PUBLIC SAFETY

Seacoast Cancer Cluster Task Force Meeting

At the first meeting of the Governor's Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation, members were told that the state moved into the third step of its four step investigation into the cluster "because we had a significantly higher number of cases of RMS and PPB," according to Whitney Hammond, DHHS's program coordinator for its comprehensive cancer control program.

The third step is the development of a questionnaire that will get more information about children who are part of the Seacoast pediatric cancer cluster. If this questionnaire reveals a link between the cancers and a common environmental exposure it would trigger a "case control study." Hammond said the state has never done such a study and that they are very lengthy and resource intensive.

State Representative Tom Sherman D-Rye, suggested that the group make the task force meetings regular and public so that the whole process becomes a little more efficient.

State Representative Renny Cushing D-Hampton, said the task force should do an assessment of the policy limitations that might need to be addressed.

The first meeting was held June 22. The next scheduled meeting is July 20, from 4 to 6 p.m., with a location to be determined.