2004.10.04 – A doctor is criticizing a state health department study

Associated Press
Centre Daily Times – Centre County, PA, USA, © 2004

Monday, October 4, 2004

TAMAQUA, Pa. – A doctor is criticizing a state health department study that was prompted after three Rush Township residents came down with a rare blood disease.

Dr. Peter J. Baddick, who has raised concerns about other environmental issues, is questioning the study because he thinks it downplays environmental connections with cancer rates in northeastern Schuylkill County. The state conducted the study after three people acquired polycythemia vera.

“I think there is a cancer problem in this area. I think any doctor in this area will agree with me,” Baddick said.

But Joel H. Hersh, director of the state’s Bureau of Epidemiology, said the statistical survey, which will be discussed at a community meeting Wednesday, isn’t necessarily the last word on the issue.

The study surveyed reported cancer cases in nine local zip codes. But Baddick said it failed to examine actual case histories and diluted findings by including an artificial “expected” number based on statewide cancer rates.

Baddick has compiled data of his own that he says shows cause for concern in two areas near a former Superfund site near Ben Titus Road in Rush Township.