March 06, 2013

Clyde Cancer Cluster Familes Begin Own Environmental Testing

Warren Brown, who lost his daughter, Alexa, to cancer, is just one of several Clyde residents testing attics. (Photo Courtesy of Michael Wise with Dewsnup, King and Olsen)

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Wise with Dewsnup, King & Olsen)

A private environmental engineer has been hired by the families with sick children within the "cancer cluster" of Clyde, Ohio. This environmental engineer will test for toxic residue within the families' homes. Alan Mortensen of Dewsnup, King & Olsen in Salt Lake City, Utah, an attorney for the families, explained that nine area homes will split the cost of the testing done by engineer, Joel Hebdon. All nine of the families requesting the testing have children who have been diagnosed with or died from cancer in recent years.

This private testing is being done in addition to the ongoing testing of non residential sites within the Clyde area. In the fall of 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found high levels of toxic, potentially cancer-causing chemical compounds in soil samples from Whirlpool Park, a former residential area owned by Whirlpool Corp. from the 1950s to 2008. In April Whirlpool Corp. will conduct an EPA-led assessment of groundwater and soil within the park. Whirlpool Corp. has stated that they were not aware of the contamination of the site until the EPA released its report last year.

There have been no clear answers as to what is causing such a high number of cancer cases amount the area's children over the past 17 years. Joel Hebdon, environmental engineer and hazardous waste specialist began collecting dust samples from the homes in Clyde on Monday, March 3, 2013, and results are expected to be available within the next two weeks. In addition to the testing of the homes, Hebdon will also be taking samples of the sludge at the bottom of the reservoir and the sludge at the water treatment plant in Clyde.

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