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State Study Shows High Levels of Cancer in Crestwood

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State Study Shows High Levels of Cancer in Crestwood

Photo by Tim King

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports cancer rates are significantly elevated in south suburban Crestwood. Residents unknowingly drank contaminated water for more than two decades.

From 1985 to 2007, Crestwood residents drank from a well contaminated with a dry-cleaning solvent and vinyl chloride. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists vinyl chloride as a carcinogen so toxic, there is no safe level of exposure.

The state study reports between 1994 and 2006 researchers found higher than expected cases of kidney and gastro-intestinal cancers in men and higher rates of lung cancer in both men and women.

But a definite link could not be made between the cancer and the tainted water. The report says other factors could be involved.

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