Toluene problem taken too lightly

Letter to editor from Anne Marie Ross
Cape Breton Post
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003

I would like to thank the province's chief medical officer, Dr Jeff Scott, and Environment Canada for not signalling a red light on the stench that hangs over Whitney Pier where I live. I really would like to know how these people sleep at night, tend to their children and families, or even attend church services.

There are innocent children and elderly folks who will suffer the effects of toulene, a toxic chemical that I believe is being released in the air from the coke ovens site.

Dr. Scott or Environment Canada will not admit that the problem is serious enough to move people because then they admit defeat. Shame on all of them for playing Russian Roulette with our children's lives.

It is inhumane to allow this to go on. Our children deserve to live healthy and to breathe air free from toxic chemicals.

Toulene is a deadly chemical and only one of many identified. There will be more. Stop putting the blame on tampering with air monitors. The highest reading came from one air monitor that sits near a day care property on Henry Street in Whitney Pier. Perhaps it was the little day care children who tampered with the monitors; maybe they crawled over the barbed wire fence at lunch time.

Stop playing with innocent lives. Where are our officials? Come into my community and watch our innocent children suffer as they play in chemicals and breathe toulene.

Ann Marie Ross
Laurier Street, Sydney