Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 12, 2013

DOH finds high cancer rates in Town of Tonawanda

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — A long-awaited two-year study of Tonawanda's health, released Monday, indicates elevated rates of cancer in the area of the town near the industrial corridor.

The news draws attention yet again to the constant environmental worries in the area as well as the allegations that the industrial plants are knowingly emitting dangerous chemicals into the air. 

The state Department of Health initiative began in 2010 and was brought about by the state Department of Environmental Air Quality Study, which found high concentrations of a known carcinogen, benzene, as well as formaldehyde, in the Tonawanda air. 

The DOH concentrated on reproductive effects and cancer, as both have been associated with exposure to benzene and formaldehyde. 

The DOH study found "statistically significant elevations" of lung cancer and bladder cancer in both males and females, esophageal cancer in males and uterine cancer in females, as well as oral-cavity/pharynx cancer in males and leukemia among women.

In one subsection studied, Sheridan Park, the DOH expected to find 268 cases of cancer, but 332 cases were found. 

The DOH also found evidence of elevated preterm births and heart defects of newborns, but evidence of elevated major defects was, fortunately, not discovered. 

"This confirms what our residents are living each day," Rebecca Newberry, of the Clean Air Coalition said. "We've been getting a lot of calls specifically about the lung and bladder cancer, and many people are feeling a little bit vindicated." 

The DOH worked with the DEC to identify areas of the town that were more likely to have high or moderate effects from benzene exposure, and examined health outcomes in four different subsections identified as Brookside-Terrace, Sheridan Park, Riverside and Grand Island. 

The study examines rates between 1990 and 2009, and the rates were then compared to analyses of statewide data and Erie and Niagara county rates. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results