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Pediatric cancers in the Loire-Atlantique region: what the analysis of children's hair says

The association toxSeek emergency analysed the hair of 21 children, in Sainte-Pazanne and its surroundings. Some of them record the presence of metals in high doses.

Typical profile corresponding to the results found by toxSeek, on the hair samples analysed, and a normal profile
On the left, a typical profile corresponding to the results found by toxSeek, on the analysed hair samples. On the right, a normal profile. (©toxSeek)

At the request of the Stop Our Children's Cancers Collective (SCE), the association toxSeek emergency has highlighted in the hair of the children studied an "unprecedented" presence of numerous metals.

This study was carried out as part of the investigation conducted by the parents' collective in parallel with the investigations of the Pays de la Loire Regional Health Agency (ARS) and Santé publique France, following the cases of paediatric cancers, in Sainte-Pazanne and neighbouring communes.

"Unprecedented".

According to Matthieu Davoli, president of the association toxSeek emergency, this is even "unheard of" by the laboratory, and "quite exceptional". The screening consisted of studying the hair of a group of 21 children within a 10 km radius of Sainte-Pazanne: twelve children with paediatric cancers and nine control children, therefore not sick.

The "integral" test that was carried out assesses the presence of 1,800 organic pollutants but also no less than 46 metals, "to look for possible chronic, not acute, intoxication".

Up to 36 metals found

Sometimes up to 36 metals were found," notes Matthieu Davoli, "which is very important. With the presence of 'rare earths', these metals used for example in electronic components or computers, which are not usually found, but also mercury, lead or cadmium. The problem is to know where this comes from. How can we explain such receptivity? It is not logical that there are so many metals without any link to their presence in the environment. No one can make a causal relationship at the moment. "

Among the profiles said to be "at risk" are excess metals such as antimony, lead, silver, cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, holmium, lanthanum, neodymium, praseodymium, tantalum, thulium and ytterbium. In addition to these metals, there are <bbb>eleven other elements whose levels are said to be "to watch".</bbb>

The contaminated hair "profile" is present in one third of the samples studied. "Most of them are children who have or have had cancer. "

"Get as much data as possible".

There has been no analysis of adult hair for the time being: "This would be judicious in the future," agrees Matthieu Davoli.

What happens now? "We need to continue the investigations," says the president of toxSeek emergency. We would like to extend the scope of the study. At the moment, we're thinking about funding the operations. The aim is to get as much data as possible, over a wider area, and put it in the public domain to support research. "

The cost per 'full' hair analysis is €320, according to the laboratory's website.