Fluoride Action Network

Nuclear-related environmental health concerns in Port Hope, Ontario

Source: Name of Newspaper or source | January 2nd, 2008 | By the Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

Note: this is an excerpt from the Petition:

The Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee (PHCHCC) is an incorporated non-profit organization of current and former residents concerned about health issues relating to the operations and potential health and environmental impacts of two nuclear industries in our community and the presence of radioactive and heavy metal wastes in hundreds of locations within the town for more than 70 years, still awaiting a federal cleanup.

We are submitting this petition because the federal departments who have responsibilities to protect our health and safety have repeatedly failed the community and we are asking for intervention through the Office of the Auditor General of Canada in the hope that it will result in long over due accountability and government actions to benefit the people of Port Hope. …

Section 6: Cancer Incidence Study (Health Canada/CNSC, 2000)
Cancer and General Mortality Study (Health Canada/CNSC, 2002)

The elevated disease rates for Port Hope contained in these two high level reports, have been consistently dismissed or ignored by Health Canada and the CNSC from the time the reports were publicly released. In his paper released in Port Hope in November, 2007, Dr. Jack Cornett, Health Canada, said about the findings of these two studies “that the cancer patterns in the Port Hope community were no different from similar communities in Ontario and patterns for Port Hope did not differ from other Ontario communities”.

This is not factually correct. Independent analysis of the two federal reports and the data contained was done in February 2004 by [name and position withheld]. [Name withheld] two reports identify significant elevated disease rates for Port Hope when compared to the Ontario provincial average. These data were contained in tables at the backs of the federal reports and the same data were used in the text of the federal analysis.

[Name withheld] reviewed these reports for the Atomic Energy Control Board (for the 2000 report [name withheld] did so as a peer reviewer under contract with the AECB; for the 2002 report the CNSC declined to provide funding to [name withheld] for peer review so the Committee made independent arrangements)/Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and our Committee, said, among other important comments, that “the patterns of several cancer rates…are consistent with environmental contamination” and “…along with the brain cancer, colon cancer and some of the rare cancer results, the available evidence points to there being problems in Port Hope; the elevated cardiovascular death rate overall, and the dramatic increase in the death rate from 1986-1996 for women was a surprise finding that merited followup”.

1. deaths -overall 13% elevation in Port Hope 1986-1997
2. cancer deaths-childhood 48% more than expected
3. leukemia -childhood 41% more than expected
4. lung cancer elevated for men and women in different time periods; female rates significantly elevated 1986-1996
5. brain cancer -adult elevated for men and women; women more than twice the expected rate 1986-1997 and significantly elevated entire study period
6. brain cancer-childhood 50% elevation entire study period; 4 times expected rate 1971-1985
7. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma – childhood statistically significantly elevated entire study period
8. nasal/sinus cancer significantly elevated for men; over 5 times expected rate 1971-1985
9. esophageal cancer twice expected rate for men 1971-1985; women have 50% excess entire study period
10. lip more than twice expected rate for men 1986- 1996
11. bone more than twice the expected rate for men 1986-1996
12. colorectal cancer 38% elevation for women 1986-1996
13. circulatory disease 15% excess deaths (300) over 42 year period – more than 7 per year. Female death rate rose dramatica