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Liv. County can't ignore cancer rates

As recent test results have shown, nearly 75 percent of homes surveyed in Livingston County have traces of radon over the recommended limit, which mirrored findings of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the EPA. As a cancer survivor, I applaud the Livingston County Environmental Association, which is dedicated to "preservation of the health, welfare and environment of Livingston County." There has long been the perception that the cancer rates in Livingston County are some of the highest in the state. It is unfortunate that the LCEA has not been granted access to the state tumor registry by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which would enable them to continue their research.

–;I suspect that the reasons for the higher-than-average cancer rates in this county will not be from any one single source, such as radon, but rather from a conglomeration of events that have occurred over the years. But it is critical to pursue whatever research is necessary to understand why there have been so many families impacted by cancer within this county. The radon testing was an important first step.

–;I graduated in 1970 from Saunemin High School, a small rural farming community in Livingston County. To date, seven of our 27 senior class members have been diagnosed with some form of cancer; three have not survived. If you visit with many long-term residents of this area, you will hear them tell of multiple households within a concentrated area containing multiple family members diagnosed with cancer. It is not in the best interest of this county to continue to ignore what could be contributing to these cancer rates. I would encourage the residents of Livingston County to support the LCEA in its pursuit as they continue their research on this important issue.

–;Barb Haab

Bloomington

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