Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cancer Investigation Launched In Flower Mound

In November we mentioned concern about the alarming number of children in one area of Flower Mound that have been diagnosed with Leukemia. Now state health officials are investigating a possible cluster.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is concerned too and are looking into the possibility of a cancer cluster in the 75022 and 75028 zip codes.

Last month, many Flower Mound residents went to the Town Council meeting and pleaded with the officials to hold off on drilling until all the air quality issues were thoroughly investigated. Three members of the Flower Mound Town Council (Dixon, Levenick, and Wallace) didn't think that the health and safety of their residents of Flower Mound was important enough to impose a temporary suspension of gas drilling. They voted it down. They chose to listen to the ridiculous amount of Williams Employees that spoke at the council meeting.

Council Members Filidoro and Hayden voted for the suspension. They seem to be listening to what is being reported and most important to the majority of the Flower Mound residents.

Recent concerns about air quality related to natural gas drilling have focused more attention on Denton County from the state agency.
“We will soon be doing another investigation in other parts of Denton County to address health concerns related to the Barnett Shale,” said Lowery.


4 of the children currenlty live in Wellington and very close to gas drilling activity. The other child used to live in that area until they moved to another neighborhood in Flower Mound about a year ago and shortly after the move was diagnosed with Leukemia.

In addition to the 5 children above, we have been told about 2 adults living in the same area with Leukemia.

24 comments:

R said...

Interesting; but then why isn't there a high incidence of Leukemia in other cities where there is even more drilling? Flower Mound has a relatively low density of drilling activity compared to numerous other cities sitting on the Barnett Shale.

Anonymous said...

How do we know there isn't indidence of this anywhere else since news is popping up every day about people near drilling having health issues, I believe we will be hearing much more about illnesses. There has been a lot of drilling and there is a compressor station within 2 miles of this area. At a FM Town Council meeting last month a Williams employee got up and admitted their compressor had a leak last year and they fixed it. How does anyone know how many other leaks there have been. They don't have to tell us.

Steve said...

This area is 1 to 2 miles of 5000 homes. Drilling in high density neighborhoods has only been done within the last 4 to 5 years. Long term health effects are yet to be determined. The fact that there is a high number in this area near drilling should raise concern and warrant an investigation.

R said...

How much exposure do you think you get just from filling your car at a gas station? It's even worse if you're in a county that does not require vapor recovery. And just driving on 1171 during rush hour will give you more than a year's recommended dose of pollutants including benzene. Let's keep things in perspective. How about laws to meter traffic on Main Street and 1171 to avoid spikes in exposure? Just because the drilling is new doesn't make it worse than the activities that expose you to high levels every day but that you have become accustomed to. That includes the insulation, paint, and flooring in your home which EPA has cited as being a bigger threat to human health than outdoor pollution. But the construction lobby is even stronger than O&G, so you won't hear much about that threat. Why not spend some time on that??

Anonymous said...

"construction lobby is even stronger than O&G" - what references do you have to back up that statement?

Another Concerned Citizen said...

Contruction spent $42,027,356.00 in 2009. Oil and Gas spent $120,669,855.00. Almost 3 times more than contruction. Here is the facts from open secrets.org
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2009&indexType=i
and
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=E01&year=2009

Another Concerned Citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Another Concerned Citizen said...

Oil and Gas was number 3 behind Health and Insurance.

Anonymous said...

A stronger lobby doesn't always mean more money. It also includes argument strength, such as the reluctance of congress and other lawmakers to invoke panic, lawsuits, and increases in housing prices.

All of industry is driven by demand. If you don't want drilling, then convince your neighbors to not use heat and AC. And I hope you are keeping your thermostat below 64 degrees in the winter. If you don't want cement plants, then what kind of roads do you want? If you don't want global warming, evaluate what kind of car you drive and how much stuff you waste and consume. We as consumers are just as responsible as anyone else.

Another Concerned Citizen said...

We all know we need natural gas for heating etc. But that doesn't mean the industry has to drill everywhere and anywhere and not be accountable. What is needed is better regulations. Better emissions and water practices. After his study, Dr. Armendariz recommended some affordable options to reduce the toxic emissions going into the air. I don't see any gas drilling companies implementing those recommendations. The other problem is that Gas and Oil is exempt from every federal environmental act. They are the only industry to enjoy these exemptions and you can bet the amount of money they spend in Washington and in Austin has a lot to do with that!

Anonymous said...

I support the gas drilling that is taking place around Flower Mound because I do own my mineral rights. I certainly hope that this urban drilling is not causing cancer in our town.

On another note, someone should checkout Hutchinson Country in Texas. Specially Borger, Tx. Oil and gas drilling has been going on there for almost 100 years. Borger is known or was once known as the "cancer capital of Texas." Studies have not been done there to compare the cancer levels because Conoco/Phillips owns a large oil refinery there. Its interesting to see these billion dollar corporations throw their money around to stop health concerns.

Anonymous said...

I think there are a lot of good, valid comments being made by both sides. Part of the problem is that we as American consumers want it both ways. We want companies to control their pollution, but then we get upset when the price of gas goes up or we are inconvenienced when we are asked to change our driving habits. How many here actually buddy up on ozone alert days? If we don't, I think we are guilty of the same negligence we are accusing the gas firms of. Shouldn't we be expected to take reasonable steps to help the pollution issue too? If we are complaining about the gas companies but continue to be easily inconvenienced and live our consumption-complancent lifestyles, we are hypocrites. How much push back was there when a gasoline tax was proposed, for example? Well, industry is pushing back just like we do when our bottom line is at risk. Also, how many folks on this forum did not raise an issue before drilling came to FM? Apparently this whole time, we having been getting cheap natural gas and gasoline at the expense of the health of others, but it was okay then? Texas has been lax on pollution laws for a long time, and those need to be fixed. But let's also look at ourselves VERY closely.

Diane said...

I am a 37 female adult recently diagnosed with Leukemia (AML)who moved to Flower Mound in early 2007. My case needs to be added to the ongoing adult cases. I have been undergoing treatment since August. I was a marathon runner for years, great health, and spent a lot of time outdoors at my house near the Forest Vista Area and Morris. It is odd for me to become sick with Leukemia since it doesnt run in my family. This is the Leukemia that can be contributed to over exposure to Benzene which has been recently reported to be leaking by the drills nearby DFW. I am wanting more research performed on the air quality in this immediate area, however we dont have much time if persons like myself are detected. I was given a short time to live and if I didnt seek treatment right away since AML is acute and highly agressive, I would have died within a week or two. It is important to get this noticed and air quality tested in this immediate area especially when cases are detected overabundantly. With the airport nearby for many years and the changes in the new wells around the airport recently this cannot be just coincidental. The medical costs for my treatment are easily approaching $1M so far with group insurance. The monetary benefits of the mineral rights of the natural gas wells I can hardly see outweight the cost and the chemotherapy and physical tolerance I have had to endure with the medications, sickness, and disability I have experienced so far with Leukemia. Something needs to be done and done quickly.

Diane

Another Concerned Citizen said...

Diane, please contact us at fmcaudgroup@yahoo.com and we will put you in contact with others with Leukemia here in Flower Mound. We have 5 children and 4 adults that have been reported as of today.

Anonymous said...

The TX Dept of St Health is concerned because FMCAUD called them repeatedly in an effort to bolster their claim that NG production is causing cancer in Flower Mound. This is their second attempt at this angle to get their point across. The first was a study in July of 2008 involving Thyroid Cancer in zip codes 75022 and 75028. The 2008 study resulted in a finding that the Thyroid Cancer rates among men and women were within normal ranges and did not warrant further investigation. If this does turn out to be an abnormally high count of cancer cases, I would imagine the most likely cause would be Radon Gas leaking into the home from the foundation.

Anonymous said...

TCEQ syas no cause for concern...

http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/comm_exec/communication/media/011210FWOilandGas

Another Concerned Citizen said...

First of all FMCAUD never called the Texas Department of Health, TCEQ, EPA, etc. As far as the article said, parents were concerned and made the calls. We just post information that is given to us. In fact we were told that a parent of one of the children made the initial contact to get information on possible cancer cluster.

We stated in a previous post that we are not saying this possible cluster is definately from gas drilling. Gas drilling has been proven to put benzene in the air and it is a source, along with others, that should be looked at.

As far as the TCEQ, well we can trust them as much as the Texas Railroad Commission.

Anonymous said...

Diane,

I hope your treatment goes well. Contact the Texas Dept of Health Services direct. You can find their contact information at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/contact.shtm

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about moving to flowermound from Carrollton. After this, I will look for a home in north Carrollton or Castle Hills. City council is stupid to not realize that this will reduce demand and property values

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt it's going to hurt property values. Most people just don't care. You're hearing a vocal minority here.

Anonymous said...

If you want a more serious example of an air issue, you should check out Exide's lead pollution in Frisco. Nearby million dollar homes in Starwood at Lebanon and Legacy are getting slammed with high lead emissions resulting in concentrations higher than federal standards. They have led in their soil, lead in their homes, and lead in their air. However, hardly a peep is to be heard from the homeowners. People also don't care about the serious ozone problems we have in DFW. I seriously doubt 90% of the folks in Flower Mound care about this either. Just a sad reality.

Heather said...

My whole neighborhood is concerned so we do care. I think you are very wrong on that. Do you have children? Everyone I know that have kids that attend Wellington Elementary will be at the council meeting. Why do yo think no one in Flower Mound cares? It makes me wish we had bought a house somewhere safer.

Another Concerned Citizen said...

There are many in this town that care. Only a small majority wants this waste water facility. That is the Shiloh area residents. They want everyone to believe it is just a few people concerned about this issue. Tonight will prove them wrong.

Anonymous said...

I find it very ironic that some of the residents that are so fearful and/or resentful of the drilling live in Wellington. Why? Because a few years after I moved to FM I learned about a big, new development called Wellington Estates. It was the last thing I wanted for my town: the traffic congestion from all the new homeowners, and my kid being uprooted from his school and sent to the brand new Wellington Elementary. And though it didn't occur to me at the time, just think about all the incremental carbon emissions and benzine exposure from all those cars! But not much I could do about it, because we live in a nation that respects property rights - then and now.