Pediatric cancers in Sainte-Pazanne. What the Regional Health Agency's investigation reveals


The long-awaited results by the collective Stop the cancers of our children were delivered this Thursday, August 29 at the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in Nantes.

The school Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, where four of the young patients were (or are still) educated – can she open in September?

This is the place concerned by the studies carried out this summer. The teams of the ARS (Regional Health Agency) have measured possible pollution residues in the soil, in the air and in the water. Analyzes were also done in the nearby school restaurant. For the Regional Health Agency, there is no reason to close this establishment. It will open its doors Monday, June 2, for the new school year. The teaching staff will simply have to follow instructions for ventilation and verification of the ventilation of the premises. According to diocesan teaching, only one family decided not to re-enroll their child this year, because of a move and no, he says, because of these cases of pediatric cancers.

What about possible pollution residues in the premises of the private school?

Remember that right in front of the school is a former industrial site, once occupied by a wood processing plant, particularly polluting at the time of its activity. This plant moved in 2008, but in 2006, a study showed recurring traces of pollution in the groundwater of the area. Specifically a presence of hydrocarbons, pesticides, benzopyrene and benzene at levels 20,000 times the limit. In 2011 and 2012, new research had shown "An absence of impact, in high and low water of all the desired parameters".

And yet, the results of the analyzes just conducted by the LRA show no signs of pollution. No pollution of basements, drinking water, groundwater. Simply lindane, spotted in small quantities, in the floors of the school, perhaps due to the treatment of the frame. But nothing that could explain, according to the ARS, this "cluster" of 17 pediatric cancers. According to this study, the woodworks, like the quarry at Sainte-Pazanne, can not be the source of a particular exhibition.

The ARS announced its report to the parents' collective stop cancer of our children, created in Sainte-Pazanne, after the disclosure of 17 cases of pediatric cancers. | FRANCK DUBRAY / OUEST FRANCE

Do the electro-magnetic fields respect the norm authorized in France?

The analyzes carried out at the school in July show a "Low level, less than 1 micro-tesla". In France, the threshold is 100 micro-tesla, but it is widely criticized. Indeed, in its last report, in June, the National Agency of Health Safety (ANSES) evokes "An association between the occurrence of childhood leukemia and exposure to low frequency magnetic fields at levels greater than 0.2 microteslas".

The ARS announces, this Thursday, new measures this winter, period during which the electric consumption is stronger. A child will also be equipped with a portable dosimeter in the coming weeks. These measures were particularly expected by the collective. The school, located in the town, is surrounded by high voltage lines, aerial and underground. At a hundred meters from the establishment, there is even a source station, a place where high voltage electricity is transformed into medium voltage. Since 2015, four wind farms built around Sainte-Pazanne have been linked to this source substation. An underground cable even passes below one of the school's playgrounds.

What about radon?

This radioactive gas of natural origin is particularly present, we know, in the West of France. This element was also measured by the LRA this summer, within the school. So ? It is higher than the norm (300 becquerels per cubic meter) in two of the measured premises, including the teachers' room (423 becquerels). New measures will be made in winter, providing for ventilation of the premises.

Circulate, so there is nothing to see?

Not sure that these results satisfy the members of the collective. They always ask to know the raw results in order to determine the possibilities of a "cocktail effect", related to the presence, in different readings, of the same potentially harmful molecule, for example. And then these analyzes concerned only the private school of Sainte-Pazanne and its close perimeter. It remains to study and analyze the homes of 17 children and young adults. This will be done in the coming weeks. Expected results end of October.

READ ALSO: MAINTENANCE. Pediatric cancer in Sainte-Pazanne: "We will not let go until we have the answer"

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Pediatric cancers in Sainte-Pazanne. What the Regional Health Agency's investigation

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