Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 6:46 pm

This clearly isn't ancient anthracite coal country history, but rather it is modern anthracite coal country history in the making. A highly rare and unusual form of bone marrow cancer called Polycythemia Vera has shown up over the past 5-6 years or so as an unexplainable cluster (high concentration of cases) in the Tamaqua region of PA. The Tamaqua region has far and away the largest concentration of this rare disease in the world, all clustered in and about a relatively small region. My interest comes from my having had this rare and incurable condition for 6+ years now (diagnosed 6 years ago). My background includes having worked for a Hydrofluoric Acid manufacturer back in the 70's and 80's, and I was wondering if the Tamaqua region has had any similar large scale Hydrofluoric Acid operations (now or in the past, manufacturers or users thereof). Spin-offs of the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid include fluorosilicic acid, which oddly enough is a common additive to many communities drinking water. We used to sell tanker loads of the stuff, which to us was an otherwise useless byproduct of HF (hydrofluoric acid) production.

I made the potential fluoride and Tamaqua PV (Polycythemia Vera) cluster connection while participating in the "How Gullible Are You" thread, where it is mentioned on the linked site that: "The vast majority of the fluoride added to drinking water is fluorosilicic acid, a toxic byproduct of coal plants. This fluorosilicic acid is collected from pollution scrubbers inside coal plant smokestacks, filtered, liquefied, then sold to cities as fluoride treatment." Does the Tamaqua region have (or has it had) any unregulated fly ash dumps that may have contaminated the ground water or their lakes or drinking water with fluorosisicic acid?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 7:40 pm

I believe that the "experts" who have descended upon Tamaqua over the last 5-6 years to research this cluster have strongly suspected fly ash from coal, but from what I can tell they all seem to be looking at the heavy metal contamination aspect of the fly ash and coming up goose eggs for a link to PV from that perspective. Why should they even stop to consider a link to a substance that is found in extremely small amounts (having been placed there intentionally) in the drinking water across the nation?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun May 08, 2011 7:52 pm

Sorry for your condition my friend. I sure would like you to post some links on what is going on with this situation & who these proposed "experts" might be.With your own goose egg statement--it sounds like the tree huggers are at it again. I had a friend that was diagnosed w/ an incurable cancer of some sort & his daughter, being an RN, contacted the Cancer Treatment Center in Phila. & their assesment was really different then the one he got up here. :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix


Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:00 pm

Fred, just take the subject line of this thread and run it through a Google search. You will get all the hits you need to see that both Federal and PA officials are researching this, and liking it to possible sources in coal ash and groundwater. It was first noticed in 2004, and by about 2007-2008 it was recognized to be a full blown cluster.

Other suggested links are to a group of chemicals called polycyclic hydrocarbons (such as benzene ring based chemicals), many of which are also found in fly ash. Radiation is also suspected (though I'm not aware of any unusual radiation contamination sources in or around Tamaqua).

I do fear that even if a viable link were to be found, it may be conveniently "overlooked" to protect big dollar corporate and/or military interests. And if the link does point to a substance that communities have been putting (in admittedly small quantities) into public drinking water since the early 50's (and common by the 60's), that news will be squashed for sure.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun May 08, 2011 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:14 pm

The reason why I personally discount the polycyclic hydrocarbon and heavy metals contamination theories is that there are many places worldwide that are region-wide sewers of these sorts of contaminants, yet none of them have clusters of Polycythemia Vera. Therefore I think it is something else.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:28 pm

I would think that you would want to look at cancer rates for this particular cancer in areas of china known to have coals with shockingly high fluoride levels to see if there might be any correlation. As far as fly ash goes, I would highly doubt that flyash with average levels of these chemicals would have any impact. Many old northern cities such as buffalo were built upon huge amounts of flyash/bottom ash, and much of the west side of buffalo has flyash 10 feet deep. Many small towns in the northern adirondacks where well water is used are built on or surrounded by flyash/bottom ash without this cancer correlation. Also look to Britain where long industrialization has left coal byproducts throughout most of England. There very well may be a relationship between an environmental factor in that area, but it may be something entirely different than any coal byproducts. Also, most of the fluoride in coal won't be left in the ash, but rather in the byproducts of scrubbers or released to the atmosphere.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:34 pm

All good points Berlin! It is unusual that this region has such a pronounced cluster of this rare disorder though. It is not communicable or genetic, so it didn't spread by being passed from family to family, or through any family related genetic links, or by any forms of person to person contact. I hope the researchers actually do find a link to the root cause for the cluster.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:49 pm

I'm with you, i hope the find the culprit. It seems highly unlikely that it would be influenced by coal byproducts which are so very common throughout the world, which humans have a long history of multigenerational exposure to. Since this is a rare cancer, if due to any environmental contaminant, I would suspect a rare contaminant. Follow up on what industry was in the area, and look for a very rare chemical facility ect., even if it hasn't existed for years. Also, as i understand it, that particular area of PA has a high concentration of various radioactive ores, this may be something to look into. It may not be the Fluoride you were exposed to at work, but rather the contaminated well water you drank at a previous home 25 years ago, or the contaminated soil under your vegetable garden as a child; these things are very hard to pinpoint.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/toxic-dump- ... -outbreak/
Sounds like there's a lot more than just coal ash in there
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun May 08, 2011 8:50 pm

Gee, in another thread were talking about an Italian Bakery in Tamaqua, PA with questionable cleanliness standards. Maybe all those people eating Tamaqua coal fuel baked bread got Polycythemia Vera from it. :-)

Sorry to learn you have a rare condition. Does it cause you any limitations in living your life?
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 9:00 pm

In my case the Hydrofluoric Acid plant that I worked at was a major part of the Manhattan Project during WWII. Since hydrofluoric acid is directly used to enrich uranium, they were actually doing it (during the 40's and into the 50's) right at the plant where I worked in the 70's and 80's. Where better to turn uranium into uranium hexafluoride so it can be separated via centrifuge into its 235 and 238 components than right at one of the worlds largest hydrofluoric acid manufacturing facilities. The factory was eventually shut down due to residual radiation contamination. During the time while I worked there no one ever told us of the military activities there in the 40's and early 50's. I learned about it only after the government guys in moon suits appeared and snooped around the place for a few weeks, and then soon after we all lost our jobs.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun May 08, 2011 9:12 pm

The shocking change in the pineal gland as a result of heavily contaminated flouridated water is well known and the sequellae are a complex cascade but there is no reason to suspect your condition is due to that one. Read your PM as what I am about to tell you should not be made public - as yet. When you are better you owe me a beer.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 08, 2011 9:18 pm

Yanche wrote:Sorry to learn you have a rare condition. Does it cause you any limitations in living your life?


Constant weakness, dizziness, visual problems, memory problems, balance problems, a flushed red face, pressure in the head, tinnitus, a very high risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke, and the need to donate a pint of my blood to science far more frequently than you can ever imagine are my main problems so far. My spleen is slowly getting bigger by the day also and may need to be removed some day. The condition is loosely in the Leukemia family, though in the early stages at least it is more like the exact opposite of Leukemia in that my bone marrow makes too many red blood cells (actually all blood cells) all the time and can't stop doing so. The thick blood from too many cells being generated continually is the reason for the high risk of stroke, blood clots, etc... Eventually it can devolve into acute Leukemia, after the bone marrow becomes tired of its never ending production of blood cells and it eventually stops doing so altogether. This is called the "spent phase".
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: samhill On: Sun May 08, 2011 9:37 pm

I`m also sorry to hear of your condition, as Fred said a second or third opinion is never out of the question. There seem to be more doctors thinking out of the box so to speak that they are starting to make a lot of breakthroughs, along with the stem cell research going on, here`s hoping.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Tamaqua Cancer Cluster, Polycythemia Vera

PostBy: snuffy On: Sun May 08, 2011 10:56 pm

It should be noted that two major superfund sites are located in the Tamaqua area both had nothing to do with anthracite coal. One located in Hometown, just outside of Tamaqua was a manufacturing facility that reclaimed copper wire. It has huge "fluff" piles located on the property. For years the Feds and owners acted like "nothing to see here folks, move along." The second site is located around the Delano exit of I-81. This site reclaimed metals and chemicals by certain processes including burning. Tamaqua is downwind of both locations. There were numerous people knowledgable about the hazardious materials at both sites.
snuffy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF250 & Mark III backup
Other Heating: Oil Hot Water