Fridley may never find cancer answers

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 16, 2012 - 10:44 PM

Talk on Facebook leads to a forum with Erin Brockovich, but scientific proof is elusive.

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garagewineJun. 17, 1212:46 AM

"Science by Facebook" just about covers it. This issue has taken on a life of its own, and has long since left the realm of scientific inquiry. Unfortunately, going the facebook route has opened the door to opportunists, pseudo-celebrities, and conspiracy nuts. Regardless of the findings, this issue will not go away quietly.

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elind56Jun. 17, 12 7:22 AM

If real science can't tell us what we want to hear, Brockovich will. Just like with silicone breast implants, the strategy is to trump scientific fact with emotion in pursuit of a big payday. Sadly, this has been extremely effective over the last couple of decades and we all pay for it in the form of higher prices for everything.

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medtyperJun. 17, 12 9:21 AM

Thank you for this article. Having grown up in Fridley, I found this a topic of interest early on. It wasn't long, however, before I discovered this Facebook group wasn't interested in any information that didn't support their theory of past and present wrongdoing on the part of corporations and government that caused these cancers, yet they had little to offer that backed up their claims directly related to Fridley. Apparently, Erin Brockovich is a credible expert and the EPA, the MPA, the MDH, and medical practioners, scientists and statisticians are not.

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waynebobJun. 17, 1212:55 PM

I wonder what the rate of mental and developmental disabilities in the community as compared to other cities in the state? Probably a hot spot for many disabilities.

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fight4lifeJun. 17, 12 4:30 PM

As a Fridley resident who grew up in this community as a child and into my young adult years in the mid 70's and into late 80's, we who originally asked this simple question "Is there a tie between the known (and many unknown as well) toxic carcinogens that we as a community were exposed to back then, Is this a cause for all of these folks - friends, family and community folks- many whom are/were in their prime of their lives in their 30's/40's/50's (with no known family history of cancer, no smoking and other "lifestyle" choices, etc.) that this could be causing all of the deaths, illnesses and diseases that are affecting (and have affected) so many of us who grew up in this community (and now are in this age group ourselves) some 30 years later?" That was it. That's what started the proverbial snow ball rolling which led to so many people coming forward with their own stories, information, background, family and health history's, etc. I think I can safely speak for the majority of us folks in this Facebook group, that we were ALL blown away by the magnitude of the people affected, the magnitude of the dumping and toxic exposure that most of us never even knew we were exposed to, and finally and most importantly, what has been done and is being done to ensure this is not only cleaned up properly but that answers our questions many folks in this community have been asking for years and years, but have never fully gotten any solid information or cooperation from any local, state, fed and/or business communities, to answer this simple question. Your title of the article itself "Fridley may never find cancer answers" says a lot in itself....Have we? Well, you may want to find out after Brockovich's team (yes, a team including many qualified environmental scientists) after researching and spending months and much money (something none of us individually could have done ourselves) comes to report their findings in their report delivered to the Fridley community residents (past and present) on Wed, June 27th! Personally, I am thankful this "gutsy broad" accepted our offer to help us find "those cancer answers" we never got in the years and years of searching! We press on for the truth - the good, the bad and even the ugly - so that those of us left may have a better chance to our own "Fight Against Cancer" battle, should we find ourselves in the same position in the future.

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mmeisnerJun. 17, 12 5:45 PM

Thank you Ms. Lerner and Star Tribune for writing this. I have found this to be one of the most well rounded articles about this topic to date, with perspectives from the Cluster, scientists, politicians, and "regular" community members such as myself. There is certainly a lot of circumstantial evidence the Cluster has aquired and presented, but this cannot replace true analysis, which is highly complicated and almost impossible to (accurately) do. I do think Erin B. and her team have a lot of credible experience looking at enviornmental issues (linked to health). It is another piece of information for which I am appreciative, but it will not be the only piece I will be looking at, to draw my own conclusions. On a side note, I have never heard about the common "Fridley joke" stated by Jason, "It was always a joke in Fridley: 'If you make it to 50, you lived a long life,". Another example of my issue with his tone and direction... Thank you again for a well researched, and balanced article. Mandy Meisner Fridley Resident Fridley Patch Blogger

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wordmixJun. 18, 12 6:07 AM

When industry pays scientists and when they support research in universities; when governmental agencies refuse to ban known problematic chemicals, then how does anyone get action when they see health problems and other devastation in their communities? Calling in someone who has accomplished the fight against corruption of this sort seems the obvious answer. Kudos to Erin Brokovich and to the people of Fridley for not giving up and doing whatever it takes. Yes, it can cause problems for those who won't accept actual scientific studies, but those are too far and few between. Now we have to investigate who supports a "scientific" study to see if it's real science or not. That's not good for scientists and it's not good for people and the environment.

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rookiedog2Jun. 18, 12 7:43 AM

Actually my brother said the same thing as Jason before he died of cancer. He said "well, at least I made it to 55. That's pretty old compared to others we knew who died around here" Our mother was only 43.

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rookiedog2Jun. 18, 12 8:58 AM

I don't know the status of physical and mental disabilities are within communities or dare suggest why one is more than another. I do know that after 40 years as an occupational therapist I have seen autism rates increase so dramatically it is frightening. Children with ADHD, cancer, RAD, ODD, just to mention a few of the iceberg.

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tomfoolery61Jun. 18, 1212:35 PM

I have lived in Fridley, and never heard Jasons so called joke "It was always a joke in Fridley: 'If you make it to 50, you lived a long life," also have looked at his site and unless mistaken Erin Brokovitch is not coming to Fridley, it's more of a video conference and the only person commenting on the facebook page is a representative who so far has not made any statements to contradict what the city and state have already shown. Sadly I think all the facebook page does is show how common cancer and all it's horrors are, as based on available records Fridley is pretty darn close to average.

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