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Town Square

Meeting: Little outcry over rise in cancer near toxic site

Original post made on Dec 4, 2012

Despite sensational TV news coverage, a rise in the number of people living near Mountain View's toxic sites with non-Hodgkin lymphoma did not result in much anger, panic or concern in a recent meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 1:50 PM

Comments

Posted by jane, a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm

What is so very frustrating about the report from the cancer registry is that even thought there were almost double the cases of cancer that would be statistically expected, there is no data provided as to where (i.e. the street) those 31 residents lived or where they worked. In theory, they all could have lived on Walker Drive, which would be significant. Or they all could have worked at the same company or on base and not live anywhere near where exposure to TCE could have happened. So knowing that there were 31 cancer cases of a specific type when 17 were expected is very frustrating. From the data there is no way to prove or disprove that these were TCE-related cancers. It would be valuable to know more specifics because, although these may have been totally random or coincidental, again, without knowing more about the locations, how long they lived there, where they may have worked, we cannot come to any conclusion.


Posted by Dr. Collateral, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Dr. Collateral is a registered user.

@jane: my guess is that HIPAA restrictions may prevent release of data that would essentially identify the patients, but that's just a guess.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

The only verified environmental cause of cancer is second-hand cigarette smoke. Everybody knows that, right?


Posted by Map Was Available, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

I just always figured it was inevitable; just as soon as they were allowed to build those houses over the known plume. Really sad.


Posted by Steve Williams, a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Notes and audio (34 minutes) of the presentation and Q&A are available here:

Web Link

It's quite interesting: The limitations of the data used in a study like this make it very difficult to clearly identify a spike, much less its cause. In particular, the study considered patients who lived in the area when they were diagnosed. Many of those patients may have spent much of their time at work in another area. If their disease was caused by an exposure, it may have occurred at work.