Dear Mrs. Dallaire, you who are a mother, grandmother and mayor of Rouyn-Noranda, I ask you to invite her to go to the front, not only for the children of Rouyn-Noranda, but for all our children.
Because pollution also travels by wind.
The right to breathe healthy air
On Thursday, across Quebec, hundreds of people mobilized to remember the importance of enforcing air quality standards throughout the territory and especially at home.
It is a shame for all of Quebec that Glencore’s Horne smelter is allowed to release 25 times more arsenic, 4.5 times more lead and 3.3 times more cadmium into the air than is considered safe for health.
And that’s not to mention the other 20 contaminants that are also present. Including nickel, mercury and sulfur dioxide.
In 2023, we know too much about the impacts of pollution, particularly on children. That’s why so many mothers are coming forward.
Remember that in proportion to their weight, children breathe more, drink more and eat more than adults. By doing so, they absorb more pollutants.
What’s more, their organs, including their lungs and immune system, are growing, making them more vulnerable.
Effects felt in adulthood.
Several of the pollutants emitted by Horne Foundry are endocrine disruptors. Even at very low doses, these substances can have health effects much later in life.
This is also the case with the exposure of fetuses, when they are in their mothers’ wombs.
Because they disrupt the regulation of hormones in the body, these pollutants may be associated with birth defects, ADHD, cognitive disorders, cancers, and even obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes.
All this decades later!
Although it is difficult to prove that the fumes from the smelter caused this person’s breast cancer or another person’s brain tumor, we know that it emits carcinogenic pollutants above standards, and this, for decades.
What good are these rules if we grant exemptions to industries that allow them to violate them? Demanding its application is common sense.
Especially when we know that life expectancy is 5 years lower than the Quebec average for people living near the smelter.
Ms. Dallaire, I know that as a mother and mayor, you want the best for the children of your city, even as they grow up.
So please be the one to defend them against the greed of a multi-billion dollar multinational for whom profits are more important than life.
The Quebec government will not have the option to listen to you if you request a review of the ministerial authorization so that it responds to the wishes of the population expressed in the public consultation and again on the streets on August 26.