NORTHPORT, N.Y. (PIX11) — In 2019, after an “unusually high” number of 2016 graduates from one Long Island school district were found to have cancer, the New York Department of Health stepped in to investigate. For years beforehand, parents, students and staff at Northport Middle School complained of a strange smell at the school that would cause headaches, respiratory problems and skin rashes.
However, in a virtual meeting Thursday, state health officials said they did not identify any common factor that may have accounted for the district’s leukemia cases. Additionally, the state found while some cancers had “higher than expected” cases, others were lower than expected.
“Based on our investigation, we do not believe that there is cause for alarm,” health officials concluded. “It is possible that the higher number of leukemia cases found in the Northport HS class of 2016 is due to chance.”
The complete findings, published in June, found that “aside from the 2016 graduates, diagnoses of leukemia were not significantly elevated among young adults in the Northport-East Northport school district or among children.
Similar results were determined at a New Jersey high school in May. There, Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said there was “no cause and effect relationship” between a high amount of patients with brain tumors and the school.