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The Fallon Cancer Cluster

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posted on May, 13 2004 @ 08:13 AM
Fallon, Nevada. A city with a population of only 8,000. For those who moved here it seemed like the perfect place to escape the urban sprawl and raise a family. But something was happening to the children of Fallon. It all began with Dustin Gross. His family noticed bruises all over his body along with little red blood specks on the surface of his skin. After blood was drawn, doctors told Dustin’s family that Dustin had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which strikes children, usually between the ages of 2 and 9. It causes the production of millions of defective white blood cells, destroying the immune system, and can be fatal. Dustin immediately underwent aggressive chemotherapy.
Dustin was not alone. Over the next two years 14 more children contracted childhood leukemia in the Fallon area - an astronomical number in a community so small. Two have lost their lives. Authorities are now convinced that the outbreak is not a coincidence. Parents are desperate to find answers before more children become ill and possibly die.

Within weeks of Dustin Gross’s diagnosis two more children came down with childhood leukemia. The cancer treatment facility at the local hospital was overwhelmed. RN Barbara DeBraga feared that she was looking at an abnormally high occurrence of the disease known as a cancer cluster. She contacted the state assemblyperson for the Fallon area and an official investigation was launched. As state epidemiologist, Dr. Randall Todd prepared an all-out inquiry, a fifth and sixth victim were diagnosed with the disease. Dr. Todd immediately sought a common denominator shared by all the victims that might explain the epidemic. Could it be an environmental toxin? Interviews with the parents, however, produced no answers.

Dr. Todd watched helplessly as new cases continued to appear. Zach Beardsley was the ninth child diagnosed with childhood leukemia. His mother readily opened her house to a phalanx of scientists. The search for the common denominator continued. What did all these children share that might explain their illness? Was there something unique about Fallon that could explain why a cancer cluster appeared here? Researchers began with the water, noting that Fallon has one of the highest rates of naturally-occurring arsenic in their water supply of any place in the nation. Researchers also found mercury in a nearby lake and several irrigation canals – places where the children were known to play. And there was another unusual feature about Fallon that raised red flags. Residential homes are freely intermixed with farmland in which the fields were treated with pesticides and fertilizer. Radioactivity was also a possibility. Underground atomic tests were conducted near Fallon during the 1960s. Arsenic, mercury, pesticides. There seemed to be no shortage of toxins in the environment. Incredibly, scientists have so far failed to link any of them to the outbreak. In fact, no studies have ever demonstrated that these contaminants play a role in contracting childhood leukemia.

There was one final possibility. Fallon is located 10 miles from a major Naval Air Station used to train fighter pilots. The jet fuel contains benzene, a known carcinogen. There is a pipeline which transports jet fuel right through Fallon. Was the fuel getting into the water supply? Though there was no evidence that the water had been contaminated with jet fuel, perhaps the residents of Fallon were inhaling the jet fuel. This theory is currently being tested on laboratory mice at the University of Arizona. Human trials may take place in the near future. While authorities search for answers, the parents of the children suffering from leukemia in Fallon, try to remain optimistic.

The cause remains unknown but their are many guesses from the Trees to DNA. There is also an entire page devoted to the case in the Reno Gazette Journal.

Any idea to what the cause may be?

posted on May, 14 2004 @ 07:20 AM
According to an Article on (Yes, I know its Rense) the Navy may be to blame.

Cancer isn't the only problem. Kids and adults in Fallon and surrounding Churchill County are coming down with a myriad of other rare diseases, such as Myelodysplastic Syndrome and aplastic anemia. These diseases also relentlessly attack the bone marrow.

The kinds of cancers and other illnesses that have cropped up in the Fallon area are almost certainly caused by some kind of exposure to toxic chemicals. The source of that poison almost certainly sits a few miles outside the town of Fallon--somewhere on the 240,000-acre Fallon Naval Air Station, one of the Navy's largest bombing ranges, and home of the Top Gun fighter pilot training school.

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 08:47 PM
Here is some more recent news on the Fallon Cancer Cluster. news/local

FALLON — A group of parents is collecting children’s baby teeth from local families as part of the national environmental project called the Tooth Fairy Study.

“It’s a worthwhile program,” said Jeff Braccini, a member of Families in Search of Truth (FIST). “It’s going on all over the country, and it’s especially important in Fallon because of the leukemia cluster.”

Since 1997, 16 Fallon-area children — including Braccini’s son, Jeremy, have been diagnosed with leukemia. Three patients have died. A government investigation of the cancer cluster was inconclusive, but families of the patients formed FIST. The group is dedicated to continuing research on the cancer outbreak and its possible environmental causes.


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