NORWOOD, Pa. (CBS) — As authorities investigate a potential cancer cluster in Norwood, Delaware County, we’re hearing from more people who say something there is making them sick. The map below shows cases of cancer in blue and cases of multiple sclerosis in red.
The gravity of cancers and illnesses in Norwood has the community concerned. They believe it could be directly connected to the environment.
Barbie Carr says she was waiting for her husband Doc’s MRI results, when she figured it out for herself as she watched the nurses at a screen.
“They’re looking at pictures and I knew it. I could see that tumor and it was big,” Carr said. “I knew at 1 o’clock in the afternoon that my world was over — that my life, his life, will never be the same.”
The Norwood couple loved the woods, trails and creek behind their home.
“All of this back here, this is why we bought this house. He fished like it was his job,” Carr said.
But the area where Doc loved to fish has been the focus of a federal environmental investigation by the EPA for two years now.
Investigators are trying to determine if there is a link between what’s buried in old, abandoned landfills and what neighbors say is a spike in autoimmune illnesses and cancers. Those who live here believe the result of the illnesses comes from toxic contaminants present in the landfills.
Neighbors and those who moved away have since contacted CBS3, revealing instances where 55 gallon drums were dumped and buried on the land.
Mark and Peggy Gonzalez buried their 8-year-old daughter Sarah in June to brain cancer. She was diagnosed when she was 5 and fought hard.
“It really makes you think that something’s up, so many people in one little spot,” Peggy Gonzalez said.
Norwood Council President Bill Gavin says he’s hopeful the mystery can be solved and his neighbors can get answers.
“I hope that these issues with the ground is not the cause of all this. That would be terrible,” Gavin said. “You don’t know what it could be but you hope that that’s not what it is.”
Part of the EPA’s analysis has been to take soil samples. They will hold a meeting to discuss the results at the fire hall in Norwood on Thursday at 6 p.m.