spring valley dc cancer
“There’s a reason why they call it Spring Valley,” says Tom Smith, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Restoration Advisory Board member who has lived in Spring Valley for 30 years. And then came a whole series of other things. She and her husband appealed the Army Corps’ decision not to relocate their family. Dan Noble took the front table with other Corps officials. “The only way to get answers is to talk to people who have lived here their whole lives,” she says today. “I played in the yards and the creeks. It was called “the dew of death” because a single drop could be lethal. American University, atop the hill at Ward Circle, was a small, struggling college. In 1920, two years after the armistice, the government closed down the project but didn’t clean up the land. Using archival maps and satellite images, historical records, geophysical probes, and ground-penetrating radar, the Corps has identified specific waste pits, testing trenches, and pathways from the firing range. “It was a tough time in the community,” says Dan Noble, one of the project managers for the US Army Corps of Engineers Spring Valley project. Her appeal was denied. The bottles are full of mustard, to be destroyed here. Connecticutexternal icon 8. “That’s where they tied up the goats and set off bombs.”. “I could never figure out why my eyes burned all the time,” Miller says. But, Clem Gaines, the spokesman, said, “We should have done a better job of communicating with him.”. Perchlorate was also found in an elevator shaft at Sibley Hospital and in test wells close to Dalecarlia Reservoir. Fox said the study won’t draw conclusions about the causes behind Spring Valley residents’ health issues. They all came down with cancer a year or two later.”, Junium counts the houses with cancer—“bad cancers, they all died”—and stops at seven. Now I have growths on my thyroid. Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., was officially sworn in as the 15th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on October 17, 2017. North America Date Disease Location Number Source Refs 1917–1927 Osteosarcoma: New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois: 86 Radium: The Loughlins’ case against AU and Lawrence Brandt was settled out of court and was sealed. “We were never able to get a handle on that. It never crossed my mind that it wasn’t normal to come home with stinging eyes and get them washed.”. Soldiers tied animals to stakes in the circles, set off bombs in the center, and saw how quickly the animals died. District of Columbiaexternal icon 10. “I want closure.”. Your participation will help us fund and conduct innovate research, support patients, and spread the word about prevention. Having found arsenic in the ground, the Corps has carted away thousands of tons of soil, and it’s still testing for more toxic waste. Two surveys of the entire neighborhood have found no elevated incidence of cancers. Saum would get so weak that she’d drop to her knees to crawl through her house. Alabamaexternal icon 2. The Army dug the circular pits in 1918 and field-tested chemical-warfare agents, such as mustard gas and other lethal compounds. The Army and American University kept the neighborhood’s toxic past secret. “It’s like throwing a quarter at it. Gillum and Saum got nothing from their lawsuits. Alaskaexternal icon 3. In the 1950s, construction of a radio station on campus was stopped when workers unearthed a bomb. “What we want to do is inform them of their community health status, overall.”, Star recruit’s job: Erode a racist legacy, New Montgomery watchdog doesn’t dodge controversy, A small town seethes after learning one of its own says he joined Capitol’s mob, Before he stormed the Capitol, ex-W.Va. lawmaker harassed women at an abortion clinic, Two rioters claim Capitol officer told them, ‘It’s your house now,’ FBI says, The $3,000-a-month toilet for the Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner Secret Service detail, How battered D.C. police made a stand against the Capitol mob. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Sharpless served as the director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a … Ask Camille Saum, who grew up on Sedgwick Street. “They know the stories. We provide comprehensive care & state-of-the-art cancer treatments & therapies. “I had an enormous growth on my thyroid,” she says. A cancer cluster is a statistical event, which may or may not have a cause other than chance. Georgiaexternal icon Top of Page It summoned more than 1,000 chemical-weapons researchers to mix poisons and test the substances’ killing potential at the American University Experimental Station. He had no idea what lay beneath. Tom and Kathi Loughlin bought the new brick house at 4825 Glenbrook Road in 1994, on property that American University had sold to a developer, Lawrence Brandt. Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm ET. Inova Schar Cancer Institute is a state-of-the-art cancer center in the Washington, DC metro area designed to bring healing and hope to every patient. The Army surveyed 500 properties for buried weapons. Report: US Capitol police officer dies after riots in DC Wednesday 5 days 7 hours 41 minutes ago Thursday, January 07 2021 Jan 7, 2021 January 07, 2021 6:08 PM January 07, 2021 in News Source: CNN “It frightens the hell out of me,” she says. Dieterich is more concerned about the excavations across the street. 6420 Rockledge Drive Suite 2300 Bethesda, MD 20817 map. Bailus Walker, professor of environmental and occupational medicine and toxicology at Howard University, chaired a panel that studied Spring Valley for the District. Miller left Spring Valley for college in 1974 and only moved back in 2007 to help care for her aging father. “We found out the white vapor was arsenic trichloride,” Dieterich says. “We need an independent assessment by the National Academy of Sciences,” says Nan Wells, a biologist who represents Spring Valley on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. “I saw at least four doctors,” she says. Our dogs got tumors.”, Camille Saum was eventually diagnosed with lupus and renal stenosis, a rare kidney disease that constricts the blood vessels. “I don’t think the government treated me or anyone else well,” says Saum. The EPA is still developing drinking-water standards. It frightens the hell out of me. “Wouldn’t you love to be able to identify exactly where that is now?”, From the other side of her coffee table, her husband, Buff, quips, “Don’t you recognize your own back yard?”. Researchers started to uncover what American University officials had known and when. The Spring Valley Restoration Advisory Board convened in mid-November of last year at St. David’s Episcopal Church off MacArthur Boulevard. Sat – Sun 9am – 5pm ET (888) 793-9355 Cancer Support Community is a 501(c)3 charitable organization “Has anyone else had to bury their friends? She has been diagnosed with pernicious anemia—a rare and debilitating blood disorder—kidney disease, and lupus. Bailey has represented many Spring Valley residents for free. “There’s a great deal of water under our homes. In 1995, the Army declared that no further action was required in Spring Valley. In November 1997, Kathi Loughlin was diagnosed with a left frontal brain tumor. In 2000, when she heard about the chemical-weapons testing at AU and the “Sedgwick trenches,” Saum started telling friends and relatives her diseases might be connected to the chemicals. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you’ll find it here. Miller was shocked that three of her childhood friends had died of cancers. Months later, the Army Corps of Engineers found the first of two disposal pits on the Korean property, just over the fence from the Loughlins. They lined up the support of the Restoration Advisory Board and enlisted Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who made a personal plea to Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick, head of the Corps. Bush all lived there. The grass wouldn’t grow in our yard. Then one afternoon in late March 2010, Dieterich rounded the corner onto Glenbrook on her way home from work and found the street blocked by TV news trucks, cameras, and reporters. Citing a general lack of understanding about the long-term effects of chemical weapons exposure, the report suggested conducting another study later. At first her health was fine, but after a few months she started to get “horrific” headaches. The uniformed men aim their rifles at an unseen target behind American University. And the laws are stacked against residents who attempt to use the legal system as a recourse, especially when the government is charged with creating the pollution. Lewis Watchdog Award by the DC chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Loughlins’ live-in nanny, Patricia Gillum, was diagnosed with actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition that can be caused by sun or industrial chemicals, including arsenic. Camille Saum sued the federal government and AU at the same time. According to the Corps, they didn’t keep records of the disposals. Workers had noticed the ground smoking around the drum. Recently, the cleanup … There are other cancer clusters that occur without any obvious source of carcinogens. How did it actually get into your system? Cancer.Net brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and about them to help patients and families make informed health care decisions. 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime . From the 1920s on, developers bought up the property, carved roads, and built homes. It was awarded the Robert D.G. Johns Hopkins Surgery - Sibley. “We’re paying $250,000 to do a study of a transient population,” said Lee Monsein, a board member who has downplayed the risks of the buried waste. The Army started to follow his leads. Children's Cancer Fund, CCF models runway, Cancer research, Child Life, Children's Medical Center CHILDHOOD CANCER About Childhood Cancer Types of Childhood Cancer ABOUT US Mission & Vision History CCF Staff CCF Board Investments Results Endowments In the Spotlight Featured Alumni Lauren Mara Miller sat in the back. In 2001 the Corps discovered a third pit at 4825 Glenbrook and dug up 400 more munitions. Experts dug up 140 shells and projectiles. Paradoxically, the neighborhood t… If the government and its leaders had to worry about getting sued, the law reasons, then government would suffer. I’m one of the lucky ones. What the Army failed to state explicitly was that Dieterich and her neighbors were living yards away from the first military Superfund site in a residential urban area, where the Army is actively searching for bombs and poisonous chemicals. I didn’t do any of the things that Americans usually do to make themselves ill,” he said. His laundry list of health issues includes hypertension, kidney failure and diabetes. It excavated 15 but didn’t find any munitions. “You have to show chemical contamination exists in specific concentrations. Most residents would prefer that Spring Valley’s toxic past recede, but it remains immediate and relevant. And a blood disorder. The GW Medical Faculty Associates has locations throughout Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. I believe they came from exposure to the World War I chemicals tested in Spring Valley.”, She asks if he knew about the study. No dice. Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday. Negative. She worries about chemical contamination in ground water and, especially, poisonous gasses escaping from the excavation across the street. At a routine public meeting of local government representatives, Johns Hopkins researchers, residents and the corps in September, Spring Valley resident Lee Monsein echoed Teleki’s skepticism. Then you must prove with scientific evidence that the chemicals caused a specific disease.”. Over the years, medical technology has drastically changed, but there are still many people who believe in the power of medicinal plants. They moved in in 2009. Photograph by Brad Howell. The Corps has drilled 53 wells in Spring Valley and found arsenic as well as perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, in the ground water. “The frustrating thing for me is that the Army is always doing things piecemeal,” Dieterich says. Arizonaexternal icon 4. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. The economy is a broad aspect that undergoes a number of changes. It reopened its investigation, thanks in large part to Richard Albright, a lawyer and environmental scientist with the DC environmental department. “My father was a doctor, but no one knew what was wrong with me.”. He said he discovered a report by the corps that found more than 20 toxins and heavy metals on his property. It borders American University and lies between the home of the university’s president and the residence of the South Korean ambassador. Two things have become clear in the 20 years of testing and turmoil: It’s nearly impossible to prove a direct connection between the toxic chemicals and a specific disease. “What we want to do is follow up on the health outcomes that were raised in the  scoping study, in addition to the arsenic-related cancers that we looked at last time,” Hopkins researcher Mary Fox said. The Loughlins might have had their hopes up because of a prior ruling by federal judge Stanley Sporkin, who presided over a 1996 case in which the Miller Companies, the principal developer of Spring Valley, sued the Army for failing to warn it about the buried toxins. The Army Corps’ Brenda Barber also points out that Spring Valley residents drink city water, not well water, so high concentrations of the compound in its test wells isn’t an immediate problem. He was in “excellent health,” he said, before he left Africa in the 1990s and returned to Spring Valley. Participating Telehealth provider - Book a virtual visit today! The Corps has dug up more than 1,000 munitions, such as this projectile found on the AU campus. It has dug up more than 1,000 munitions, most empty, some still intact with toxic agents. “The thyroid is one of the most responsive organs to toxic contamination, so it’s usually the first to go. “Selling is a complete nonstarter,” she says. It’s clear that contamination is not widespread over Spring Valley’s entire 660 acres. The Bohlens have lived in the Spring Valley section of Northwest Washington for 52 years, ... A 2007 Hopkins study found a lower-than-average occurrence of cancer in the neighborhood. Tables in the community room were arranged in a square, with government officials among community representatives. Miller stood up and explained that she felt compelled to alert her neighbors to the survey. Since then, the Army Corps has spent $221 million to clean up what it calls the Spring Valley Formerly Used Defense Site. You have to prove the exposure pathway. We find no connection between what might have been buried in the ground and our drinking water. After the first bombs were found in 1993, the Army closed off the neighborhood, erected a sign that said danger—poison gas and evacuated 130 homes. But because the contamination affected specific streets and groups of houses built over known trenches and dumps, many residents believe that surveys encompassing all of Spring Valley are too diffuse and not conclusive. The Spring Valley cleanup project began in 1993, when a contractor unearthed buried military ordnance on 52nd Court Northwest. She believes all of these conditions were triggered by an immune system weakened by toxic chemicals such as arsenic. Tall but fragile, Geza Teleki moves slowly around his Bethesda home, where he moved a few years ago with his wife, Heather, after raising their children in Spring Valley. The university sold two building sites on property the Environmental Protection Agency had flagged as possible toxic-waste burial pits. Teleki is convinced that toxins left over from the military’s use of the area caused his health issues. In a separate dig, they found a 75-millimeter projectile containing mustard gas six inches deep in the ground. Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where expert cancer care is our focus. Enter your ZIP code or call us at 1-800-ACS-2345. Photograph by Brad Howell. The Bohlens have lived in the Spring Valley section of Northwest Washington for 52 years, raising three children and now settling into retirement. A 2007 Hopkins study found a lower-than-average occurrence of cancer in the neighborhood. “No one could figure out why I was getting sick.” Eventually an immunologist diagnosed hypogammaglobulinemia, a rare immune-system disorder. Get all of Hollywood.com's best Movies lists, news, and more. She sued the Army to no avail. She knew that the campus of American University, just a block away, had been the site of chemical-weapons testing from 1917 to 1920. My wife has a blood disorder, too.”. The latter’s health effects aren’t completely understood, but it’s known to cause thyroid problems. Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center. The corps responded through a spokesman that “there was no significant risk to Teleki’s home.” Teleki’s was one of more than 100 homes that ultimately had their soil cleaned up, said corps project manager Dan Noble. In Death Valley. The Corps now believes that it has found “the hole called Hades”—directly across the street from Christine Dieterich’s home. Use our website to find a dialysis clinic near you. The Corps notified residents within the area that their yards could hold bomb parts. They sealed off the site and tested the contents of the bottles. Spring Valley - Washington, DC. Walk with your community and the American Cancer Society to help free the world from cancer. In November, Army contractors tore down the three-story house at 4825 Glenbrook. Photograph by Brad Howell. “Thank God it was benign. The Loughlins had to sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and a federal judge threw out all the cases against the United States under the “discretionary function exception.” This clause protects the government from being responsible for decisions that were made on the basis of an official’s policy judgment or choice. Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope. In 1999, the Corps dug up two pits outside the South Korean ambassador’s residence, at the intersection of Glenbrook Road and Rockwood Parkway, unearthing 680 items associated with chemical munitions. But because the case was settled out of court, Sporkin’s opinion never resulted in a final judgment against the Army. “It’s not imaginary.”, After the meeting, Miller vowed to stay engaged. The Army Corps had tested the soil around his Spring Valley house and given his residence a clean bill of health in 2003, but Teleki repeatedly questioned the assessment. see more » The Spring Valley study area is a 661-acre site located in Northwest Washington, DC. Kent Slowinski and other community members questioned whether neighbors would be safe. Cancer Support Community is excited to announce the launch of our giving club Circle of Strength! Lewisite, made with arsenic, was perhaps the most toxic of the poisons tested on the AU campus. Her daughter had severe mercury poisoning years before the discoveries, but Janet said there is no way for her family to know whether the Army artifacts and that condition were related. And the university called in the Army Corps to check for munitions before it built its sports complex in 1986. 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