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Health Care Officials Plan Radon Tests at Cancer Patients’ Homes in The Acreage

As a Lake Worth premises liability attorney, I’ve written here before about the suspected “cancer cluster” at the Palm Beach County community of The Acreage. After an abnormally large number of children in the community were diagnosed with brain cancer, the community began pushing for tests to confirm suspicions that radiation may have contaminated the area’s groundwater. A previous test from the state found radiation in 10% of randomly selected wells in the community, and a New York City toxic tort law firm has also conducted tests finding radiation in homes. According to a Jan. 10 Sun-Sentinel article, the Palm Beach County Department of Health also plans tests to look for radon in homes where children lived when they were diagnosed with cancer.

The Health Department has been investigating the suspected cancer cluster since the summer of 2009 and has not yet concluded that rates of cancer there are unusually high. However, the tests for radon are cheap and easy to conduct, a spokesman said. The county plans to end its interviews with families in the next few weeks, at which time it will start the testing. The results will be presented at a community meeting about the problem in February. Radon gas is a by-product created when the radioactive chemical element radium decays. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless, making it difficult for humans to detect — but it’s also a known carcinogen. Some Acreage residents believe the radiation could be the result of toxic spills from a nearby plant for rocket developer Pratt & Whitney, which later became a Superfund site.

As a toxic contamination site lawyer in Plantation, I will be very interested in the results of this study. Human beings knew radon caused sickness among miners as early as the sixteenth century, and federal agencies suggest immediate action when radon levels in a home or workplace exceed guidelines. If testing can identify radon as the source of the problem, homeowners can take that action as soon as possible to protect themselves and their families. Testing may also help investigators determine the source of the contamination, an extremely important issue for residents who are considering legal action. If radioactive contamination from the Pratt & Whitney plant is the problem, that company, real estate developers for The Acreage and government agencies may all be held legally liable for failing to warn residents about the risk of radioactive exposure.

Cohn, Smith & Cohn has more than 25 years of experience representing people who suffered serious injuries and illness because of someone else’s negligence. That means we have the experience necessary to handle the extremely complicated issues involved in a lawsuit over toxic exposure. Our Wellington premises liability attorneys use investigators and expert witnesses whenever necessary to trace responsibility for toxic spills back to the people who caused them or failed to clean up after them. We have also helped numerous clients document and prove the terrible personal and financial effects of their injuries. We want to make sure our clients claim all of the money they need to pay medical costs related to their exposure, as well as full compensation for pain, suffering and lost quality of life caused by the illness.

If you believe you’ve suffered an illness or injury because of someone else’s negligence, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn to learn more about your legal options. To set up a free evaluation of your case, please send us a message online or call (954) 431-8100 today.

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