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Department of Health Recommends Biological Monitoring in Tonawanda | News

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Department of Health Recommends Biological Monitoring in Tonawanda
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TONAWANDA, N.Y.-The state Department of Health is recommending future biological monitoring of Tonawanda residents including blood and urine samples to properly assess exposure to toxins in the air from nearby factories.

The department discussed the proposal with residents tonight at an informational meeting that residents hope will result in the Department of Health taking an active role in helping to reduce toxic exposures. 

Recently the department found that lung cancer, bladder cancer and total cancers were elevated among both males and females as well as pre-term birth and heart defects. 

Proving a link between exposure and illness however is not easy.

"We just don't have the info to do that... So many different things can cause illness and over a long time frame we can't account a measurement and won't give us that info to give a cause and effect determination," said Department of Health spokesperson James Bowers.

Tonawanda has the highest concentration of air regulated facilities in New York state. 

The clean air coalition says the higher-than-normal cancer rates are directly linked to the air quality and they want the department to take more action.

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