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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:59 AM

in the last six months at my old shop in Virginia

three people under the age of thirty five have developed cancer...two have died.

A REAL good friend of mine got pancreatic cancer...he died last week.

Another friend,who was someone in excellent health who did MMA fighting...told his buddies he didn't have any energy before a match a few months ago but went ahead anyways since he was scheduled.He took a beating and went to the doc the next day and found out he had leukemia....he was dead in three weeks.

Now a third person has been diagnosed.

Who do you call over something like this?It's obvious something isn't right when three people under age 35 get cancer at the same shop in 6 months and two die but really who do you call?

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply in the last six months at my old shop in Virginia (Original post)
backwoodsbob Feb 2013 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2013 #1
backwoodsbob Feb 2013 #2
RudynJack Feb 2013 #3
backwoodsbob Feb 2013 #4
ohheckyeah Feb 2013 #5
Laelth Feb 2013 #20
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #6
11 Bravo Feb 2013 #25
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #31
elleng Feb 2013 #7
Selatius Feb 2013 #8
elleng Feb 2013 #9
Selatius Feb 2013 #11
elleng Feb 2013 #13
Webster Green Feb 2013 #10
elleng Feb 2013 #12
backwoodsbob Feb 2013 #23
Webster Green Feb 2013 #27
jtuck004 Feb 2013 #14
aquart Feb 2013 #17
jtuck004 Feb 2013 #24
barbtries Feb 2013 #15
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #16
aquart Feb 2013 #18
democrank Feb 2013 #19
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #21
Blanks Feb 2013 #22
Rider3 Feb 2013 #26
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #28
backwoodsbob Feb 2013 #29
Recursion Feb 2013 #32
4_TN_TITANS Feb 2013 #30

Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:02 AM

1. My dear backwoodsbob...

How horrible for you and your friends...I am truly sorry to hear this news.

I'm not sure who should be called. Centers for Disease Control perhaps? There has to be some sort of place where this kind of thing is tracked.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:07 AM

2. it's scaring the fuck out of me

I worked there for 8 years.

Something isn't right but I have no idea who to call.

I still work for the company (transferred to SC) and can't afford to go full frontal assault and lose my job

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:10 AM

3. Sorry to hear that.

That's awful.

But you can't assume that it's caused by anything at the shop. I'm not saying it couldn't be, but such clusters DO happen purely by coincidence.

What kind of shop was it? Were chemicals/heavy metals used? Were they handled improperly?

Were the cancers all the same kind?

Again, I'm not saying it's not environmental, but given how many people get cancer in this country, it's not impossible that it's just bad luck.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:14 AM

4. lots of chemicals

this company uses water soluble oils on EVERYTHING.

LOTS of special steels and heavy metals.

It's possible it's a coincidence I guess but three people under 35 out of a shop of 80 people in 6 months? It's scary

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:23 AM

5. OSHA

is probably the first organization to contact.

Workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. To help assure a safe and healthful workplace, OSHA also provides workers with the right to:

Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be in a language that workers can understand;
Receive copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to find and measure hazards in their workplace;
Review copies of records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace;
Receive copies of their workplace medical records;
File a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace inspected;
Participate in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the inspector;

File a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated or discriminated against by their employer as the result of requesting an inspection or using any of their other rights under the OSH Act; and
File a complaint if punished or discriminated against for acting as a "whistleblower" under the 21 additional federal laws for which OSHA has jurisdiction.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:12 AM

20. +1. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:23 AM

6. You might call the Centers for Disease Control

They may want to look at local experience, whether it's associated with the shop activity or possibly from contamination from past business activities at the location.

I once worked at a place where I believe the activities affected my health. But the site also had documented contamination from businesses that had ben located there previously.

CDC would look at what medical reporters have documented for that area.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:01 PM

25. "I once worked at a place where I believe the activities affected my health."

A long time ago I worked in that same place, pinboy3niner. (I know that's not what you meant, but it did make me chuckle!)

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:31 PM

31. Ha!

Yeah, that one, too!

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:39 AM

8. You must ascertain whether it's the shop or possibly the town environment killing people.

If the cases are linked by employment at the shop specifically, then the shop is the problem or something within it.

If, on the other hand, the cases are endemic across the entire town, it's something in the local environment. Are other people in this location getting sick who aren't employed by the shop? Is this location near a Super Fund site?

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Response to Selatius (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:45 AM

9. Difficult/impossible for an individual to ascertain,

which is why various agencies should be informed/must become involved.

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:55 AM

11. It's probably a good idea to contact OSHA as well as the CDC. There's been enough death already.

There could be an undetected leak or escape of some gas or chemical that's been hurting people.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:56 AM

13. Right. I posted OSHA link above.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:46 AM

10. Where in VA is the shop located?

My brother happens to be in VA investigating cancer clusters.

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Response to Webster Green (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:55 AM

12. Sounds like an excellent contact for bwb.

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Response to Webster Green (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:32 AM

23. a little town called Pounding Mill

Near another town called Claypool Hill

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:41 PM

27. Thanks. I will pass this along.

I don't remember where the area he was telling me about is. I think it had something do do with uranium though.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:09 AM

14. First call is to a doctor. Not a company doc that has to report to the company

or their health insurance plan (in theory your records are private, but there is no sense in risking your job at this point). Costs for tests might be prohibitive, but that's a wall you scale when you get to it. If this doc says you need them you can always go to their doc later, depending on your plan.

With a little luck perhaps they can set your mind at ease with whatever she/he says.

Then call OSHA as explained above.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:49 AM

17. Checking for what? Toxins? Heavy metals? What?

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Response to aquart (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:38 AM

24. Anytime someone is concerned about a medical condition that might


kill them, they should seek medical attention if possible, tell the doctor their concerns. A few general tests should at least allay their immediate fears, or give them a better knowledge base to deal with their own issues. They can explain to the doc what is going on, at least get some basic tests, get a good, thorough physical exam, make sure there is nothing obvious.

The cause is important, but if someone has something going on, it can often be detected and treated long before the cause is found. The cause, whether is heavy metals, coincidence, genes, a company that is hurting people who are trying to start a union, whatever, is most times secondary to discovering and treating an immediate pathology. You have to keep them breathing and circulating first, eh? Then do the digging into why.

OSHA is for the workplace, could take much too long to be of help to a person. If the problem is in, say, the town water supply, or contamination from somewhere else. OSHA likely won't have jurisdiction, and then there is a delay, sometimes quite long, as you search around for other help, all of which delays the possibility of their own treatment for whatever ails them.

Beats trying to figure it out from a bunch of posts on a bbs

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:44 AM

15. your congress person, the CDC,

a local university, the media. anyone, everyone. it seems to be a phenomenon that should be investigated.

i'm so sorry for your losses.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:57 AM

16. Statistical variation accounts for anecdotal observations like this.

The country has hundreds of millions of adults and millions of shops.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:53 AM

18. Any of these ring a bell?

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:00 AM

19. So sorry to hear this

Some good ideas posted so far. My best to you.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:19 AM

21. This is so sad to hear. Someone gotta know but the problem is once you inform them

 

will they really really do something about it?

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:10 AM

22. There's also the EPA and the state health agencies.

If its something in the building then OSHA would find it; if the building is on a contaminated site, that would be something that environmental agencies would have the resources to research.

Perhaps water tests or soil tests would reveal contamination that has nothing to do with what is going on in the shop itself.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:27 PM

26. If there is a buck to make...

They will poison our water and our land just for that all-mighty dollar. Greed is killing us, slowly but surely.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:43 PM

28. Those are very different cancers

Pancreatic cancer and Leukemia are very different kinds of cancers. I'm no expert at all, but there's really not a single disease called cancer that manifests in different body parts so I wouldn't assume a common cause. You didn't mention the type of cancer the third person had, nor how many people could be in the affected population so I would suspect a mere statistical blip would account for it.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:59 PM

29. it's possible I guess

third person has lung cancer.

Three different cancers in three young people in the same shop just hits me as weird

population in the county...40k

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:39 PM

32. US cancer incidence is about 540 / 100k

A quick cocktail napkin calculation tells me about 20 businesses in the US should have 3 cancer incidents (if all businesses were the same size, which they aren't, and if cancer was distributed uniformly, which it isn't, but that's an idea of the order of magnitude).

So, that's on the level of "unlikely but not impossible". It can't be a bad idea to tell somebody, but then again it's not impossible that those were just the breaks.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:22 PM

30. Sound like a punch press factory I worked in for 2.1/2 years.

We had automated sprayers that sprayed oil onto steel right before it was cut. There was no a/c but we had fans that dripped pools of oil, it was so thick in the air. After I left, I pretty much had to burn all the clothing I had worn there, couldn't get the smell out. I know it couldn't have been good, and some people had worked there for many years, some a lifetime.

At the minimum, everyone in that factory should have worn some kind of respirator. I guarantee if someone did a study of employees who had worked there, the cancer rate would be well above normal. Those conditions wouldn't have been tolerated in a union shop.

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