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Possible Cancer Cluster In S.J. School


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Website: http://cbs3.com/local/local_story_089205249.html

Posted on: 03/31/2006

Possible Cancer Cluster In S.J. School

Anne-Marie Green
Reporting
(CBS 3) OCEAN CITY, N.J. There is a possible cancer cluster in a South Jersey school and parents and teachers are very concerned.

More than a dozen teachers have gotten sick and now Ocean City primary school has closed down some of its classrooms while they test for toxins.

The school’s Principal, Gregory Donahue, said, “The school district is doing everything possible to maintain a healthy environment for learning.”

The concerns began when their Kindergarten teacher suddenly died of a brain tumor.

“It was such a shock that she had died of brain cancer and she was a very knowledgeable woman and didn’t even realize that she had something like this,” said parent, Pat Kazanjin.

At least fourteen teachers who taught in one of the closed classrooms, contracted cancer and two of them have since died.

Parents have been working together to make sense of the numerous illnesses.

“Everybody started making lists and grouping it together and bringing information together,” said Kazanjin.

The school was built on a former asphalt plant. Testing for radon has been done in the past and nothing harmful was found.

In the 1990’s, the school’s playground tested positive for contaminants. The old soil was removed.

“At that time they thought there was no need for further testing. Our concern is, ok, that may’ve been the case then, but what about now,” said the Principal.

Three of the classrooms will remain vacant until test results are back.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)



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