Our personal experience with TCE

By  | January 29, 2010 | 0 Comments | Filed under: About Trichloroethylene (TCE)

 The Bishop Street community

Here is the short list of injustices we suffered at the hands of our Polluter

They got to hire their own independent company who did all the testing on our contaminated homes..

(Their test results only showed the levels of TCE .. not the Chromium 6,  Arsenic or the other deadly cocktail of toxins in our ground water).

They got to say what levels were acceptable for us to breath in.. They did this with the blessing of the Ontario Ministry of Environment..

Canada does not have set levels for this.. The levels our polluter, conveniently choose were higher then most States in America.

They choose the contractor to renovate our homes.. (Our contractor admitted to us he had never heard the words TCE)

They tore apart our basement making trenches to reroute plumbing, to seal our floors. We remained in our home during this reno, because we were assured by The Ministry of Environment … Dept of Health.. And the polluter that we were safe to do so..

We found out later our levels were 107,000.. Meanwhile the levels they SET as acceptable were 230..!!!

Our basement with open trenches while plumbing was being rerouted, we lived and breathed in large doses of TCE for weeks.. ( remember they set acceptable levels at 230, our levels were 107,000…It poured in thru those trenches. It was during this time, that I suffered severe respiratory problems,( I was on a regime of antibiotics for 2 years) I suffered muscle pain, I was unable to sit, stand or lay properly for months.. My ex husband suffered a tingling in his fingers and toes, so severe he would wear Mittens and socks to bed at night.. ( later we learned this is called peripheral neuropathy) We were both being poisoned in our home and had no clue.. Today we know what it was …but how much damage was done? I guess that remains to be seen. My ex husband is disabled today. Talk about irony, His late wife died age 46 Brain Cancer, he moved her from West Side Galt to Preston.. She started out drinking TCE and moved into a house where she breathed in high levels of TCE the last two years of her life..( her cancer was in remission 3 years prior to moving to Grand Valley Drive) Her first MRI 9 months after moving in was clean, the second one showed the cancer had returned with a vengeance..She died within 2 years of moving moving in!!

This is the result when you hire someone who has no clue on what they’re doing. The idea was to seal the floors to protect us from the vapours entering our homes. This is a neighbour after her floors were sealed; they fought for months with the polluter to get a decent job done. This is why the polluter should not be allowed to make decisions that effect our lives.. i.e. setting levels or hiring contractors who are inexperienced and have no clue on what they’re doing ,when it comes to toxic chemicals, (in my personal opinion.). And I lived it first hand..


Our home contractor hired his friend to install the air exchangers in the homes..

The polluter got to  choose the contractors for the Vapour Extractors, these are the systems they installed to pull the TCE from the homes. It’s piping that surrounds each home, and it’s hooked into a system which acts as a vacuum..

( we watched them install these systems, they were not below the frost line) Systems break down during the winter months.

They get to say when your homes are too be tested for levels of TCE..


Properties in this area have Sheds in their back yards, which contain the vacuum system to operate the Extractors.

The homeowner pays the hydro.. ( they are reimbursed) but we wanted The polluter to have their own Hydro installed..

Not possible.. They didn’t want to pay.. They didn’t have too..

I started a petition asking neighbours to sign on, to demand a representative to speak on our behalf.. We presented our petition to the MOE…

The Polluter demanded the list and the M.O.E. gave it too them.. (talk about being victimized all over again!!), we quickly learned we could not trust the Ministry of Environment.

We were told by the polluter, if anyone brought a lawsuit, that the polluter would pull out and we would be left to our own devices.

You can imagine the sleepiness nights when the first class action suit was brought..

The contractor they hired to fix our homes, miraculously became landscapers in the spring when the extractors where installed and yards were torn up..

Once beautiful manicured lawns destroyed.. I watched my neighbour 80 plus years of age, out daily pulling weeds from the cheap topsoil and sod they planted..

They all got on the Money Train… with no regard, no respect.. for the lives of the families living there..

NO ONE HAD ANY RIGHTS!!!! no one had a say in the way they were treated…

IT WAS PURE HELL.. WE personally were wiped out, physically, mentally and financially..

I have said, TCE took, our health, our home, our life savings (with moving 3 times in 12 months), with being unable work due to illness.. then it took the marriage…

We vacated our contaminated home, and were informed by our Polluter, We didn’t have their permission to leave.. We were told…”you will not be compensated”..

I received two letters from the Polluters lawyers; when I started to mention the illness I discovered in the neighbourhood… I was informed….

To stop speaking to the neighbours about the health issues.. They informed me that the Health Department has already told my neighbours that there is no health scare.. I guess they thought they could scare me into shutting up..

It Didn’t happen.. It only motivated me more..

The Health Departments Dr Liana Noland assured my neighbours.. they had nothing to worry about, she went so far as to tell them, there were no tests available to determine if TCE is present in our bodies…

SHE blatantly lied to us .. Testing is available and you can detect TCE in the Tissue..






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