Fridley’s cancer 'cluster’ draws celebrity crusader

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 28, 2012 - 10:21 AM

Erin Brockovich to visit, likely in May, to investigate and meet with residents of city with a toxic past.

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tpsmkemkMar. 27, 1211:24 PM

The well for the neighborhood I grew up in is an area that they used to treat telephone poles with arsenic. I can count 15 cancer deaths that I know of within three blocks of my childhood home. Another 20 or so on my old paper route.

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elwher2Mar. 27, 1211:30 PM

The Twin Cities Arsonal is in New Brighton and Rice Creek flow right by it. Rice Creek dumps into the Mississippi just below the Coon Rapids Dam. Fridley gets their water from the Mississippi river a couple miles below where Rice Creek flows into it. About 32 years ago New Brighton sent out notices to all city residents saying the arsonal had previously buried wastes. It had been found these drums had leaked and made thier way into the groundwater. My memory of the notice follows: If you drank 100 gallons of water a day for 100 years you would be at mild risk for cancer. However, at normal consumption rates there were NO RISKS. However, my neighbors 9 yr old daughter died a few years later and they claimed the cancer rate of New Brighton was way beyond normal. Would love to see some indepentant surveys.

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elind56Mar. 28, 12 7:00 AM

Cancer cluster hysterias abound. We could all live in a pristine environment from birth, ingest only the healthiest of food and beverage, etc, etc, and a percentage of us are still going to come down with various cancers. It's part and parel of the human condition. Another aspect of the human condition is to single out a bogeyman when life's vagaries appear to be stacked against us.

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stormmyworldMar. 28, 12 7:09 AM

I had lived in New Brighton all my life, and I have seen just on my block alone more hen 20 people die of cancer, my mom just died of bone and breat cancer, we lived in New brighton when it was just starting to be developed. I now have degenerative bone disease, and I am only 46. We have lived in New Brighton since 1964, and I have kept a journal of everybody that has gotten cancer from New Brighton, even tried looking into it in the 80's, but was told to keep my nose out of it by the water works department. I am the only one from my family that is left, because mom and dad both died. I have been denied disability, and health care, and pain is over welming to say the least, if you can help us out in this it would surly help.

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noggnbloggnMar. 28, 12 7:24 AM

There is a county in South Dakota (which I don't wish to name at this time) -- there are an unusual number of cancer cases/deaths. Nearly every member of my extended family (all ranchers) and one parent, has succumbed to some form of cancer at early ages. They are down-wind of nuclear fallout from at least 3 documented Nevada open air bomb tests in the 1950's, where weather patterns would have spread it over the countryside. Water is a scarce commodity there, so creeks are dammed to create holding ponds for livestock. I suspect contaminated water, farm chemicals, sun exposure, and bad living habits (smoking was pretty common also, but not all were smokers). This is part of America's food supply we are talking about.

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carl12345Mar. 28, 12 7:25 AM

With no evidence the 10 percent increase, suggestively mostly lung cancer is any sort of Cancer Cluster, it's irresponsible to use this headline so freely. It would be one thing in the first line, but raising hysteria without concrete journalistic proof is wrong.

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garagewineMar. 28, 12 8:10 AM

Statistical illiteracy abounds in our society, and of the unfortunate side effects is vulnerability to this type of hysteria. Failure to understand basic concepts such as standard errors lead people to see danger lurking around every corner. I am glad the author of this story at least had the sense to invite the opinion of an epidemiologist to outline some of the many possible explanations for this "cluster". Sadly, it looks like it will be too late to prevent this celebrity sideshow and her entourage from making an appearance and stirring up the pot.

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jacrielleMar. 28, 12 8:17 AM

They need to look back way before 2000. Many people in my neighborhood were dying of cancer in the 1970's. "The official, John Soler, a cancer epidemiologist, checked the state cancer registry and found that 1,537 cancers were reported in Fridley from 2000 to 2009, compared with the "expected" number of 1,402 for a city that size (about 25,000 people)."

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wndwmkrMar. 28, 12 8:27 AM

Got to remember that the journalists want people to read these things so they can get paid through advertising. Headlines are designed to get your attention and they really don't care if you understand the whole piece or not or even if it is factual - they only report what they are told. I just loved Paul Newmans movie "Absence of Malice". Really showed how the media feels about what they report and their viewpoint of responsible reporting.

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tom451Mar. 28, 12 8:39 AM

So inflamatory. As the state official write, HALF of us will get cancer of some form. MOST of the reported cases are LUNG CANCER, CAUSED by smoking. I grew up in a city far away from Fridley and on my block alone, there were 8 deaths from cancer, mostly lung. If this were happening to mainly young people I may be more concerned but a 60 year old smoker dying in Fridley is more likely from smoking, NOT from water. As an earlier comment suggested, life now is full of preservatives, microwaves, cell phones, all things that may possibly lead to cancer. We cannot live life walking on glass floors. And we certainly always want to blame someone, especially where money is involved. Wonder what Mr McCarty is getting as his finders fee and how interesting he contacted Brockovich himself... hmmm.

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