The cause of a so-called “cancer cluster” in Windsor’s Remington Park remains unknown. Concerned residents, cancer stricken, healthy and otherwise, watched a slide show presentation by the health unit, and had a chance to ask questions at a meeting Wednesday night. One of the speakers was Doctor Gary Kirk, the medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex, who said area’s rate of lung cancer is double the provincial average. Kirk said the cause could be anything from smoking to radon to asbestos or chemical exposure. “It’s way too early to tell at this time,” he said.
Cancer Care Ontario says Remington Park area has twice the provincial average for lung cancer, between 2000-2009The next step is to have health officials gather detailed questionnaires from the 24 people with diagnosed lung cancer between 2000-2009 for further analysis.Having the health unit provide radon testing kits to homes in the neighbourhood is being discussed.Radon is a radioactive gas that can seep into homes, usually into basements. It’s a leading cause of lung cancer.
Lung cancer was the only type that had a rate significantly higher than the provincial average. Still, Kirk wants information on all types of health issues and possible causes.Tanya Rau, 32, moved into Remington Park in 2007. Since then, she has developed a rare blood disorder, and has been on chemotherapy for two years.”There’s something wrong here. Something needs to be done. It needs to be investigated. I’m not getting any better,” she said. “There’s got to be more out there like me, and we’re just not getting the help.”
Joe Correia, who has lived in Remington Park since the 1970s, was disappointed by the meeting.”I mean, it’s nice that he was here to explain, but he was mainly talking about the problem. He doesn’t have solutions,” Correia said of Kirk. “Even Mayor [Drew] Dilkens should be here, too, if he’s concerned about Remington Park.
“I have no health problems, but according to what I heard, quite a few people have them. I could be a walking time bomb.”