Thursday, September 4, 2008

Government confirms elevated cancer level in Pennsylvania

August 25, 2008 - HAZLETON, Pa. - Nearly a year after federal epidemiologists first sounded the alarm over a cluster of rare blood cancers in northeastern Pennsylvania, their research has zeroed in on a hardscrabble region 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia that is home to several Superfund sites as well as a power plant fired by waste coal.

The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said Monday that it confirmed a cluster of polycythemia (pah-lee-sy-THEE'-mee-ah) vera, or PV, in a 15-mile stretch between Hazleton and Tamaqua.

Residents of these ZIP codes were four times as likely to suffer from PV as residents living in outlying areas, according to the government.

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