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Cancer cases cluster around hazardous waste sites, say researchers
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

The state of Florida has the second highest rate of new cancers in the US—but it's not just because it is the retirement state. Cases seem to be clustered around hazardous waste sites, known as superfund sites, and researchers fear there could be a link.

The state has the sixth highest number of hazardous waste sites in the US, and researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia have discovered that more new cases of cancer are being reported in areas that are close to one of the 77 sites.

Overall, the rate was 6 per cent higher in counties where there was a superfund site, say the researchers, who reviewed all new cancer cases in the state between 1986 and 2010.

The researchers say there isn't enough evidence to absolutely prove a direct cause-and-effect association, but they fear there is a link, and they are urging authorities to be aware of the potential risk when they are creating a new site.


(Source: Statistics and Public Policy, 2016; 4: 1; doi: 10.1080/2330443X.2016.1267599)

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