Potential Brain Cancer Link Investigated at New Jersey’s Colonia High School
The city of Woodbridge, NJ is conducting an investigation after more than 100 former students and staff at the local Colonia High School were found to have developed brain tumors over a three-decade period.
First uncovered by former student Al Lupiano, the prevalence of both cancerous and benign brain tumors among Colonia students and employees has sparked concern that an unidentified radioactive compound may be present on the school grounds. Tests are currently being run across the school’s property to search for possible sources of radiation.
Uncovering a Possible Brain Cancer Link
Former Colonia High School student Al Lupiano first decided to investigate when both his wife and his sister were diagnosed with brain tumors, two decades after he himself had suffered from a benign tumor. All three had been students at Colonia in the 80s and 90s. Lupiano’s sister died from brain cancer earlier this year.
Lupiano’s search for others with similar experiences eventually uncovered 108 former students and staff who had suffered from brain tumors since their time at Colonia. Nearly half of these brain tumors were cancerous. Although no specific cause has yet been determined, the discovery set off alarm bells for the school district and local government officials.
The City of Woodbridge has now allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to test for radiation on the school’s grounds, and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormick has expressed his concern in recent interviews. “One hundred out of 15,000 have brain cancer—sure sounds like something we should be concerned about,” McCormick reported when asked by local reporters.
Testing is Ongoing
To investigate the possibility that radiation may be responsible for the high rate of brain tumor development among former Colonia students and employees, the City of Woodbridge has contracted the radiology and environmental remediations company T&M and Cabrera Services, Inc.
T&M and Cabrera is currently testing for radiation on the school’s grounds using radon sensors. Environmentalists have also placed canisters throughout the school to collect air samples for testing.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection have expressed concern, both have decided to wait for the results of these tests before taking further action. It may be several weeks before test results are available, and if no evidence of radiation is discovered, further tests may be necessary to look for other possible causes.
As of right now, Colonia High School remains open, despite some ongoing concern from students, teachers, and staff.