Exposed to radiation in a sugar factory

News 23 January, 2018
  • Catherine Montambeault

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:48

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:48

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    A man from Trois-Rivières saw the cancer worsen after having been exposed unknowingly to radiation in the factory where he worked.

    It is this that has entered into the administrative Tribunal’s work, in a judgement delivered last week.

    Michel Plante is now the director of quality at Sucro Can inc., a business of refining sugar, in January 2014. Until April of the following year, the 61 year old male was exposed to X-rays for nearly 145 hours without protection, according to the judgment.

    40 times the safe dose

    He often had to work near a machine that detects the metal in the granulated sugar. However, an inspection carried out in April 2015 has revealed that the device was emitting four times the dose of radiation permitted.

    The radio-oncologist, who reviewed the file, Dr. Bernard Fortin, has estimated that the total exposure of the worker may have reached 2 sieverts per year, which is more than 40 times the dose recognized as “relatively safe” for an employee in the nuclear sector.

    Cancer of the bladder since 2014, Michel Plante would have seen his condition deteriorate despite the operations and treatment he has suffered. It would also have developed a cancer of the prostate.

    Other potential victims

    “The radiation has certainly played a role in the poor healing of the bladder, since [it] is well known to delay healing, and this radiation has also been able to […] participate to cause the second cancer of a worker,” notes Dr. Fortin in the court document.

    After more than two years of legal proceedings, Mr. Plant will be entitled to the benefits provided by the Law on accidents at work and occupational diseases.

    It will, however, be a press briefing this morning alongside his lawyer, and Bernard Fortin, in order to inform all those who have worked for the company Sucro Can inc., now Candy Richard, and golden fruit (Sugar BBR), risks to their health.

    “It is a big struggle for Mr. Plant, who is weakened by cancer. But he does it for the good of all the other employees, ” said his lawyer, Sophie Mongeon.

    The company’s Sugar BBR did not return calls from the Journal on Tuesday evening.