Federal epidemiologists have identified a twenty mile stretch in Pennsylvania between Hazleton and Tamaqua where citizens are 400 times more likely to develop a rare blood disorder called polycythemia vera, or PV — a form of cancer. A local Superfund site is being cited as a possible cause, but no conclusion has been reached on the cause for the cancer cluster.
The area is home to several Superfund sites and a power plant fired by waste coal. In particular, citizens are talking about a recycler that processed hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint sludge, waste oils, used solvents, PCBs, cyanide, pesticides and many other known or suspected carcinogens. The site was shutdown in 1979, though it is unclear if the owners were ever prosecuted or forced to pay damages.
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