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December 13, 2011     Cape Gazette
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December 13, 2011

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NEWS Cape Gazette 4 TUESDAY. DECEMBER 13 - THURSDAY. DECEMBER 15 2011 Participants have Pdver power plant By Melissa Steele Millsboro-area residents hav, volunteered to help scientist, figure out why they are living ir a cancer cluster. The first round of a study into whether specific toxins are float. ing in the area's airways, contam- inating residents and causing el- evated cancer rates, is complete the second round of data will bc collected in 2012. Thirty-two residents signed for a bo, y burden research stud} that ted air quality in anc around :heir homes in October The stt dy tested for toxins in- cluding environmental tobaccc smoke, 1 )lack carbon and a gener- alized ,:ategory of particulat( matter, said Heidi Truschel] Light, si okeswoman with the Dit vision 9f Public Health. Bloo and urine samples also will b{ collecte and tested for toxins. "There were nearly 100 applit cants ahd a very positive re" sponsei" Truschel-Light said ived near Indian from i to 67 years RTI International of Triangle Park, N.C., the company con- ducting the study and compiling the research, did not set a mini- mum residency requirement for participants, but RTI spokes- woman Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe said subjects have lived in the test area from one year to 67 years with an average of 19 years, she said. In 2011, participants were paid $20 a day for a four-day test of environmental samples and $30 for biological samples in 2011. Payments increase to $30 and $50 in 2012; participants who fin- ish the study will earn a total of $280. Delaware officials labeled the Millsboro area surrounding the Indian River power plant a can- cer cluster several years ago be- cause of elevated rates of col- orectak lung and kidney cancers, melanoma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Questions about mercury, sul- fur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide contamination from the coal- burning plant persist despite ef- forts to reduce toxic discharges from the plant. The $360,000 study was fund- ed by the Division of Public Health and the Delaware Depart- ment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. "This pilot study is a critical next step in an effort we started more than three years ago to re- duce cancer in Delaware," said Delaware Congressman John CarneB?, who is a member of the Delaware Cancer Consortium. "It will give us valuable informa- tion about the toxins that Delawareans in the Millsboro area may be exposed to and how to minimize any risks to their health." Data collected in the study will help officials assess the effects of pollution on humans. There won't be enough data to pinpoint particular contaminants, but the study will allow officials to make general statements about con- tamination in the area, Depart- ment of Health and Social Ser- vices Secretary Rita Landgraf has said. From 2002 to 2006, Delaware's FILE PHOTO THiRTY-TWO RESIDENTS living within 5 miles of Indian River power plant are participating in a cancer study funded by the state. five-year average cancer inci- mortality rate of 194.3 per dence rate was 507 per 100,000 100,000 is 4 percent higher than residents, or about 9.5 percent the national averagel ac