How do we know that we have not been exposed to contamination from the Landfill for the past 40+ years?
EPA works closely with its partner, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in evaluating potential health exposures from waste sources. ATSDR has the ability to look at the cancer registry data to evaluate potential past exposures, while EPA’s role is to evaluate current and future exposure.
ATSDR is collaborating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) to conduct a public health evaluation of the environmental data for the Norwood community, which will include some consideration of the available statistics on cancers for the area. All cancers diagnosed in Pennsylvania are required to be reported to the state’s cancer registry. For the PADOH/ATSDR review for the Norwood community, the agencies will be focusing on the cancer information for people who were residents in the Norwood area at the time of their cancer diagnosis. Overall, it is extremely difficult to make a link between cancers or other illnesses and environmental exposures. PADOH/ATSDR will share what they are able to evaluate on the public health side for the Norwood site in a public report in late 2020.