Coldwater Creek Cancers to be Discussed at Town Hall Meetings
By Pat Lindsey
Despite a recent report from the MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services that questions a connection between a high incidence of cancers in North County and a contaminated Coldwater Creek, two town hall type meetings will be held on April 3 & 4 to pursue a lawsuit.
TorHoerman Law LLC is working with Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb LLC and Napolie Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP to assist the injured with their legal needs and raise awareness about the contamination that existed in Coldwater Creek during the 1960s and 1970s, when thorium and uranium seeped into the creek from two nuclear waste sites near the airport. The April 3rd meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Aerospace Dist. Lodge 837 and the April 4th meeting will be held at the James J. Eagan Center, Lower Level.
Reporter Leisa Zigman of KSDK-TV first broke the cancer cluster story and was overwhelmed with the large number of North County residents and former respondents who reported their cancer cases on Facebook.
Janell Wright, an accountant and former auditor, contacted Zigman with data she collected from her McCluer North classmates. Initially, she found 30 cancer cases, but when peers from neighboring schools reported their cases, that number soon grew to 200. Now, she is able to map more than 1,000 cases within four square miles. “The data chosen by the state to analyze is meaningless and does not begin to capture the data related to this issue,” Wright said on the special Facebook page.
More than 7,000 people have become members of the Coldwater Creek–Just the Facts Please Facebook page. Many of their comments imply a government cover-up and others are venting about the limited amount of data studied during a 10-year period. Other comments on Facebook express concern that the site can’t really be cleaned up, because radioactivity can remain for millions of years.
The state study targeted cancer rates between 1996 and 2004 and looked at zip codes 63031, 63033, 63034, 63042, 63134 and 63138.
According to Graham Colditz, MD, associate director of Siteman Cancer Center’s Prevention and Control department, the state health department did a thorough study with the data that was available, but the problem lies in the fact that cancers are only reported in the state where they are diagnosed. If former North County residents were diagnosed after they moved out of state, they would not be included in the data.
The state health department study, however, attributes the elevated cancer rates to factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, and offers current residents some reassurance that there is no ongoing concern about high levels of radioactive materials in Coldwater Creek.
All area residents or anyone who feels they were affected by contamination are invited to attend the town hall meetings, but must bring a photo ID.
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