New Jersey mom on mission for answers about possible cancer cluster at kids' school

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Parent finds new evidence for cancer cluster at NJ school with her own tests
Ken Rosato has more on the mom's mission to take matters into her own hands.

COLONIA, New Jersey (WABC) -- A mom in New Jersey is taking matters into her own hands and is investigating a possible cancer cluster linked to her children's high school after she was concerned her township wasn't doing enough.

Edyta Komorek, an environmental scientist, says she conducted her own study and sent four samples -- one dust, one caulk and two soil samples she took her self to outside labs.

"So the results of the study identified four compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls and three pesticides chlordane, heptachlor, and heptachlor epoxide," Komorek said. "Those three compounds are known or are probable carcinogens."

She said the findings showed levels of potentially cancer-causing compounds exceeding EPA standards.

Earlier this year, Colonia High School gained national attention after more than 100 former students and faculty reported online that they were diagnosed with brain tumors over three decades.

About half were cancerous.

"It was shock, I said what is the likelihood that a husband and wife can both have an acoustic neuroma? And what is the likelihood that a sister of me and my wife can have a brain tumor at the same time," said Al Lupiano.

Officials investigated and said they found no significant radiation in the building.

"Everybody concluded that there was no need for further testing and that the grounds and the buildings were 100% safe," said Mayor McCormac.

But Komorek was not convinced.

"I think that air testing should be done immediately to determine whether or not there are hazardous levels of those chemicals in the indoor air," she said.

She was so concerned by what she found that she transferred her daughters out of the school.

The school district says it has sent her results to state health and environmental agencies.

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Crystal Cranmore reports from the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave. station in Queens.


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