State health officials will revisit Flower Mound health study

04/07/2014 6:46 PM

04/07/2014 6:47 PM

State health researchers will update a 2010-11 study of cancer cases in Flower Mound “in response to community concerns” about a University of Texas researcher’s report critical of the state study, officials said Monday in a news release.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said its original study analyzed the occurrence of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood brain cancer and female breast cancer.

“The findings showed that the incidence of all but breast cancer was within a statistically normal range. The agency found no evidence of a cancer cluster or evidence that the community was at higher risk for these types of cancers,” the department said Monday. “DSHS continued to collect cancer data from the area. An update report will be released in June.”

In a paper published last year in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Rachael Rawlins, a lecturer and researcher in the UT School of Architecture, looked at existing data and studies on air emissions in the Barnett Shale and at state efforts to monitor potentially harmful effects.

She concluded that the health department looked at too large an area — two ZIP codes that encompass most of the city's population — in the leukemia cases. Rawlins also said the department demanded too much certainty linking higher breast cancer reports to environmental contaminants.

City of Flower Mound officials were scheduled to talk to Rawlins last week and said they would provide additional information.

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