State and federal health officials have confirmed a brain cancer cluster among children in The Acreage, a community in Palm Beach, Fla., and parents are wondering what's causing it.
In the past 16 years, 13 children at the Acreage have been diagnosed with brain cancer, National Public Radio reported.
“Is there a contaminant out there?” asked Michelle Damone, one of about 40,000 Acreage residents. “Do we need to do more testing? Have we not looked at something? Is there more to look at?”
Another resident, Tracy Newfield, said her family moved to the community in 2002 because of the “area’s beauty and large lots.”
Two years later her daughter, Jessica, started complaining of headaches, and eventually doctors diagnosed her with a malignant brain tumor. The tumor was removed, and Jessica is currently cancer-free.
But other parents wonder: Will their children be next? Florida's health department has started an investigation, but it said a cause is rarely found for cancer clusters.
"They've just started on the soil testing, and there are a lot of questions about that," said Stephanie Peskowitz, a nurse and a mother of two children under 5 years old.
"So they really haven't educated us enough about what their plan of action is. We haven't seen actually even a plan of action, so, we don't know where it's going to go from here."