New study in Aamjiwnaang finds residents may face higher health risks caused by toxic substance in air – Anishinabek News

by ahnationtalk on January 13, 202049 Views

January 13, 2020

AANJIWNAANG FIRST NATION— The results of a new air quality study in Aamjiwnaang First Nation, surrounded by chemical plants and oil refineries in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, say residents face a higher risk of cancer from the toxic substance benzene in the air.

The study concludes the risk from exposure to benzene, a known-carcinogen, could produce up to 12 cancers above the average for one million people over 70 years of exposure, according to a summary provided at a Dec. meeting in the First Nation. For Aamjiwnaang, that increased risk amounts to less than one diagnosis above the average over 70 years, according to a summary in the Aamjiwnaang newsletter last summer. “While the number is not large, it is ‘significant’ and will be used in efforts to reduce our exposure,” the newsletter report states.

“The results do not show an ‘Oh my God, run!’ level of danger,” says Kristian Larsen, researcher from CAREX Canada, the group who conducted the research, at a recent meeting in the community. “[The findings] suggest something might be going on here, maybe we should investigate further.”

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