HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Nowadays when barber Roy Griffin cuts hair, the chit chat isn't about politics or sports--it's about the cancer that's stalking his neighborhood.
"We're losing quite a few people. Quite a few of our neighbors. All my neighbors, on both sides of me, are gone. They all had the same kind of cancer." he says.
His own daughter has survived cancer. He lives in the Chasewood subdivision, which is nestled near the intersection of the Fort Bend County Toll Rd and the Beltway. It seems neat, quiet, and peaceful, but it's under attack by cancer.
To give you an idea how bad the problem is here, in three adjacent houses, on one street, there have been four cases of cancer, two of them fatal.
Graham Lloyd lives in one of those homes and he has pancreatic cancer. He doesn't believe it is a coincidence.
"In my opinion cancer clusters are not coincidences. I think that they're very had to prove, but I think that the proof is statistically what the lab tests say." he says.
What the lab tests said was the water here was radioactive. This area used to be part of Missouri City's Extra Jurisdictional Territory. At the time, it got water from the Blue Ridge MUD. The MUD used ground water. Houston annexed it and tested the water. The tests showed the water was way over the EPA's standard for radiation. The city immediately shut down the wells and found another water source.
So how did this happen? Democratic candidate for State District 27 Steve Brown says they need to start with the Texas Commission on Environmental quality.
"Somewhere along the process, the process failed the community, and I need to find out who at TCEQ was responsible for monitoring the water wells--why they did nothing about it--why didn't they notify the residents in time." he says.
Brown says they also need to find out how many people have cancer here, and if other areas served by that same MUD have similar cancer rates.
As for Roy. He's hoping he'll be able to beat the odds.
"It's really tough to deal with because you don't know. It's always on your mind. When will it be your turn? Will you be next?" he says.