WOODBRIDGE, NJ (PIX11) — More than 120 people linked to a New Jersey high school developed brain tumors, but an investigation announced Thursday failed to find any radiological hazards in the school or on the campus, officials said.
Some Woodbridge community members said they want more investigation, but New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said no further testing or remediation is recommended, noting people can have confidence the school is safe. He said it was “ill informed” to refer to the tumor cases as a cancer cluster.
NJ Health Commissioner Dr. Judith Persichilli said the number of cases found were in line with statistical expectations based on how often people are diagnosed with these types of tumors. Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said while he sympathizes with everyone who suffered some form of brain tumor or cancer, there was “no cause and effect relationship” between the illnesses and the school.
Testers brought radon canisters to the high school and sent them to a lab for analysis, McCormac said. Gamma radiation scanning devices were also used during the investigation.
Al Lupiano, the graduate who linked the cases of tumors, had previously called for the federal government to get involved. PIX11 was not immediately able to reach him on Thursday.
“We need the federal agencies to come and do what they are tasked to do this is what they receive tax dollars to do,” Lupiano said. “They need to do the study.”
Lupiano, an environmental scientist, survived a brain tumor himself. Then his wife and his sister were both diagnosed years later. Lupiano used obituaries and news clippings to identify additional cases connected to Colonia High School.
McCormac said Lupiano’s list of cases had not been validated or verified by officials. He noted someone on the list went to the school for just one year and not four.
Persichilli said she understands people may still have questions and concerns about specific cases and said those individuals can call 609-826-4984.
BREAKING:— Henry Rosoff (@HenryRosoff) May 26, 2022
Woodbridge poised to announce there is nothing pointing to a radiation threat nor cancer cluster at Colonia High School.
We just obtained the below letter to parents.
There will be a 4pm briefing.
Community members already telling us they want more investigation. https://t.co/ZUhDEZz28l pic.twitter.com/34oTKQyJZo