“Disappointed” by local elected officials, parents challenge Emmanuel Macron

Marie Thibaud, president of the Stop aux cancers de nos enfants collective, in discussion with Lisa King, regional manager of Public Health France, November 25, 2019 in Sainte-Pazanne. – S.Salom-Gomis / AFP

  • Twenty-two children have reportedly been suffering from cancer since 2015 within a radius of 15 km around Sainte-Pazanne.
  • The health authorities have found “no common cause” and the collective “Stop our children’s cancers” favors, for the time being, the hypothesis of a “cocktail effect”.

“I wanted to flee, to give up, says Marie Thibaud. But, no, we can’t let go now. We owe it to our children who are fighting against disease. “After alerting the authorities to a proliferation of pediatric cancers in the Sainte-Pazanne (Loire-Atlantique) sector since 2015, the collective” Stop our children’s cancers “had received a” heavy blow “last November:
Public health France confirmed the existence of a cluster of cancers but announced that it had found “no common cause” and stopped research.

Since then, the number of identified cases has increased from 20 to 22 *, spread over nine municipalities. And a fifth death has been added to the list, says the collective. “We feel alone. Our children are still getting sick, something dangerous is happening and we still don’t know what. Obviously we say to ourselves “whose turn?” », Laments Marie Thibaud, mother of a little boy in remission and president of the collective.

“We are working on the cocktail effect”

Very reassured, “Stop the cancers of our children” reproaches to the regional health agency (ARS) not to communicate the air, water and soil analyzes carried out to the homes of families and to the private school of Sainte-Pazanne. He also demands that it unveil the mapping of pediatric cancers that have occurred in Loire-Atlantique. Also disappointed by local elected officials who “do not move”, the collective now calls on Emmanuel Macron. “We hope for intervention at the highest level of the State. We must protect the population ”, he proclaims.

In the meantime, the mobilized parents are carrying out their own investigations, via independent laboratories, thanks to donations collected online. Hair toxicology, study of drinking water, indoor air, radioactivity measurements, census of agricultural activities and even, soon, genomic analysis of sick children… They are not closing any tracks. “The first results show that there is certainly a problem with pesticides, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, radon. We are working on the accumulation, on the cocktail effect, ”explains Marie Thibaud. “Sainte-Pazanne seems to be the epicenter. But maybe all of this is diffuse. We want to know, ”she adds.

Concern around wind turbines

Last suspected risk factor: electromagnetic fields produced by the twenty or so wind turbines installed in the sector for five years. The granite soil would amplify their propagation. “We are not anti-wind. But we can see that this is one of the only new elements in the area since 2015 ”, notes Thierry Pilatus, member of the collective. A new wind farm must see the light of day around Rouans. “There is no question of letting things happen, warns Marie Thibaud. When in doubt, one cannot add risk to risk. “

A new monitoring committee for the Sainte-Pazanne cluster, led by the regional health agency (ARS), is due to meet on Tuesday, September 22.

* The regional health agency (ARS) counts for its part 11 cases in this sector between 2015 and March 2019. That is to say an incidence twice higher than the national average.

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