State Sets Public Meeting to Review Findings of Northport Cancer Study

The state health department will hold a virtual public meeting July 7 to discuss the findings of a cancer study of people living in the Northport-East Northport School District.

The study, released last week, noted a “statistically significant” number of cases of leukemia and other cancers in the Northport High School class of 2016, but also said it found no links to environmental factors for the occurrences. The investigation covers the years 1999-2018.

Many parents have battled school administrators for years, saying that unusual chemical smells at Northport Middle School had sickened their children and staff, reporting illnesses from nosebleeds, headaches and coughs to more serious illnesses, including cancer.

School board meetings preceding the Covid-19 epidemic were frequently packed and emotional, as people demanded answers and wanted the school closed, which the Board of Education ultimately voted to do in January 2020.

The meeting, which was announced Thursday, will be online at https://health.ny.gov/Northport

The report is available here: https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/diseases/cancer/surveillance_reports/northport_investigation.htm

The public is invited to submit questions during the live webcast.

Webcasts of the meeting will be posted on the New York State Department of Health’s web site for one year within two weeks following the meeting.

Newsday, which first reported on the study’s findings last week, said that it “identified 4,593 cases of cancer among district residents — higher than the 4,454 that would be expected, researchers said — with elevated levels of people with melanoma and pancreatic cancer.”

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