Study raises alarm on
black carbon nanoparticles
Dorval cited as one of the most wintertime polluted places observed around the globe
By Murray Levine
January 18, 2023
Are babies in Dorval being born with life-threatening black carbon nanoparticles (BC) in their brains, lungs and livers? In December, I asked Mylene Drouin, M.D., directrice régionale de santé publique to have the placentas of Dorval mothers examined postpartum for the above.
Nine months ago, as Dorval residents, three McGill professors encouraged us to purchase air purifiers with HEPA filters. As we value our health, we left Dorval in June after living there for 25 years.
In April 2022, scientists from McGill University’s Ariya Laboratory had a study published of Black carbon nanoparticles found in all three residential areas of Dorval tested.
Particles ten microns or less can easily enter the alveoli, be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, birth defects and other problems. A micron is one-millionth of a metre. A nanometre is only one billionth of a metre!
In April 2022, scientists from McGill University’s Ariya Laboratory had a study¹ published of Black carbon nanoparticles found in all three residential areas of Dorval tested. Dorval was “one of the most wintertime polluted places that we have observed around the globe,” wrote McGill Chemistry Professor Parisa Ariya.
In October, The Lancet published a study² advising that aborted fetuses in Aberdeen, Scotland, had nanoparticles of BC in their brains, lungs and livers. Previously, another study had shown the presence of nanoparticles in placentas.³
I asked a McGill toxicologist if Dorval’s levels of nanoparticles were better, worse or the same as Aberdeen’s. He replied, “Worse”.
The Agglomeration is responsible for measuring pollution for the entire Island of Montréal. This past autumn, they began to measure for BC nanoparticles at station 66 on airport property.
Professor Ariya had written:
Most nanoparticles, in contrast to other pollutants, are emitted during the landing and takeoff, i.e., around the airport predominantly.
Hence, living around the airport is quite concerning for this type of pollutant, nanoparticles that are the highest priority of the world health organization.
This is why the Ariya Laboratory was testing the air at public parks in residential areas of Dorval. Through no fault of their own, Montréal is measuring for nanoparticles of BC at an inappropriate location.
‘Science dictates that it is crucial that the measuring device for BC nanoparticles be moved to a park in a residential area of Dorval without any delay. Why are they waiting?’
On numerous occasions, I have asked Dorval to inform the residents of this serious health problem. Dead silence! Would Dorval put out a boil water advisory if the water was contaminated? Why won’t they do the same for contaminated air? Silence! Within a few years, Dorval’s population is set to increase by 20%! Irresponsible? 100%!
When initially confronted with the problem, Aéroports de Montréal informed me that the air was perfectly fine. Unfortunately, the agglomeration wasn’t even testing for BC nanoparticles in Dorval back then. Montreal only acquired the appropriate device for Dorval this past autumn.
Science dictates that it is crucial that the measuring device for BC nanoparticles be moved to a park in a residential area of Dorval without any delay. Why are they waiting?
It is imperative that the federal government finally act on the following scientific recommendations made over three years ago by Professor Ariya:
- An integrated and complex air quality and health impact study should be performed as soon as possible in collaboration with both Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada over a long period to examine the extent and the impact of Trudeau air pollution emissions in local and regional scales.
- Prior to the above-mentioned air quality and health impact study, no extension of airport activities, which lead to further air pollution emission, is recommended. However, the decrease in flight activities and emission of pollution is highly recommended.
- The best solution to air pollution is to reduce the pollutants at their sources. However, we strongly suggest using a few other airports (e.g., Mirabel) well outside residential areas for any extensions.
Complaints will be filed against most of Dorval’s politicians with the Commission Municipale.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WestmountMag.ca or its publishers.
Murray Levine is a volunteer fundraising consultant and activist who now lives in Vaudreuil.