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CHILDHOOD CANCER
Update August, 2003

AROUND POTTSTOWN LANDFILL
Pottstown, West Pottsgrove, Lower Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgove, North Coventry, Douglass Berks Township

CHILDHOOD CANCERS (Ages 0-19) All Cancers Diagnosed from 1995-1999


Around Pottstown Landfill + 92.5% Above National Average
Tri-County Area (Montgomery, Berks, Chester)-0.8% Below National Average
Pennsylvania-2.9% Below National Average


Rates of the Major Types of Cancer in Children Around The Pottstown Landfill Compared With U.S. Rate 1990-1999


Type of Cancer Cases
Ages 0-19
Rate  Per
Gr. Pottstown
100,000
U.S.
%Above U.S Significance
All Cancers 40 28.33 16.04 +76.6 p<.02
Leukemia 13 9.21 3.89 +136.8 p<.055
Brain/Central Nervous System 7 4.96 2.98 +66.4   
Kidney/Renal Pelvis 5 3.54 0.73 +384.9 p<.09
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 4 2.83 1.04 +172.1   
All Other 11         


(Source: PA Cancer Registry)
Note: Rates calculated using 1990-99 annual Greater Pottstown population 0-19 of 14,120. For example, leukemia rate = 13 cases/10 years/14,120 x 100,000 = 9.21. Joseph Mangano, MPH, MBA Radiation and Public Health Project New York, NY June 25, 2003


    Rates are MUCH HIGHER for FOUR of the CANCERS most common in children.
    Rates are SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER for ALL CANCERS and LEUKEMIA.
    Rates are BORDERLINE SIGNIFICANT for KIDNEY/RENAL PELVIS.
    Leukemia and Brain/Central Nervous System Cancers Comprise HALF of Childhood Cancers Around The Pottstown Landfill

Childhood Cancer Rates Around The Pottstown Landfill INCREASING:
  • Late 1980s about 30 % HIGHER than the NATIONAL AVERAGE
  • Early 1990s about 60 % HIGHER than the NATIONAL AVERAGE
  • Late 1990s up to 92.5 % HIGHER than the NATIONAL AVERAGE
  • Late 1990s almost 100 % HIGHER than the STATE and TRI COUNTY
Why Are Childhood Cancer Rates Increasing Dramatically Around The Landfill?

In five municipalities and the Borough of Pottstown (the area around the Pottstown Landfill), childhood cancer rates have rapidly increased since the late 1980s, according to PA Cancer Registry data. Waste Management bought the Pottstown Landfill in 1984, bringing massive amounts of dangerous wastes into the Greater Pottstown Area, which break down into gases and leachate continuously escaping into the air and water of children around the landfill.

Children around the Pottstown Landfill have been compared to children across the nation, state, and tri county.

Nationwide, cancer is the #1 disease-related death in children. All children are exposed to similar environmental pollutants, including pesticides and herbicides, cleaning chemicals, mold, second hand smoke, vehicle emissions, and even genetic factors.

WHY do children who live around the Pottstown Landfill have a 92.5 % HIGHER CANCER RATE than the Nation and almost 100 % HIGHER CANCER RATE than those who live in other parts of the County and the State?

Children around the Pottstown Landfill continuously breathe additive and synergistic combinations of the most potent Pottstown Landfill carcinogens (RADIATION, DIOXINS, VINYL CHLORIDE, BENZENE), all emitted into their air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. ACEs conclusion, Its not surprising that childhood cancer rates have skyrocketed above the national, state, and tri county averages.
  1. A CDC report confirmed vast numbers of chemicals in the bodies of people. We know chemicals emitted from the Pottstown Landfill are entering the bodies of our children.


  2. March, 2003, EPA reported that fetuses and children under two are the most vulnerable to certain cancer causing and mutagenic chemicals (10 times more vulnerable). Children 3 to 15 are 3 times more vulnerable. The youngest in society are most susceptible to the effects of carcinogenic pollutants emitted by the Pottstown Landfill.


  3. Because the developing fetus, infant, and child are most susceptible to the harmful effects of pollutants, childhood cancer is often a key indicator of any potential hazards. For 24 hours a day, every day, pregnant mothers in the Greater Pottstown Area, and then their newborn babies, are forced to breathe air filled with extremely potent carcinogens from the Pottstown Landfill.


  4. Babies are born with these chemicals in their bodies. Then they are exposed daily through their lungs, skin, and eyes.


  5. Thousands of children attend 29 schools and day-cares in less than 3 miles of the Pottstown Landfill and live within that distance too. They are overexposed to massive cancer causing chemicals emitted into the air they breathe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, close to their homes, schools, athletic fields, and parks.
ACE believes:

    Skyrocketing childhood cancer statistics demonstrate the need to:
  1. CLOSE THE POTTSTOWN LANDFILL NOW
  2. Require Waste Management to install the safest non-burn technology to manage its hazardous gas over the next several decades, instead of continuously burning the gas in 3 flares and 2 turbines. This produces dioxins, one of the most potent carcinogens.
    Children Around The Pottstown Landfill Deserve A Safe, Healthy Future. Pottstown Landfills Cancer Causing Air Pollution Must Be Eliminated.









ACE
P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464
ace@acereport.org






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