“Four children with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Fifteen children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, including three cases diagnosed in the past year.”
In Johnson County, Indiana, a number of children have fallen ill and even died of specific cancers at unusual numbers, according to the New York Times. Upon concern and investigation, it was discovered that a carcinogenic flume of trichloroethylene, or TCE, was spreading underground and releasing vapor into homes near an old industrial site in the city of Franklin.
The discovery and illnesses have prompted members of the community, in an area which overwhelmingly voted for President Trump, to speak out against the rolling back of numerous regulations concerning health and the environment, a major pillar within the President’s agenda.
“When it comes to public health, we can go against party lines. And I don’t agree with trying to roll back the E.P.A.’s role.” -Steve Barnett, Republican and Franklin’s mayor
With the assistance of a watchdog organization that also assisted in the water contamination in Flint, Michigan, parents in the community have asked for an investigation of their city’s situation by the Office of Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency. The call cited mismanagement of the agency and parents of children affected by the chemicals also spoke out.
“We are demanding the E.P.A. finish what it started and place these restrictions on TCE and other dangerous toxins.” -Kari Rhinehart, mother of Emma Grace Findley who died of brain cancer in 2014
Previous research discovered that TCE was present in the air surrounding the industrial site and in two homes. Even for one apartment in Franklin, two young girls living in the same apartment had developed cancer.