Community Divided Over Cancer Concerns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    In a unanimous vote, board members with the Carlsbad Unified School District decided against paying for more soil testing at Kelly Elementary.

    The decision was made after the board heard from some residents and scientists who claim the school has had too many cases of cancer among students and teachers.

    "At least 15 children who attended the Kelly Elementary School during the decade of the year 2000 to 2010 have been diagnosed with cancer," said pediatrician Dr. Philip Ziring.

    But others pointed out that some of the soil at the school has already been tested and found to be safe.

    "I don't think this is something we need to be concerned about anymore, it's done," said Carlsbad resident Charles Capps.

    Other residents said the issue was only creating unnecessary fear in the community, especially among children who attend Kelly.

    "There is no question we are in our own civil war of cancer, this issue has divided neighborhoods, co-workers and families," said one woman.
    Board members said the recent findings into the cancer rate in Carlsbad by state and county health officials helped make their decision much easier.

    "The health department has found no excess cancers in Carlsbad," said superintendent John Roach.

    "My questions are answered, I feel safe, I would send my child to Kelly School," said board member Kelli Moors.

    But the board also left the door open for additional testing if the community pays for it.

    "We will raise the funds to find out what is going on at Kelly School," said John Quartarone.

    He has been leading the charge for air, soil and water testing at Kelly.  His 16-year-old son Chase attended Kelly and died from Lymphoma last December.

    The superintendent said the testing would cost between $8,000 - $60,000 depending on the number of core samples taken from the soil.