Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Gainesville letter to Dr. Sharon Watkins at FL-DOH in Tallahassee, Florida

20 Sep

Dear Sharon Watkins,

Fortunately, we have had much greater in-depth testing done privately,
identifying identical molecules of cancer causing materials found at the
Cabot-Koppers sites that match those found in very large amounts within the dust
of homes, yards, and near the schools.

I do not believe the large concentration of, in particular, thyroid cancers in
residents of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood to be coincidental.  How frequently
is it found that every family on a single block has at least one family member
with, or died from, the same form of cancers outside of proximity to a
Superfund site?  We have found families in which every single member of the
household has/had some form of cancer over a 30 year period with one family
having lost 19 members to cancer over this time period.

I do not believe my malignant melanoma of the foot as well as my Multiple
Sclerosis are due to anything but my having lived so very close to the Superfund
site for 16 years.  Having to sell my house at a loss and losing my ability to
perform my prior work as a hospital Director of Nursing and Director of
Investigational Drug Studies in the past and, in fact, unable to work at all for
the past 10 years, I believe is due to my exposure to the dust and contaminated
soil from the site.

Though a past lawsuit awarded about one million dollars to Paul Massey, as
the courts determined his MS was resultant from his contact with contaminants
from the superfund site next to his place of work,  no study has been proposed
to investigate the relationship between the superfund carcinogens and neurologic
diseases.  Unfortunately, Paul Massey has since died of his disease, determined
in his lawsuit to have been caused by contact with the known carcinogens at the
site.

Yes, a true study of the relationships among various and numerous diagnoses that
appear to be out of proportion to the norm would be costly and time consuming.
It can and should be done not just by those who are affected, but by the
taxpayer funded Department of Health.  Claiming that gleaning information from
incomplete data constitutes a “health study” is misleading and, to many,
immoral.  Placing the burden of the studies that have been done privately on
those affected is not only immoral, but minimizes the standing of the DOH.

I find it interesting that more and more people are calling, sharing their
stories with cancers that they or family members had contracted over the many years
of living in the Stephen Foster Neighborhood.  In fact, a gentleman recently
realized and shared with his church congregation that he had lived in the neighborhood,
but had moved away at a young age, leaving his family behind.  He was fortunate in
that he was clear of disease, but related that all the rest of his family,
including the family dog, had continued to live in the area and all had passed away due to
cancer.

I do thank you for your response.  The fact sheets that you provided a link to
were simplistic and failed to provide any information that a 6th grader should
already understand and your directive to send any further inquiries to Anthony
Dennis did provide a bit of levity, as he has shown himself to be completely
ignorant of how these issues can/should be addressed.  It is also interesting to
find that you directed me back to Anthony Dennis, who has no medical background,
nor do he or his coworkers and supervisor, Randy Merchant, have education
or experience in dealing with medical issues, superfund sites, or practice in
performing or interpreting epidemiologic studies of any kind.  I am curious as
to your own education and experience and would appreciate your sharing this with
me.  I and my past neighbors would like to know who in the Department of
Health in FL has any appropriate qualifications regarding the issues I have
addressed.

Sincerely,
Anne L.
formerly from 3310 NW 4th St
Gainesville, FL 32609
currently at 3148 NW 114th Terr
Gainesville, Fl 32606

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