Study finds no high cancer rate near plant.Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard
Researchers on Friday said they found no significant elevation of cancer rates in the neighborhoods around the J.H. Baxter creosoting plant in northwest Eugene.
The study, undertaken by state and federal researchers, compared rates of leukemia leukemia (lkē`mēə), cancerous disorder of the blood-forming tissues (bone marrow, lymphatics, liver, spleen) characterized by excessive production of immature or mature and of brain, lung and nasal cancer and compared them with the expected number in a similar-sized population.
Analyzing seven years of data, they found no types of cancer appearing at a higher-than-expected rate, at least that could not be explained away by chance, state epidemiologist Jae Douglas said Friday after releasing a draft report on the results.
The study, however, doesn't let the plant off the hook for its emissions or mean that its odors are certified as safe for neighbors to breathe, Douglas said.
"It may be - at first blush Adv. 1. at first blush - as a first impression; "at first blush the offer seemed attractive"
when first seen - not very satisfying, but it also may be somewhat of a relief to know that there aren't excess cancer cases. That's actually good news," she said.
The plant has been under fire for years from neighbors who say the fumes fumes
odorous gases and other volatile materials; inhalation of irritating fumes causes coughing and, if sufficiently severe, irreversible pulmonary edema. of creosote creosote (krē`əsōt), volatile, heavy, oily liquid obtained by the distillation of coal tar or wood tar. Creosote derived from beechwood tar has been used medicinally as an antiseptic and in the treatment of chronic bronchitis. and other chemicals are unpleasant and possibly dangerous.
At J.H. Baxter, meanwhile, plant manager Gary Hunt said the state finding showed there was no connection between his company - or any other company - and cancer in the neighborhood.
"It certainly helps dispel fears of the neighbors of health issues. We don't have sick employees at the Eugene (plant) that work closely with these products. We felt this would be the finding," he said.
Researchers studied the types of cancers that have been associated in previous studies with exposure to the wood preservative wood preservative
substances used as dressing for lumber to protect it against mold, insects, pests, fire, etc. Animals housed in pens made of wood which has been treated with wood preservatives may be poisoned by these compounds if they chew the wood. creosote.
Carolyn Lodge, who lives near the Baxter plant, has blamed her life-threatening case of acute myeloid leukemia myeloid leukemia
See myelogenous leukemia. (AML AML - A Manufacturing Language ) on the odors that periodically waft from Baxter.
Lodge said the state analysis doesn't shake her belief that Baxter odors are the cause: "It's here. I know people who've died from AML They just live down the street," she said.
The study took in 14,694 households north of the J.H. Baxter plant. It found 10 cases of AML arose in those homes in seven years from 1996 through 2003. The expected rate, based on statewide data, is 10.8 cases, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the study.
Douglas warned against making too much out of the results because other questions about the emissions are unanswered.
Researchers looked at a narrow issue: whether or not cancer rates in the neighborhood were elevated during a set time period.
"It would be unwise of us to try to make more of it than that in one direction or another," Douglas said.
The numbers showed an "eyebrow raising" cluster of six brain cancer cases in one census tract A census tract, census area, or census district is a particular community defined for the purpose of taking a census. Usually these coincide with the limits of cities, towns or other administrative areas and several tracts commonly exist within a county. northwest of the plant, she said.
Researchers expected to find only 2.8 cases of brain cancer in that area. But a closer look showed the six cases arose only in 2000 and 2001 and there were none before or since.
Researchers concluded the two-year elevation could be attributed to chance; on the other hand, they decided they'd monitor the tract in coming years to see if more unusual numbers emerge.
Controversy over the plant's odors has raged for about a dozen years. Residents say the fumes give them headaches and other ailments.
Under an agreement with the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, the company has installed a succession of pollution control devices.
In recent months, odor complaints filed by neighborhood residents have dropped significantly, air agency director Merlyn Hough n. 1. Same as Hock, a joint.
v. t. 1. Same as Hock, to hamstring.
imp. & p. p. os>
p. pr. & vb. n. os>
n. 1. An adz; a hoe.
v. t. 1. To cut with a hoe. said.
In August 2005, 104 neighbors complained. The number dropped to 49 in 2005 - and only nine people called to complain last month.
"We believe the reduction (in pollution) at the plant is real. Those new systems are effective. We believe the complaints going down are real and that it's not just neighbors giving up on us or Baxter," Hough said.
In a separate initiative, LRAPA LRAPA Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (formerly Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority) collected a dozen samples of the plant's emissions between January 2005 and June 2006 and has sent the results to a toxicologist with the Superfund Health Investigation and Education program in Portland.
An analysis of the emissions' potential to cause health problems is due by the end of this year, Douglas said.
Researchers want your comments on their cancer investigation in the J.H. Baxter neighborhood:
Read the report: at http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/shine/ bxsite.shtml or at the Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave.
Send comments by Sept. 30 to: Oregon Department of Human Services, 800 N.E. Oregon, No. 827, Portland, OR 97232 or call (503) 731-4025.
Researchers compared the rates of certain cancers in the J.H. Baxter neighborhood with the rates found statewide. Here's what they found in cases per 100,000:
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia acute myelogenous leukemia
n. Abbr. AML
Myelogenous leukemia characterized by rapid abnormal increase in the number of myeloblasts and progression of symptoms. : Baxter neighborhood: 10 cases; state: 10.8 cases
Lung cancer lung cancer, cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States in both men and women. Like other cancers, lung cancer occurs after repeated insults to the genetic material of the cell. : Neighborhood: 139 cases; state: 122.3.
Brain: Neighborhood: 19 cases; state: 14.3
Nasal: Neighborhood: 2 cases; state: 1.4
All cancers: Neighborhood: 695 cases; statewide: 767.9