Result of health studies for brain cancers: Alès associations remain hungry

Result of health studies for brain cancers: Alès associations remain hungry

La réunion s’est tenue, sans média, à la sous-préfecture d’Alès. Midi Libre – JEAN-FRANCOIS GALLIER

Le mystère reste entier concernant les cancers du cerveau. Les études se poursuivent.

State services, local elected officials, industrialists, associations, whistleblowers were invited to the sub-prefecture of Alès, this Tuesday morning, in order to know the results of the study of Public Health France (SPF) concerning the cluster of brain cancers recorded in Salindres and Rousson, two villages located a few kilometers from Alès (Gard).

For big revelations or definitive answers, you'll have to come back. The mystery remains as to the possible causes of these cancers. Five summary pages are available from this Wednesday on the SPF agency website.

The publication of the article in Le Monde, with the revelations linked to the mass presence of chemicals in the waterways near the Salindres chemical platform, was somewhat disruptive the session.

Listening to the conclusions of the report, Emmanuel Allard, whistleblower and member of the Mieux vivre en Cévennes association, remained unsatisfied: "We take note of what has was explained during the meeting, now we await the continuation of investigations in a wider sector. It’s still quite an irony that on the very day of this meeting, the media released this extremely documented affair with PFAS. So I asked the question: what about the influence of PFAS on glioblastoma? I didn't get an answer."

TFA salts known since the 60s

Local elected officials, from the right or the left, are quite critical of the work of investigative journalists. For various reasons, loss of the attractiveness of the territory, risk of departure from industrial sites with the corollary loss of employees, elected officials assure in unison that "State services are following the analyses. Manufacturers ensure transparency with the authorities. For PFAS, the situation is completely regulatory and monitored very regularly."

Everything would therefore be for the best in the best of all possible worlds ? This would be to forget that the presence of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), used for the manufacture of pesticides or medicines, has already was revealed in the Avène, a river near the factory which employs 600 workers.

In 2007, untimely discharges into the river gave rise to analyses. The samples taken implicated the industrial company Rhodia. The latter had recognized in an official document "the presence of TFA in the effluents of the Salindres chemical platform. It is likely that this situation has existed since the start of TFA production in the 1960s."

A legal procedure was initiated at that time. The complaints had been closed. Rhodia had, however, taken measures to reduce discharges while specifying that ’there is no standard concerning these TFA salts."

Seventeen years later, the situation has hardly changed. The standards, in order to reduce these particles, have still not been set at the European level.

Today, the public prosecutor of Alès, Abdelkrim Grini, is attentive to developments in the situation. The public prosecutor recalls that with or without a complaint, I can examine the facts.

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