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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 9, 2010
DEP CONTACT: Cristina Llorens, (561) 681-6605 or (561) 248-0830 (cell)
DOH CONTACT: Susan Smith, (850) 245-4111


DOH and DEP Announce Additional Environmental Testing in the Acreage Community

- Officials from the Department of Health and Florida Department of Environmental Protection meet with residents to discuss next steps –

LOXAHATCHEE – At a community forum tonight, officials from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced additional environmental testing in The Acreage community in Palm Beach County during the coming weeks. Last week, DOH announced results from its Phase II investigation indicating slightly elevated levels of pediatric brain and central nervous system cancers among females age 0 to 19.

“The Department of Health is continuing our investigation and will do everything possible to identify a cause for the increase of pediatric brain cancers in The Acreage,” said State Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros. “We have reached out to our federal partners and asked for their help and resources as we continue our search for answers for the residents of the Acreage.”

Understanding the community’s concerns and desire for additional information regarding possible causes of the pediatric brain cancers, DOH has requested further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. DEP is also closely coordinating with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Any aid from the federal agencies will build upon the knowledge of state officials and provide access to added resources.

At the community forum, DOH and DEP outlined what types of additional environmental testing would take place, including:
  • DEP’s Division of Waste Management will conduct water and soil sampling at the 12 residences where cases of pediatric brain cancer have been identified.
  • DOH’s Bureau of Radiation Control will conduct a full range of gamma radiation measurements for the indoor and outdoor areas of these 12 residences.

Later this week, officials from both DOH and DEP will develop a science-based protocol for the testing, which will begin in the coming weeks. Following the testing of the additional 12 residences, other locations may be sampled.

“We stand ready to assist the Department of Health in this next phase of their investigation,” said Mary Jean Yon, Director of DEP’s Division of Waste Management. “We are committed to the community, and the results from the additional environmental testing will help supplement the data initially collected.”

For more information about DEP’s drinking water sampling within The Acreage, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/acreage/default.htm.

DOH promotes, protects and improves the health of all people in Florida. For more information, visit www.doh.state.fl.us

lab

"The Department of Health is continuing our investigation and will do everything possible to identify a cause for the increase of pediatric brain cancers in The Acreage."

Ana Viamonte Ros
State Surgeon General

10–020

Last updated: February 10, 2010

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