Texas town to investigate cancer cluster

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by Steve Stoler / WFAA-TV

khou.com

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

FLOWER MOUND, Texas ― Four-year-old Meg Schmidt was diagnosed with leukemia in November 2008.

Her parents started asking questions as they learned of four other children and two adults who also have leukemia. All seven patients live within a four-square-mile area in Flower Mound.

Flower Mound town officials said they share the families concern and asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct air quality tests at two air compression sites in the town.

Texas Health Officials said they'll talk with the families and compare statewide leukemia cases against Flower Mound cases between 1998 and 2007. The agency said it conducted a study two years ago in one of the same zip codes looking into thyroid cancer cases.

"The company that's doing most of the gas exploration in Flower Mound, Williams Energy Services, says none of their wells or compressors are immediately adjacent to the areas of concern," said Allison Lowery, Texas Department of Health Services spokeswoman.

Williams Energy Services sent a written statement to News 8 Tuesday.

'We certainly sympathize with these families and respect their desire for the health study, but we do not believe there is any linkage to what we operate," the statement read.

Some parents are concerned the state health agency will only look at cases up to 2007. Some of their children were diagnosed with leukemia after that, but the agency said that's the latest statistical information they have available.

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