2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 24 Feb 2003 21:38:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Surprise find in toxic tests
Surprise find in toxic tests
No known contaminants turn up, but trees show high tungsten levels in an
area hit by cancer fears.
By Chris Bowman -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Sunday, February 23, 2003

Laboratory testing in a south Sacramento County neighborhood haunted by
fears of a leukemia cluster found no trace of cancer-causing
contaminants in the tap water but did find unexpectedly high levels of
tungsten in area trees.

Tungsten, a metal, recently has drawn the attention of federal
researchers investigating childhood leukemia in Fallon, Nev., though the
element's link to cancer, if any, is unknown.

The Sacramento Bee commissioned the environmental tests in the
Calvine-Florin neighborhood last fall after state health officials
declined to investigate on-site.

Growing numbers of residents suspected the area just north of Elk Grove
had a leukemia cluster -- an unusually high incidence not likely due to
chance. Families organized as the Concerned Residents Initiative pressed
the state Department of Health Services to find out if something in
their water, soil or air was making people sick.

The Bee collected tap water samples from six residences in mid-December.
It selected homes based on where worried residents thought the water
might be contaminated. Four are occupied by leukemia patients, and two
are hooked to old, individually owned wells that are shallower and,
generally, more vulnerable to pollution than municipal wells.

Four government-certified analytical laboratories screened for different
types of contaminants within a group of 140 pesticides, industrial
chemicals and toxic metals.

They found nothing of known health concern. They detected only bits of
naturally occurring metals and radiation and chemical byproducts of
chlorination -- all at levels well below government safety limits.

The tungsten find in the trees is potentially significant in light of an
ongoing federal leukemia-cluster probe in Fallon, 60 miles southeast of

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