July 1, 2002

Montreal Gazette

Public needs updates on PCBs
by Mark Mattson

I would like to thank you for your article outlining the harmful effects of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, (Gazette, June 13, “What are PCBs?”).

As readers read this, PCBs are seeping out of the riverbank and into one of Canada’s most important rivers.

This problem is not a historical one but one that is gradually destroying one of our country’s most important resources. When PCBs are allowed to enter our environment uncontrolled, the negative effects on human health are severe.

I have been watching PCBs pour into the St. Lawrence river in Montreal for years. The Environmental Bureau of Investigation conducted a full investigation of the Technoparc landfill in which we found PCB levels millions of times in excess of government standards.

At the present time, Environment Canada has taken over the investigation, but the public needs to be continually updated so that they are aware of the effects that PCBs have on their environment, and so that politicians will not be able to avoid responsibility for this issue.

Mark Mattson Executive director, Environmental Bureau of Investigation
Toronto, Ont.