Over 100 people with connections to the same high school in New Jersey have been diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, raising concerns over a connection between the school and the cancer cases, according to LiveScience.
Tumors found in over 100 people in the same community: In 1999, Al Lupiano was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, which is a type of benign brain tumor. He has been successfully treated for the tumor, although he still lives with lasting effects, such as slight deafness, fatigue and dizziness, according to the “Today” show.
- 20 years later, his wife was diagnosed with the same tumor, according to NBC New York. Upon finding out that the couple had the same tumor, their doctor was very surprised.
- The doctor stated that it was rare for a husband and wife to have the same tumor, saying it was like both of them had been struck by lightning, Lupiano told the “Today” show.
- Lupiano’s sister, Angela DeCillis, was also diagnosed with what doctors first thought to be a benign tumor. They would later discover that it was a malignant glioblastoma, which is an aggressive form of cancer. DeCillis died in February of this year due to the cancer, according to the “Today” show.
- After his sister’s death, Lupiano took to Facebook to see if anyone else in the community had dealt with the same issue. Since posting on Facebook, at least 110 individuals with connections to Colonia High School in Woodbridge, New Jersey, have reported rare tumor diagnoses, according to Fox News.
Federal investigations take place: An investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency is being done to determine whether these 100-plus cases are a cancer cluster, or simply a coincidence, Fox News reported.
- “Every inch of Colonia High School — from buildings to fields — is being tested for radiation to determine if there is a link between the school and the number of cancer cases diagnosed among former students and staff,” according to NBC New York.
Lupiano points to a local testing facility: Lupiano is an environmental scientist who has had experience in testing ground samples for toxins during his 33-year career, according to Fox News.
- He points to a sampling plant in in Middlesex, New Jersey, as a potential factor linking to the tumors.
- The plant, just a 30-minute drive from Colonia High School, has been used as a testing facility for several different ores for “use in the nation’s early atomic energy program” according to Fox News.
- The plant was decontaminated in the 1960s, but what was failed to be assessed was the potential runoff of radioactive material to surrounding communities, the New York Division of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told Fox News.
- Lupiano stated in a Facebook post that testing for radiation and radon has been concluded, and results will be available within two or three weeks.