Sep 11, 2013

Spring Valley Health Studies Deemed "Inconclusive by Design"

In his Aug. 14 letter to the editor, Malcolm Pritzker quarrels with The Current’s Aug. 7 editorial, which criticized the recently completed Johns Hopkins School of Public Health community health study because it “failed to scratch the surface” of a “host of rare health problems among Spring Valley residents” ... Hopkins’ convenient reliance on the [D.C. Cancer] Registry means the study ignored all non-cancer cases such as immune deficiency, autoimmune disorders and blood disorders (including aplastic anemia, pernicious anemia and multiple myeloma); ignored all cases from the 65 years prior to the registry; and ignored clusters of rare diseases that struck residents living on the same properties over a period of time ...

What went wrong?  In short, if you forget that your mission is to protect against further illness, don’t be surprised if you draft an incomplete statement of work, select the wrong contractor and obtain a useless result.  Weak contract management, with no requirement for in-progress reports and no review process, can only make matters worse.
Kent Slowinski
Northwest Current
September 11, 2013 (pg. 9)

Two federal agencies, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ADSTR), bear the primary responsibility for safeguarding the nation's environmental health ... Both of these agencies have routinely funded and conducted studies of effects of toxic pollution on public health which are inconclusive by design.  These intentionally inconclusive studies have been used by polluters and government officials to mislead citizens into believing that further measures to prevent toxic exposures are unnecessary.
Inconclusive by Design

Russell, Lewis & Keating
May 1992

I wrote to Hopkins several times offering to provide a list of folks from that period who lived on Rockwood Parkway, Glenbrook Road, Indian Lane, Quebec Street, 49th Street, et cetera for follow-up.  I got one response to the three letters I sent, promising to contact me in “the future.”  I’m still waiting ... the children who grew up in Spring Valley and who spent many hours playing in those woods and around those bunkers, as my brother and I and our friends did, should have been looked at ...  Many of us have died; I have no sense of whether the numbers or the causes are anomalous, but we’ll never know.  Nobody asked for the information.
Patricia Meyers

Northwest Current
September 18, 2013 (pg. 10)

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