Local physicians voice concerns over ferrochrome facility and their future in the Sault

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letter to the editor

SaultOnline received the following letter from a group of local physicians who would like to share their concerns with the Community:

On behalf of concerned physicians in Sault Ste. Marie, we would like to raise our strong objection to the proposed Ferrochrome facility.

As physicians concerned with the health of our community, we are acutely aware of the highly toxic by-products of the proposed facility. Such by-products include chromium 6 which is a well studied and proven carcinogen and genetic toxin, prone to contaminating air, water, and soil long after industrial operations have ceased. Such facilities are strongly associated with increased cancer rates, mortality, and poor health. Our community already suffers from
excessively high cancer rates, amongst the highest in Ontario. This is a typical trend amongst industrial cities with refining and smelting operations. The concern would be worsening an already bad situation with addition of another industrial processing plant. Noront has stated its intention to model the facility on Tornio plant in Finland, which studies have shown that that plant has hugely contaminated the surrounding area. The site of the Noront facility
would be in the heart of our city and on the shores of the Great Lakes waterway with the potential to expose the 70000 people in our city and the 30 million around the Great Lakes to its toxic by-products.

Many physicians have been attracted to Sault Ste. Marie due to its natural beauty including clean water, air and land. While we understand and encourage the interest of economic development in Sault Ste. Marie, we feel that locating such a plant in our city is the wrong choice. Rather, we suggest marketing our most valuable asset of natural beauty with eco-tourism and promoting clean, eco-friendly businesses to locate here. Developing our city into an industrial one will risk damaging these assets as well as our most precious resource – our health. Furthermore, there is the threat that many physicians themselves will leave the community due to health risks imposed by the Ferrochrome facility on their families and children. We believe Sudbury recognized this risk and on this basis declined.

Prior to committing Sault Ste. Marie as being the definitive site for the Ferrochrome facility, we behoove the local government to provide adequate public consultation, information and to solicit input regarding the suitability of our city for this operation. From a health perspective, Noront and operators of the facility need to show that there are similar facilities operating in other cities without increased cancer rates or other significant adverse health effects. Without doing so, we believe that due diligence has not been done and the health implications immeasurable. We look forward to sharing our views with the community.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rishi Ghosh
Dr. Robert Suppes
Dr. Peter Chow
Dr. Christa Casselman
Dr. Ed Hirvi
Dr. Luke Fera
Dr. Lorraine Sharp
Dr. Blair Jarrett
Dr. Mir Shafiee
Dr. Kris Opryszczko
Dr. Sandra Stevenson
Dr. Patricia Parsons
Dr. Geoff Skelton
Dr. Adrienne Kelly
Dr. Jodie Stewart
Dr. Paisley Trusdale
Dr. Michael Bodnar
Dr. Jonathan Keuhl
Dr. Nadia Bowen
Dr. Megan Culina
Dr. Paul Mozarowski
Dr. Natalia Kargbo

21 COMMENTS

  1. With all these doctors finding time to get involved in politics but you dont have the time to take one more patient as i have been almost 20 years with out a doctor.Yep if they dont like it , move on.

  2. I am so grateful that our doctors are fighting this and we should be too, not just for ourselves but our children. Sault Ste Marie has so much natural beauty which is why I chose to live here over 20 years ago. We should be promoting its beauty, not destroying it with this Ferrochrome plant.

  3. I hope that whether you are a supporter of conservative party, liberal party, NDP.. we SHOULD all band together with our doctors and fight this plant that will not only bring our beautiful Northern Ontario waterways, mountains and pure air to a deadly halt,.,.but think of our city as a whole and how our children and grandchildren will not be in good health, doctors will be leaving, hospitals will not have the staff to really take care of the sick and the Sault will not be a place where we want to call home..Write letters to your alderman, city council and the mayor..make phone calls and volunteer your services….LET’S MAKE SAULT STE. MARIE A HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO LIVE.

  4. I read the article written by the environmentalists who represented Sudbury that went to the Torino plant to study the effects of the plant on that community. That’s why Sudbury backed away from the deal. We should be very careful about bringing this plant to our city. Doctors and environmentalists are concerned…so should we!

  5. The Ferrochrome Facility is hazardous to both health and environment in and around the Sault Ste Marie area. Lots of information on line pertaining to the hazards and health risks that come along with Ferrochrome Facilities.

  6. If this place was too environmentally risky for Sudbury (they passed on it) why would the Sault want to have another toxic dump site? So sad, the lack of leadership…what would they say to opening an asbestos mine?

  7. Thank you, all doctors, for reiterating what I have said and believed from the very beginning. We are selling away the lives of our families, friends, community members. LIFE and its quality is more important than money.

  8. I hope every citizen in this city reads the letter by the doctors. I will stand up and fight this decision to put the plant here. We need industry badly but not at this horrific price. Other factories would be welcome to settle here.

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