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article imageHigh Levels of Lead Found in Cameron, Missouri

By Rhonda Straw     Apr 1, 2009 in Health
After a series of brain tumors in Cameron Missouri, several tests were done on the soil. The tests have confirmed that there are levels of potential concern.
For several months, Cameron, Missouri has been the subject of an ongoing investigation due to a large amount of brain tumors prevalent in the residents. As many as a dozen brain tumors were diagnosed in May, 2008.
What began as an investigation, lead the activist, Erin Brockovich to Cameron, to assist. As stated from the KMBC news website, on May 22, 2008:
The Department of Natural Resources was in Cameron last week collecting water, air and soil samples.
State Rep. Jim Guest's office said the official results are expected in the next two days, but so far it appears that the samples are falling within guidelines.
Guest's office said it will also ask the Environmental Protection Agency to take soil and gravel samples.
The test results returned without a main cause for the brain tumors, and denying that a Brain Tumor Cluster was prevalent in Cameron, Missouri.
In June of 2008, the Rockwool Industries plant was under investigation. Rockwool Industries is three miles west of Cameron, and produced fiber insulation, before closing more than two decades ago. The building was then leased from 1992, to 2003 to Midwest Hanger, a Kansas City coat hanger manufacturer. As of the news on June 25, 2008, 11 brain tumors had been discovered since 2002. The state tracked only benign, nonmalignant brain tumors, since 2004. State Rep. Jim Guest, whose district includes Cameron, said there could be much more.
."Just find out where it's coming from and get it fixed. It's hard telling how many people are walking around who've got tumors in their head and don't even know it. They will know eventually," said Steve Helms, who has been diagnosed with two brain tumors
In June of 2008, a resident of Cameron died from an operation to remove a brain tumor. A week before, the Department of Natural Resources, released test results, showing the city's water supply meets all quality standards. Independent testing was not complete, of the soil and water samples. There was a request to extend the brain tumor studies to the residents of rural communities in North Kansas City, (which is approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes south from the Cameron exit on !-35.)
The investigations continued. On March 16th, 2009, the city was cited for a drinking water evaluation.The state has cited the northwest Missouri city of Cameron for violating safe drinking water regulations. But state officials do not believe the city's water troubles are related to what some believe is an increase in brain tumors among residents.
The Department of Natural Resources said Monday that Cameron's water has excessive amounts of haloacetic acids, which can result from the chlorine disinfectant process.
Consuming the contaminations can lead to colorectal cancer, and urinary tract infections. According to the website: the Departments of Health and Natural Resources both say there does not appear to be any correlation to cancerous brain tumors.
Around the same time in March of 2009, a study began, investigating soil samples. A crew digging at the old Rockwool plant, uncovered a grey sludge. The Environmental Protection Agency took samples, and the test results were brodcasted on March 30, 2009. Test results found high levels of arsenic and lead, and it was of potential concern to those working in the area. on March 31st, it was published to be only of concern for excavation workers who had direct contact with the buried material. The EPA is still planning more investigation.
Cameron is a city about 40 minutes north of Kansas City. It houses a state of the art veteran's home, and a prison. I like to say it is a quaint little town, some of the streets are still gravel. It's people and surroundings are quiet, except when the occasional prisoner escapes. Having worked in Cameron at times, I've gotten to know some of the people. The brain tumors have changed the citizens of the city. They stay there, and the city thrives, but the residents are on edge. The people speak of living there with an uneasiness in their voice. Some of the residents with small children have moved. Kearney is nearby. It's a little larger, but the residents aren't too concerned about health matters.
When talking to the citizens of Cameron, brain tumors are not spoke of, but when the Kansas City Star has an article about their residents, the people know each other,and it saddens and slows the entire city. There has been too many brain tumors,and the folks in Cameron know this. The investigations and news continues for them.
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