Report, Hearing Focus on Disease Clusters
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Todayhttp://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/EnvironmentalHealth/25604
Published: March 29, 2011WASHINGTON -- A new report highlights 42 locations throughout the U.S. that have alarmingly higher incidences of certain diseases, including cancer and birth defects.The report, released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
and the National Disease Clusters Alliance, surveyed 13 states in which so-called "disease clusters" had been identified by media reports and by local and state health agencies.
In most cases, the diseases were suspected to be caused by environmental factors, Gina Solomon, MD, MPH, senior scientist at the NRDC and one of the authors of the report, said in testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which held a hearing Tuesday on the issue of disease clusters.
One particularly bizarre cluster is occurring in Camp Lejeune, N.C., where 64 male Marines living on the base have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune is thought to be a possible carcinogen, said Solomon.
Other clusters include:
* Leukemia in Fallon, Nev., where from 1999 to 2001, 11 children were diagnosed with leukemia. Scientists calculated that a cluster of this magnitude would occur naturally, by chance, once every 22,000 years
* Testicular cancer in Prairie Grove, Ark., a town of 2,500 people, including three cases in 14-year-old boys
* Birth defects in Kettleman City, Calif., a town of 1,500 people, including 20 babies born over less than two years with birth defects
* Lou Gehrig's disease in Herculaneum, Mo.
* Polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder, with four cases occurring in people living on one road in eastern Pennsylvania
"Although it is difficult to conclusively prove what caused any specific disease cluster, we can gather invaluable clues and hints from these tragic events," Solomon told the Senate committee.
Some clusters of cancer, birth defects, and other chronic illnesses such as asthma are thought to be linked to chemical exposure or other toxic pollutants. A 2010 report from the President's Cancer Panel pointed to pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceutical by-products that enter the water supply, household chemicals, and tanning beds as potential causes of disease. Emissions from cars, trucks, and planes add to the toxic mix, the authors wrote. They concluded that "the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated."
In an interview with MedPage Today, Solomon said she was surprised to learn that the CDC does not track or investigate disease clusters. In the 1990s, there was an investigation into a a childhood leukemia cluster in Woburn, Mass. that was discovered by mothers who were sitting with their children in the waiting room at the Dana Farber Cancer Center and recognized other families from their neighborhood.
State and local health agencies keep track of higher-than-usual disease reports, but there isn't a central location that keeps track of local reports, making it difficult to look for broader trends. Even those who are part of a possible cluster are often unaware that others in their community are experiencing the same disease.(continued)
===================================================Hmmm... It's good to see that this group is paying attention to disease clusters.
You might expect that, since we're talking about DISEASE clusters, the people involved would include medical professionals. But that is not the case... this is a very active lobbying group for global warming, with ties to George Soros. That's food for thought.The Huffington Post /AOLTimeWarner/ brings us this report, produced by:The Natural Resources Defense Council: The Earth's Best Defensehttp://www.nrdc.org/about/
NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.
* Founded: 1970
* Mission: To safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.
* Status: Not-for-profit, tax-exempt, membership organization
* Staff: 300+ lawyers, scientists and policy experts
* Supporters: 1.3 million members and e-activists
* Offices: New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing
News Sources:"One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups."
—The New York Times"NRDC is, by many accounts, the most effective lobbying and litigating group on environmental issues."
—The Wall Street Journal"NRDC's lawyers are said by eco-observers to know more about environmental law than the government does."
—U.S. News & World Reporthttp://www.nrdc.org/health/diseaseclusters/files/diseaseclusters_issuepaper.pdfAcknowledgments
This report has been generously supported by Bauman Family Foundation, The Beldon Fund, Jewish Community
Foundation of Los Angeles, The John Merck Fund, and The Passport Foundation.About NRDC
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with
more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental
specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has
offices in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and
Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org
NRDC Director of Communications: Phil Gutis
NRDC Deputy Director of Communications: Lisa Goffredi
NRDC Publications Director: Anthony Clark
NRDC Publications Editor: Carlita Salazar
About NRDC: Board of TrusteesBoard of Trustees(excerpted)
Daniel R. Tishman; Chair
Vice Chairman, AECOM Technology Corporation; Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corp. of New York
Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.; Chair Emeritus
Senior Counsel, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP
Adam Albright; Vice Chair
Private investor; Environmentalist
Patricia Bauman; Vice Chair
Co-director, Bauman Foundation
Robert J. Fisher; Vice Chair
Director, GAP Inc.
Alan Horn; Vice Chair
President and COO, Warner Brothers
Joy Covey; Treasurer
President, Beagle Foundation
John H. Adams; Founding Director
Chair, Open Space Institute
Richard E. Ayres, Esq.
The Ayres Law Group
Anna Scott Carter
Consultant, NRDC; Environmentalist
Principal, Henry Crown and Company; Executive, Foundation Chairman, Community Activist
Laurie P. David
John E. Echohawk
Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
Co-Founder, Sybase, Inc., and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); Organizer and Director, New Resource Bank
Michel Gelobter, Ph.D.
Founder, CEO, Cooler Inc.
Founder and Managing Partner, Telesoft PartnersVan Jones
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Founder and Advisor, Green for All
This is a link to Soros...
Since the Obama administration took over in Jan. 2009, the Center for American Progress, led by former Clinton Chief of Staff, John Podesta, has played a major role in forming the administration’s energy policies. CAP , of course is the George Soros sponsored “progressive” think tank. In April 2009, a CAP report stated that the America has a moral obligation to spend whatever is necessary to help poorer nations deal with the effects of the “global warming” caused by industrialized nations like the U.S. They already used the EPA to declare that emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride “threaten the public health and welfare of the American people”. Since the inauguration the administration has been pursuing Cap & Trade, the Copenhagen Treaty and the rest of the “green agenda” with a passion. At one point the White House even appointed a known progressive revolutionary, Van Jones as their ”Green Jobs Czar”. He has since stepped down and returned to a role at CAP.
Philip B. Korsant
Managing Member, Korsant Partners, LLC
Co-Founder, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Shelly B. Malkin
Landscape painter; Conservationist
Josephine A. Merck
Artist; Founder, Ocean View Foundation
NRDC Global Council Member
Peter A. Morton
Chairman/Founder, 510 Development Corp.
Senior Vice President, Hugo Neu Corp; Grassroots community organizer and activist
Frederica Perera, Ph.D.
Professor, Columbia University; Director, Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health
Actor; Director; Conservationist
Jonathan F.P. Rose
President, Jonathan Rose Cos., LLC
Thomas W. Roush, M.D.
Private investor; Environmental activist
Philip (Pete) Ruegger III
Chairman, Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP; Chairman of the Board of Henry Street Settlement House
Christine H. Russell, Ph.D.
Environmentalist; Foundation director
William H. Schlesinger
President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
President, The Schmidt Family Foundation; Founder, The 11th Hour Project
James Gustave Speth
Professor of Law, Vermont Law School; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
Managing Director, D.E. Shaw & Company, L.P.
Bryant Smith Chair, University of Texas Law School
Environmentalist; Founder, Leadership Council
George M. Woodwell, Ph.D.
Founder, Woods Hole Research Center