Possible Cancer Cluster in Upper Manhattan Schools

Jul 2, 2019 by

Three public schools sharing a common campus in Upper Manhattan are being checked out for a possibly statistically significant cancer cluster. 

Whether or not that is the case will be determined by Northwell Health experts in occupational and environmental health.  Their conclusion will be based entirely on scientific criteria and will neither understate or exaggerate their findings.

They are independent. The findings will speak for themselves.  In the meantime there is no cause for panic or complacency.

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT),  (a tabloid-favorite scapegoat,), with an abundance of concern for the well-being of students and adults alike, is a partner in spearheading the investigation and was quick to call attention to the potential problem and take action.

The teachers union prepared and distributed a survey to affected teachers with relevant questions about their years of service at the school, the time and nature of disease diagnosis and the hospitals and physicians treating them. The union also has credentialed industrial hygienists on staff.

The Department of Education and the UFT will get definitive and authoritative answers after air quality and radiation tests are concluded. Over the summer the teachers union will update the staff on developments.

The teachers union is, of course, known primarily as the adversary of abusive management, watchdogs of contractual enforcement and as its members’ collective bargaining representative. But they do so much more and they do it all the time.  This is one of innumerable examples.

The health of students, no less than that of teachers, is safeguarded by the UFT and every New Yorker should appreciate that.

Ron Isaac

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