Aug 6, 2013

Spring Valley Stakeholders Dispute Conclusions of JHSPH Health Study

A long-awaited community health study has concluded that Spring Valley residents generally enjoy better health than the nation as a whole, but adds that slight upticks in the incidence of certain cancers could be related to arsenic exposure ... Nan Wells, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who has been active on the issue, said she has heard concerns about clusters of diseases among "people who lived on certain properties" where contaminants were buried.   Those families should be tracked, if possible, she said.  And there are still some homeowners who have not allowed the Army onto their properties, including one site that some believe contains a "significant burial pit" ...
 So out of all the thousands [41,000] of people, 865 responded," one audience member countered.  "Nobody got a mailing, nobody went door-to-door.  People without computers were left out, and many diseases were left out.  Isolated seniors who don't have computers wouldn't even know.  I don't think it gives a clear picture of Spring Valley." 
July 31, 2013 (pg. 1)
For decades, Spring Valley residents were unknowingly living above buried chemical weapons, gardening in arsenic-contaminated soil and otherwise facing risks associated with haphazard disposal practices dating back to World War I.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has spent millions in the last 20 years on remediation for the community, but evidence suggests that for some residents the damage has been done.  A survey taken by this newspaper in 2004 found a host of rare health problems among Spring Valley residents, potentially attributable to the neighborhood's chemical contamination ... But a new community health study conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health has failed to scratch the surface.

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