Cancer Mapping Legislation Co-Sponsored by Lupardo Passes both Assembly and Senate

Communities like Endicott should know about health risks

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that legislation she co-sponsored (A.1143-B/S.1592-B) to establish a comprehensive cancer mapping program in New York State passed in both the Assembly and the State Senate. The legislation was sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton). It will now be sent to Governor David Paterson for his consideration.

The legislation would create a detailed cancer map to identify cancer clusters across the state. The new program will require the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to maintain detailed computerized databases that track key factors which may contribute to cancer. Ultimately, these databases will allow for the generation of maps at the census block level, which will provide essential information on the correlation between cancer clusters and the social, environmental, occupational and other factors that may be causing them.

“This issue is especially important here in Endicott where we have been dealing with the consequences of vapor intrusion for several years,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “Cancer mapping is more than just a worthwhile project – it is a necessity for us to better understand the health problems we face in our community. This program could assist in determining if there is any correlation between types of cancer cases and possible social, environmental and other factors which may have impacted the cancer clusters.”

This program will help identify public health concerns, like those in Endicott, NY where chemical spills at an IBM plant have resulted in abnormally high rates of testicular and kidney cancer. While some residents may have wondered about the high rates of cancer surrounding the IBM plant, it was not until 2003 that the DEC began to vigorously investigate the levels of carcinogenic chemicals in private buildings and the effects of these chemicals on public health.