Air quality in Rouyn-Noranda | dr Arruda is said to have withheld information

Public health had known since 2019 that cases of lung cancer were more common in Rouyn-Noranda than elsewhere in Quebec, but Doctor Horacio Arruda would have stepped in to withhold that information.

Posted at 4:59pm

Jean Thomas Leveille

Jean Thomas Leveille
The press

That data, finally released last May, could have been released two and a half years earlier had it not been for the intervention of the person, who at the time was deputy deputy minister at the Quebec Department of Health and Human Services and national director of public health, reported Radio Canada on Monday.

They appeared in Appendix 6 of the Report on the biomonitoring study carried out in autumn 2018 on the impregnation of young children with lead, cadmium and arsenic in the Notre-Dame district of Rouyn-Norandapublished in September 2019.

That addendum indicated that arsenic, which is highly present in the city’s air from emissions from the Horne Foundry, “is an aggravating factor in the development of lung cancer,” reports Radio-Canada, which claims to have received a copy.

The Health Department (DSPu) of Abitibi-Témiscamingue wanted to communicate this information to the population, but the Dright Arruda requested and obtained that appendix removed from the report, also claiming to be serving as adviser to Delegate Secretary of Health and Human Services Lionel Carmant rather than national director of public health, Radio-Canada says.

The move is said to have been made to differentiate the study’s findings on young children from information on adult health that was later to be released, he explained The press Minister Carmant’s office and denies any involvement in this file.

“The Dright Arruda was not acting as an adviser to Minister Carmant,” his spokesman Lambert Drainville said, declining to comment further out of respect for the “independence” of the Directorate-General for Public Health.

“There are questions that need to be answered,” he added.

Horacio Arruda and his successor, the Dright Luc Boileau had not responded to interview requests The press at the time of publication of these lines.

Learn more

  • 1170ng/m3
    Record level of arsenic in air measured near Horne Foundry in 2021, while the standard is 3 ng/m⁠3


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