February 11th, 2010 15:44 EST
Emotions Run High In Meeting About Cancer Cluster
"More than a thousand people spilled out of the emotionally charged auditorium at Seminole Ridge Regional High School Tuesday night as representatives of the State Heath Department, who were ridiculed for offering too little, too late, attempted to offer sympathy.
`We are sorry for the loss of your children,` said Shairi Turner of the Department of Health. `Sorry for the loss of your property values. We understand your frustration.`
But it was quickly clear that charts, PowerPoint, and Geiger counter demonstrations weren`t the kind of information the overflow crowd was after.
The meeting was held after the Palm Beach County Health Department confirmed what many families and scientists had suspected all along... that there is a `cancer cluster` in The Acreage." Read More
This is a classic case of "too little, too late." How can you possibly console a community that has been devastated by a cancer cluster. At this point no words will sooth the anger or calm the nerves of parents who have lost children to brain cancer.
Ms. Turner, the spokesperson for the Department of Health, needs to take a remedial course in public relations. How can she possibly express sorry for the loss of children, and the loss of property values in the same breath? If the government had done all it could to address the issue of a cancer cluster, the parents wouldn`t complain if their property values went down to zero.
Most experts and residents are worried there`s something in the water. Many residents of the rural community have wells, but the cancer scare has motivated them to demand that the government run county water lines into their community.
There may not be an army of environmental experts and health professionals in The Acreage, but lawyers have flooded the community, trying to determine what caused the cancer cluster.
One of our readers, Barry Day, sent me this link about cosmic rays as a possible culprit: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29sep_cosmicrays.htm
Here`s another article that argues that there`s a link between cosmic rays and cancer rates: http://www.optcorp.com/edu/articleDetailEDU.aspx?aid=517
I`m not a medical or environmental expert, I would love to hear opinions from my readers as to what could have caused the cancer cluster in Florida. Please send SOP your comments.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes