The Alliance For A Clean Environment
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ACE has analyzed the $290,000 epidemiological cancer study proposed by Senator Gerlach and Representative Dailey. We have found the following serious problems:

1. Linking environmental exposures to cancer can only be accomplished if the study researchers build environmental parameters into the study. These parameters include biological testing, environmental testing, animal and human health studies, plume tracking, anecdotal information, historical information, TRI data and many other factors. This study does not intend to include these.

2. The Dailey/Gerlach study only intends to look at genetic and lifestyle factors, even though most research shows environmental exposure risks play a much larger role in the causes of cancer.

3. Epidemiology is being used for this study. Studies in other toxic-damaged communities have shown epidemiology is the wrong tool to use in toxic-damaged communities.

    a. Epidemiology is based on computer modeling, theory, cost benefit analysis, fraudulent base line data supplied by industry studies, and selective results.
    b. It has banished evidence and used the biases of the scientists who conduct them.
    c. Communities are not exposed to one chemical but thousands over a long period of time.
    d. Symptomology can vary as widely as the individuals exposed and are determined by the body weight, gender, age and genetics of the individual, as well as the proximity to the source of the pollution, type of pollution, and body dose and conversion chemicals.
4. This epidemiological cancer study has been designed by Dailey and Baum, a nurse and a psychologist, who seem to have preconceived biases.
    a. Dailey has made it clear she does not believe there are health problems due to the excessive hazardous air emissions from Pottstown Landfill, Occidental Chemical, and the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant, in spite of all the evidence of harm presented to her by ACE in meetings and massive correspondence.
    b. When challenged about our extremely carcinogenic air which is obviously linked with state and federal alarming cancer statistics, area residents have reported that Dailey used blame the victim tactics, our industrial past, and people moving into the area with cancer.
    c. Baum has consistently shown he correlates disease with psychosomatic stressors.
5. Dr. Baum, who has been hired to do the study, has a B.S and Ph.D. in Psychology.
    a. He is not an epidemiologist, oncologist, cancer specialist, or medical doctor.
    b. Dr. Baum has NOT done “…large scale studies which examine cancer related to environmental hazards…” as stated by Representative Dailey.
    c. His studies examine stress and disease.
6. Baum’s study will only interview 1,500 people, which does not represent even 1% of the population of even one of the counties.
    a. Baum stated that he cannot make any claims or conclusions about cancer rates, (concerning TMI data) “…when the sample population is too small and not sufficiently representative to allow us to draw conclusions about cancer.”
    b. So why is Baum wasting $290,000 of taxpayer money counting only 1500 people in this heavily populated region when he knows the 1500 people will not allow him to draw conclusions about cancer rates?
7. According to Dailey they are going to also examine the cancer registry for this study but she also says that “…the cancer registry only goes so far… because it does not have information about genetic information, family history or smoking.” What about environmental exposure risks which scientists have attributed as the largest major cause of cancer?
    a. Because the registry does not get this information it is not enough for a “qualified epidemiological study.”
    b. This suggests that the 1,500 people interviewed will be the only ones qualified for this study. 1,500 people is not a large enough population to determine cancer statistics in even one county.
    c. Environmental risks factors appear to be ignored by Dailey, even though studies shows environmental exposures are the major factor for cancer risks.
    d. Therefore, it will not be possible to determine our environmental risks from the air we breathe, using Dailey and Baum’s approach.
8. The facts remain that both state and federal health data banks have shown that the cancer rates in Montgomery County are higher than other counties in Pennsylvania and that the Greater Pottstown area have cancers greater than other parts of Montgomery County. These statistics also show that for all ages, races and genders. In particular, childhood cancer has risen in alarming numbers in the last 10 years.

9. Looking at adults in epidemiological studies allows researchers to eliminate the elderly, smokers, and those who have questionable lifestyles. However, children do not have these confounding problems and could be used in any study as a purer group. Montgomery County, by CDC statistics, shows that its childhood cancer rate has risen by 71%. So if Dailey insists on using our money to do a cancer study, why aren’t children the target population for this study?

10. Berks and Chester Counties show a decrease in childhood cancers when compared to Montgomery County. Why are these counties being used to look at cancers in Montgomery County? Watering down statistics by averaging or adding populations that may not be directly affected by the source of pollution can design a study that is “inconclusive.”

11. Looking at cancer as the only outcome of a study is definitely an exercise in making an “inconclusive” study.

12. There are many more diseases that manifest long before cancer.
    a. Cancer is the last stage of the body breaking down from being exposed to chemicals.
    b. Cancer deaths are not reported consistently to registries or on death certificates. Therefore, the numbers could be far higher than any study would reveal.
What area residents have a right to know is exactly what hazardous substances are emitted from these facilities and what did that additive and synergistic combination day after day, year after year, do to the health of people in our community.

To determine people’s health risks in our area, all environmentally related illnesses and diseases caused by the hazardous pollutants spewed into our air need to be included in any evaluation. Dailey and Gerlach’s cancer study can not be used to determine health risks.

Is it wise to spend $290,000 on a cancer study, which after 2 years, will not be able to determine our health risks from exposure to Pottstown Landfill’s extremely hazardous gas, Occidental’s vinyl chloride, dioxin and other carcinogens, or the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant’s radiation releases?

ACE believes that given a choice, people in our community would choose to reduce or eliminate their cancer causing exposure risks from the Pottstown Landfill and Occidental over the next two years. We believe most people who fully understand the issues would choose to spend their tax dollars on a proactive approach which will begin to help victims of toxic exposure.

Dailey and Gerlach’s cancer study will not help one person in this community after two years and spending $290,000. In fact, we have reason to believe it will hurt more than help. We believe Gerlach and Dailey will try to use this cancer study to continue to deny there is a problem or to fail to find a link between the polluters and disease. Why? To keep the public from asking for protection and allow business as usual to benefit the polluters. Can we afford this cancer study? ACE thinks not! ACE believes we have a responsibility to inform the public of our findings of fact about this cancer study and the motives behind it, before it begins, not after the predetermined inconclusive outcome is announced.

P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464

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