State set to deny comprehensive study of cancer clusters in east Harris County

Scary levels of cancer and super rare tumors.

When state scientists, earlier this year, confirmed alarming clusters of the killer disease in east Harris County, the data set off an alarm activists said was long over do.

But a panel of experts assembled by the state has decided a complete epidemiological study of the area near a controversial Dioxin dump is unwarranted.

Jackie Young leader of the San Jacinto River Coalition disclosed the decision to FOX 26 ahead of the official announcement.

"I do feel like the people of east Harris County have been shortchanged by our state government and our federal government. We have our political leaders standing up and saying we have confirmed cancer clusters, we know enough to act and nobody is acting," said Young.

Former Highlands resident Pam Bonta has gone door-to-door in the community surveying households for unexplained sickness. Her anecdotal findings present a horror story of mysterious affliction and premature death.

"We have a town of thousands of people that have died and hundreds that are dying right now and nobody cares. I don't get it. They are shoving it under the rug," said Bonta.

Young believes more state testing is needed to confirm what she calls a clear source of ongoing danger.

"Independent testing has shown the same dioxin that's from the waste pits in people's homes north of the site, south of the site and as far inland as a half of a mile - and guess what? Those people have cancer," said Young.

As an alternative to the comprehensive epidemiological study state health officials are still considering a half-dozen options that could potentially shed more light on the cancer clusters.

Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson Chris Van Deusen, says the sheer number of different cancers and the geographic size of the area involved in the survey made the kind of study advocated by Young "unfeasible" according to the experts assembled  by the agency.