Horn foundry tried to get addresses of children contaminated by arsenic Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

Regional public health, via CISSS Abitibi-Témiscamingue, had to defend its refusal to transmit this information. Foundry has taken it to the Access to Information Commission for review.

Administrative Judge Marc-Aurèle ruled in favor of Racicot CISSS On February 14th admitted that it was a question Confidential Personal InformationUnder Sections 131 and 132 of the Public Health Act.

The biomonitoring study was conducted in autumn 2018 in the Notre-Dame district of Rouen-Noranda, closest to the foundry, with children under 6 years of age. It was aimed at the concentrations of lead, arsenic and cadmium in their fingernails and blood, as well as the soil on their land and the dust in their homes.

The results specifically indicated that these children were exposed to an average of 3.7 times more arsenic than in Amos City. Results are up to 40 times higher.

In the north of the Notre-Dame district, at Ruin-Noranda.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Thomas Garbett

Horn Foundry, owned by multinational Glencore, has claimed the right to raw data under the Access to Information Act.

According to the administrative judge’s decision document, the agency claimed that all information collected as part of the research, including the results specifically related to sampling as well as the geographic location of sampling sites and the habitats where the samples were taken.

A toxicology laboratory report that provided blood samples to natural persons, including the name, surname, reference number, health insurance number, and sample results provided by these natural persons. »

A quote from Example of a disputed document, cited in the judge’s decision

Miriel Vincellet, a neighborhood resident whose two children participated in the study, said herself Confused And disappointed To find out what Horn Foundry was looking for. We participated in this study on the condition that the data would remain confidential.he recalls.

Mireille Vincellet standing on the street.

Mireille Vincellet worries about the possible presence of arsenic in the air whenever her children play outside.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The judge also noted that participants signed a consent form for data protection.

This is highly sensitive personal information covering both medical aspects (body contamination rates) and family and demographic aspects (address, income, etc.) of the individuals participating in this study. »

A quote from Excerpt from the decision of Administrative Judge Marc-Aurèle Racicot

Attached to the judge’s decision, one can read a comment from Glencore that provides a better understanding of the company’s approach. she asks Transmits a database that makes it possible to monitor, for a given blood result or nail analysis result, what the participant’s level of soil contamination was, for example.

All this to allow the results of the blood and nail tests to be analyzed in detail according to the conditions and circumstances encountered. »

A quote from Glencore’s comments, attached to the decision of the Commission d’acces à l’information

Judge Horne did not accept Foundry’s argument, indicated 132 de la Loi sur la santé publique était de maintenir le caractère prédominant de la Loi sur l’accès sur les renseignements obtenus par la directrice de santé publique et n’écarter la Loi sur l’accès que dans des cas balisés dans la Loi sur la santé et les services sociaux”,”text”:”la volonté du législateur en adoptant l’article 132 de la Loi sur la santé publique était de maintenir le caractère prédominant de la Loi sur l’accès sur les renseignements obtenus par la directrice de santé publique et n’écarter la Loi sur l’accès que dans des cas balisés dans la Loi sur la santé et les services sociaux”}}”>In enacting Section 132 of the Public Health Act, the intention of the Legislature was to maintain the primacy of the Access Act on information obtained by the Director of Public Health and not to remove the Access Act only in cases defined in the Act. Health and Social Services.

In the case of certain specific requests, such as raw blood lead data for four results exceeding the maximum threshold, Horn Foundry similarly suggested removing the designated data.

The company also commented that questionnaires completed by participants, which it intended to receive in their entirety, could be redacted so that individuals could not be identified.

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