrations are consumed.

“The OPP is calling on everyone to be vigilant of the online transactions and activity of family members and the arrival of any unexpected packages in the mail,” read a statement from OPP.

On Tuesday evening, Peel Regional Police announced the arrest of a 57-year-old Mississauga man accused of marketing the chemical online and targetting individuals at risk of self-harm. He is charged with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide.

Anyone with information or who has received a package believed to be containing sodium nitrate should call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, there is help. Resources are available at www.talksuicide.ca. You can connect to the national suicide prevention helpline at 1-833-456-4566, or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

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