600 Cancer Surveys Already Filled Out; Ohio Health Dept to Await Independent Study Results

Updated 1 year ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
600 Cancer Surveys Already Filled Out; Ohio Health Dept to Await Independent Study Results

Independent Assessment:

The NNWFJ/PRESS proposed scope of work for the independent 3rd party assessment has been updated based on comments from Ohio Department of Health and sent to DOE. We have proposed using Solutient Technologies, LLC, to develop the Sampling and Analysis Plan, develop the Data Quality Objectives, and field sampling. They are based in Ohio and are licensed through the Ohio Department of Health to perform this type of work. 


The samples taken will then be sent to a national lab for analysis. We will also have split samples analyzed at a separate lab to spot check the accuracy of the data. Once the data is analyzed, the National Academy of Sciences will assist with review, health risk assessment, reporting of findings and conclusions in a public report, and review of the radiation monitoring system around the facility and recommendations for improvement. 


Memorial Day Weekend Sampling Event:

We have received the results and report from the Memorial Day weekend sampling event that took place at Zahn’s Corner School by DOE. Our report includes the new samples from that event along with the re-analysis of the original samples taken at the school that showed enriched uranium. DOE also has received their results. As soon as ODH receives their results, we will each meet to discuss the results and then release the reports to the public.  


Cancer Cluster Study:

The health district talked with CDC/ATSDR and they will not proceed with a cancer cluster study until the independent 3rd party assessment is complete to get more data. If the independent study shows levels of contamination that could cause negative health effects, then they would more than likely proceed with the study at that time. There have been 479 individuals fill out our online cancer cluster study form along with an additional list of 115 names from a community group. These are people who claim to have cancer or negative health effects that live near or have some connection to the plant. Even if half are thrown out from other comorbidities (such as someone with lung cancer who smokes) that is still an alarming number for a community our size. That number will only increase once individuals without internet/social media are included.


Regardless of what the independent assessment shows at this point, not looking into a potential cancer cluster is not an option for us. We are planning to continue with the study locally with assistance from ODH. 


Clarification on Lawsuits:

There are currently 2 ongoing class action lawsuits related to the Piketon site and the health district is not involved in either case. The health district is collecting preliminary cancer data. This cancer data has not been released and will only be used for the cancer cluster study. Also, any environmental sampling that has taken place has not been performed by or affiliated with the health district and is not part of the independent 3rd party assessment since that assessment has not started.  


Requests to DOE:

On June 18th, the health district requested the corrected reports from 2001-2017 due to DOE’s underreporting of dose rates. We are still waiting on the raw data and laboratory reports for all of the DOE air monitors in 2018 that we requested on May 8th. The health district also sent an email on May 17th inquiring about the air monitor system that we are awaiting a response.  


Community Dissatisfied with DOE  Zero vs Increased Risk Response

DOE has repeatedly mentioned that the contamination found off-site can be attributed to atmospheric testing (even though the May 6th NAU Memo shows that the neptunium documented off-site was consistent with radioactive signatures from PORTS and not from atmospheric fallout) and is less dangerous than eating bananas or having smoke detectors in your home.

It is understood that contamination exists in nature and the public has exposure to low levels no matter where you live.  Our clarifying statement to this discussion is that we accept zero increased risk for our school children and community simply because our community hosts a DOE facility and activities from that facility have caused off-site contamination. 


What the current data we have demonstrates, and we find unacceptable is that DOE has allowed their contamination to go from plant site to private properties, waters of the state, and a school building.

No matter how small the level of what DOE has allowed to end up inside our school is, an increased risk to the health and well-being of our students and staff is the result.

We will not accept our children having a higher risk to illness than any other child in Ohio. The students and staff at Zahn’s Corner should not have any more risk for attending school or working there than any other school district in Ohio or anywhere in the country for that matter – and the same principle applies to those living near the plant.

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