Parents demand answers about possible Colonia school cancer cluster
Parents in a Middlesex County town are uniting to demand answers from state and federal authorities about a possible cancer cluster linked to a local high school.
“We need parents to be more involved. It’s your children’s safety at hand here,” says Al Lupiano.
Lupiano says he has linked 120 cases of rare brain tumors to people who attended or worked at Colonia High School.
“If you think it’s unsafe to be there, we need you to speak up. We deserved a sit-down with the state and federal agencies. They need to start answering our questions,” Lupiano says.
Parents may have to wait until potentially the end of the month to get the results from radiation and radon testing done at the school. Meanwhile, more than 500 people have joined a Change.org petition demanding more public information from investigators. Some want a virtual learning option put in place while the investigation continues.
“Just to be aware of what’s going on and give parents a little encouragement that something is being done and kids are home getting their virtual education. But safe,” says resident Nancy Rapp.
RELATED: Officials complete some testing at Colonia HS amid cancer concerns, but many remain concerned
In a letter to parents, Woodbridge Superintendent Dr. Joseph Massimino wrote last Thursday that "there is no discernible health or wellness threat to students, staff or visitors at Colonia High School and we will remain open.
In a separate statement, Mayor John MacCormac's office said no brain tumor cluster has yet been identified by any agency of competent jurisdiction. The office also said that Lupiano has not shared his data with health or environmental agencies.
“I've offered to share with them my data I've offered to redact names, and sensitive information. To this date, no one wants to look at it,” Lupiano says.
He says that he is “beyond frustrated” with how the situation has been handled, and says that outdoor soil boring and water tests should be done immediately.
Lupiano says his late sister's children currently attend Colonia High. His sister Angela died in February after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Lupiano and his wife also had similar tumors.