EPA to look at concerns of 'cancer cluster' in Salem - KCTV5

EPA to look at concerns of 'cancer cluster' in Salem

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

People in a West Salem neighborhood are concerned there's something in their area connected to cancer.

Neighbors in West Salem say it's no coincidence that cases of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, were diagnosed in several young people.

The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing petitions signed by hundreds of people online and at West Salem High School.

The petitioners want to know if there is a connection between all these cancer cases and where they live.

In a statement, EPA officials said they have started to review existing data and have begun contacting federal and state health officials for background information on the community's concerns.

"We can confirm that we have been in contact with a community group in West Salem and have received a letter and on-line petition," the statement said.

Officials said they will begin conversations with the local group and gather information about the location in question.

But residents in West Salem want the water and soil tested to see if there is some sort of connection.

It all comes after seven confirmed cases of osteosarcoma surfaced over the last four years.

All of the cases involved children and young adults between the ages of 6 and 21. Three of them ended up dying from the illness.

The EPA said it wants to get a clear picture of what is happening locally so it can determine the best approach and the right tools to assess the local environmental factors.

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