Tonawanda News

March 12, 2013

Soil test results coming

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A local group is presenting recent soil test results of the industrial corridor in the Town of Tonawanda at a community meeting Wednesday. 

The Tonawanda Community Fund meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sheridan Parkside Community Center, located at 169 Sheridan Parkside Drive.

“The purpose of the meeting is to share with the community how we sampled and tested the soil in Tonawanda and the results from the study,” Jackie James Creedon, TCF member and founder of the Clean Air Coalition of WNY said.

The results of the testing were presented at a press conference in late January. Samples from a playground and five homes in Tonawanda were taken as part of the study. A control test was also completed in Beaver Island State Park, a mile away from the industrial area and upwind from the plant’s emissions.

The levels of benzo(a)pyrene, a known carcinogen, in the soil samples were, on average, higher than the sample conducted at Beaver Island. 

Creedon, along with The Wellness Institute of Buffalo, who is sponsoring the event, will present the results and explore their potential implications. 

“We will also discuss where the chemicals we found come from and how these chemicals are linked with certain forms of cancers and birth defects found elevated in the recently released New York State Department of Health cancer and birth outcomes study for Tonawanda,” Creedon said. 

The DOH study was released in February and indicates statistically significant elevated rates of cancer in the town near the industrial plants. But the DOH officials said the study is not able to prove the cause of the illnesses, much to residents’ frustration. 

But many believe the environmental hazards are to blame. Creedon and others hope to vindicate those claims with further research.