A recent article was just published in an online magazine called “Southerly” about a possible correlation between cancer incidence in Huntersville, North Carolina and industrial pollution. This relationship was scrutinized upon learning that several high school kids in a school by Lake Norman were diagnosed with ocular cancer. This prompted the residents to look for a correlation, and their current findings were found to be interesting. So far, there have been 20 cases of ocular melanoma in Huntersville within a population of 56 thousand people. Usually, ocular melanoma is found in 6 per million people.
Soon, suspicions rose that the industrial pollution below the town could be related to energy development. However, finding a definitive cause for the incidence of cancer across many younger individuals proved more than difficult. Nevertheless, initiatives to fund research started outpouring from citizens. Doctors from Columbia University started to run tests on tumors of patients while the Huntersville Mayor has asked the town for help in funding more research. This research would show whether coal ash or heavy metals could be tied to these cancer clusters.
In fact, there are many sites around North Carolina that are Superfund sites or industrial facilities, which are required by federal and state governments to test for pollutants. However, there are currently no standards for this testing when communities around the sites begin to develop schools, commercial buildings, and eventually neighborhoods.
Nonetheless, it is clear that this town must discover answers to this heartbreaking incidence among high school children.