NORWOOD, Pa. (CBS) — The Environmental Protection Agency released its findings from an investigation into a possible cancer cluster in Norwood, Delaware County. But residents don’t but what they were told.
Residents left Thursday’s meeting not feeling very comforted with the preliminary results of the soil and water testing.
The EPA says residents’ health is not at risk in Norwood but residents say they beg to differ.
“To hear that there’s no correlation here, I can’t buy that. There is something here that is causing us to be sick,” one resident said.
Frustrations boiled over at a community meeting to address the health concerns in Norwood.
Frustrations are boiling over at the EPA meeting. Residents aren’t buying that the former landfill site does not pose any health risks to the community. Also, the EPA representatives at this meeting have not physically visited the site since they took it over in 2017. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/aFawlmIYH8
— Kimberly Davis CBS3 (@KimberlyDavisTV) November 22, 2019
Residents believe the high amount of cancers and autoimmune illnesses that are being diagnosed in their community is linked to the former Norwood landfill.
“Were any testing done on the plant life that we have eaten and fed our children?” asked one resident.
The answer to that question is no. But according to the EPA, the preliminary soil and water test results show no health risks to the community.
“We’ve not found any contamination to warrant the site being placed on the national priorities list. That was the premise of this investigation,” said EPA Site Assessment Manager Joseph Vitello.
It’s important to note the results from the tests do not include the dump. The EPA says they did not know where it was but will test the soil from the dump in early 2020.
“We conduct our investigations as best we can and we’re working to establish whether or not there is an environmental component to this. Just simply right now, the data doesn’t support it,” Vitello said.
Residents left the Norwood fire hall with more questions than answers but one thing is for certain — this community will continue to fight.
“This isn’t stopping here! It took Philadelphia three years to pressure you people to declare the lower Darby creek area, and this area was left out. Well, guess what? You had a fight then, you’ve got a fight now!” one woman said.
A toxicologist with the EPA says cancer rates run higher in white communities — Norwood is predominately white.
The map below shows cases of cancer in blue and cases of multiple sclerosis in red.