"Group to Tell Senate Panel About 42 Disease Clusters in 13 States"

"An environmental group will tell a Senate panel Tuesday that it has identified 42 suspected clusters of cancer, birth defects and other illnesses in 13 states.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, working with the National Disease Clusters Alliance, wants to step up the federal response to investigating suspected clusters. The 42 clusters - either confirmed or under active investigation - are in Texas, California, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. The groups plan to look at all 50 states.

A specific source of chemical contamination - asbestos - was identified in only one of the 42 clusters, in Libby, Mont. But the group notes that in many communities, such as Camp Lejeune, N.C., 'the case grows stronger that documented exposure to toxics has harmed the health of community residents.'"

Lesley Clark reports for McClatchy Newspapers March 28, 2011.

Source: McClatchy, 03/29/2011