Tonawanda News

The Town

February 13, 2013

Town's cancer rates elevated in industrial corridor

Reaction: Clean Air Coalition calls for environmental action after DOH report.


Tonawanda News — The study found that bladder cancer had statistically significant elevations in the Brookside area for men; total cancers, lung cancer and bladder cancer had statistically significant elevations in Sheridan Park for men and women.

Elevations of uterine cancer in Sheridan Park were also found. 

No types of cancer were statistically significantly elevated in Riverside except for lung cancer for women, and in Grand Island, esophageal cancer was statistically significantly elevated among men, and uterine cancer among women.

In the report, available online on the DOH website, officials make clear the the study cannot prove that environmental issues have caused the higher rates of cancer.

“There are many other factors that may also contribute to the development of these types of cancer,” the report says. “These factors include smoking, family history, and occupational exposures, as well as others. In the general population, smoking is the most important risk factor for both lung and bladder cancer. We do not know the individual medical and exposure histories for the people included in this study.”

A public comment period will now be open until March 31 and residents are invited to provide feedback about the study by contacting the DOH through e-mail to, by phone to James Bowers, M.P.H. at (518) 402-7950 or by mail to: Tonawanda Comments, NYS DOH BEOE, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 1203, Albany, New York 12237.

The DOH is also holding a presentation and discussion on the report on Feb. 28 at the Sheridan Parkside Community Center located at 169 Sheridan Parkside Drive. 

The CAC will also discuss the report at their meeting Feb. 20 at the American Legion Brounschidle Post, 3354 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. The organization is calling for action following the release of the study.

“We need strong political leadership at all levels of government — from our Town Supervisor Tony Caruana up to Tonawanda’s new Congressman Brian Higgins,” the organization’s director Erin Heaney said.

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