A New Jersey man wants his high school’s property inspected after more than 100 former students and faculty have reported cancers.
The NJ resident’s concerns about a possible cancer cluster at his alma mater were first reported by the “NJ Spotlight News.”
Reports of so many cases of brain tumors among former students and staff at Colonia High School, in Woodbridge, are concerning. Public health experts caution it is too early to call the tumor cases a “cancer cluster.”
“It’s way too early to call it a cancer cluster,” said JFK Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Landolfi. “The community suspects a cancer cluster, and would like it investigated, and I think that’s a very reasonable request. But to date we don’t have any environmental factors that are known to cause brain tumors.” Doctor Landolfi also serves as director of neuro-oncology at the Edison, N.J., hospital.
Initial guesses about a possible source theorized that a rock containing uranium may have been used in a science lab, the Spotlight report noted.
Al Lupiano was diagnosed in 1999 with an abnormally large brain tumor, considered very rare for someone his age, called acoustic neuroma (AN). His wife and deceased sister were reportedly diagnosed with rare forms of brain cancer on the same day, last summer. His wife was diagnosed with an abnormally large AN tumor like his. Lupiano’s sister was reportedly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which occurs in approximately 30 out of every 1 million people.
Their neurologist, described in a Fox News report as a global leader in neurosurgery, has treated and been involved with tens of thousands of brain tumors in his career.
“It is his belief my wife and I may be the first documented case of spouses having an AN, both roughly the same size and on the same side of the head…according to him, the odds are maybe 1 in a BILLION,” Lupiano said about their neuroligist.
The NJ man asked on Facebook for other former Colonia High School students and faculty to share any cancer cases with him to determine the scope of exposure. The number of responses has risen to 102, according to the Fox report.
Lupiano now considers there may be a potential link between Colonia High School and a closed 9.6 acre Middlesex, New Jersey, sampling plant about 30 minutes from the school. The plant was an entry point for African uranium ores known as pitchblende. The Fox report explained pitchblende was “imported for use in the nation’s early atomic energy program, were assayed at the Middlesex Sampling Plant and then shipped to other sites for processing.” The report attributed the explanation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New York Division.
Radiation levels around the school are being monitored in a two-week test that reportedly a private contractor, hired by the municipality, began conduction April 9.
“The Township of Woodbridge, in cooperation with the Woodbridge Township School District, has taken the proactive initiative to contract with T&M and Cabrera Services, Inc., a nationally recognized radiological and environmental remediation company, to engage their team of environmentalists to begin collecting data at Colonia High School,” the town said in a statement, reported Spotlight.
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