Cancer Concerns in Carlsbad

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For more information send us an email or phone 619-692-8499.

Carlsbad community members are concerned about the numbers of cancer cases (exact figure still being determined) occurring in certain neighborhoods. These occurrences have caused increased concern by community members that they are experiencing clusters of cancer cases. Cancer is devastating to families, friends, and communities. It’s only natural to want to know what caused the cancer and what can be done to prevent any more cases from occurring.

The County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency staff wants to help people find accurate, reliable information about cancer. We also want to connect people with the resources they need to understand the nature of cancer cases, cancer research, and what steps, if any, can be taken to help reduce the number of future cancer cases in their community.

These are the purposes for this website. We hope you will find it helpful. We welcome your comments and questions. For more information, please call 619-692-8499 or send us an email. Staff will respond to your questions as soon as they are able.

Please click on the links to the left for information about past and upcoming community forums, frequently asked questions, cancer resources, past state investigations, and other important information.

News and Updates

January 21, 2011

The results for two significant studies addressing cancer concerns in the Carlsbad community have been completed and published.

The County of San Diego has received the final report from the California Cancer Registry on the cancer concerns in Carlsbad. There are no new findings. As was discussed at the community forum, the analysis found more cases of malignant melanoma of the skin than would be expected, but this is consistent with results from other similar communities in coastal areas of southern California. No other cancers were found to be in excess of what would be expected for a community like Carlsbad.

The County of San Diego has received the results from the air sampling and testing performed by the County Air Pollution Control District at Kelly Elementary School last summer. The study found that the levels of volatile organic and other toxic compounds were very low and similar to what was found in other parts of San Diego County.  The study did find some slightly elevated levels of methyl bromide, a soil fumigant used by local growers. The County Department of Agriculture, Weights, and Measures confirmed that permits were issued for the application of methyl bromide during the time of the study. However the levels of methyl bromide detected were very low, 1000 times less than the level allowed when returning to a home after fumigation for termites. And methyl bromide is included in the standard battery of tests because it is classified as an ozone-depleting chemical, not a carcinogen. 

Both reports are now available using the links below.


Ambient Air Toxics Monitoring at Kelly Elementary School Carlsbad - Final Report

Carlsbad Cancer Concern Report 12-2010
 

 We appreciate your participation in this process.


 

October 1, 2010

This will be the last regular weekly update to this website. We are continuing to work with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th. We will post the results from the environmental testing performed by the County Air Pollution Control District as soon as they are available. 

We appreciate your participation in this process.  


 

September 24, 2010

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


September 17, 2010

Below is a brief summary of the status of Action Items from the Community forum of June 28th.

• Action Item #1 – Additional Studies at Kelly Elementary School:  the California Cancer Registry has asked that preliminary verification of the childhood cancer cases (Action Item #3) is completed prior to the further discussion of additional studies.

• Action Item #2 - Soil testing at Kelly Elementary School:  the school district had soil testing performed on materials removed from three separate areas during the recent playground renovation and all results were negative.  The School Board decided not to approve additional testing at this time, but agreed to hear the issue at such time that the community has raised sufficient funds for testing.  

• Action Item #3 – Clarification Regarding the Number of Children with Cancer:  the County has requested that community Task Force members submit a list with complete information on the childhood cancer cases.  Once a complete list has been received from community members, the County will submit the information to the California Cancer Registry for verification.

• Action Item #4-  Consideration for Outdoor Air Sampling and Testing:  The outdoor air sampling and testing have been completed and results are anticipated by early October.

• Action Item #5-   Leiomyosarcoma:  the California Cancer Registry provided an analysis of Leiomyosarcoma cases in the area surrounding Kelly Elementary School.  The number of cases was determined to be within what would be expected for these areas, no statistically significant differences were found. (click here to view results) 

• Action Item #6 - Mycotoxins:  additional links have been posted under Cancer Resources that discuss the latest findings on the health effects of mycotoxins.

• Action Item #7 – Electromagnetic Field (EMF):  new links are listed under Cancer Resources with information on the health effects of EMF and ELF.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 

 


September 13, 2010

We have posted some additional links under Cancer Resources to informational pages with facts on Electromagnetic Fields and Mold from several sources including CDC and WHO.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


September 3, 2010

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District has completed the outdoor air sampling for Kelly Elementary School as discussed at the June 28th Community Forum.  Results are expected to be available in late September to early October.   We will provide a summary of those results as they are received; any additional actions will be addressed by the appropriate agencies.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


August 20, 2010

Below is a brief summary of the completed Action Items from the Community forum of June 28th.

• Action Item #2 - Soil testing at Kelly Elementary School:  the School Board decided not to approve testing at this time, but agreed to hear the issue at such time that the community has raised sufficient funds for testing.

• Action Item #4-  Consideration for Outdoor Air Sampling and Testing:  The outdoor air sampling and testing is currently in progress and results are anticipated by late September or early October.

• Action Item #5-   Leiomyosarcoma:  the California Cancer Registry provided an analysis of Leiomyosarcoma cases in the area surrounding Kelly Elementary School.  The number of cases was determined to be within what would be expected for these areas, no statistically significant differences were found.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


August 13, 2010

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


August 6, 2010

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District is working with Carlsbad School District officials to implement the outdoor air sampling and testing plan for Kelly Elementary School as discussed at the June 28th Community Forum.  Results are expected to be available beginning in late September.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the remaining action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions. 

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


July 30, 2010

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District has finalized the outdoor air sampling and testing plan for Kelly Elementary School as discussed at the June 28th Community Forum.  Below are links to a video of Dr. Wilma Wooten, County Public Health Officer, discussing the plan; a list of the substances included in the testing plan and the plan document itself.

 

 

 

 

VIDEO: Dr. Wooten explains the process that the County's Air Pollution Control District is taking involving "outdoor" air sampling and testing.  Watch the update on YouTube here.

Download: List of Toxins and Carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds)

Air Sampling and Testing Plan 


At the July 28 Carlsbad School Board meeting, the Board discussed the proposal to pursue soil testing at Kelly Elementary School. The Board voted not to pursue the testing at this time as they were satisfied with the response to date that there is no increase in cancer cases. They will reconsider the decision if the community returns to the Board with funding for the testing.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


July 23, 2010

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District is developing an outdoor air sampling and testing plan for Kelly Elementary School as described in the  Summary Action Items  document  from the June 28th Community Forum.  The process will include testing of the common toxic compounds, known to be associated with cancer, as well as heavy metals and other contaminants.  

We have also added several links to the "Resources Page" to provide additional information on electromagnetic fields or EMFs.  These include postings from the Environmental Health Investigation Branch at the California Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization.  To view these links click here.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday. 


July 16, 2010

The California Cancer Registry has completed the analysis of childhood cancer in the Carlsbad area as requested by community members.  This data includes all new cancer cases among children reported to the California Cancer Registry for the Carlsbad area during the years 1996 through 2008.  The results of the analysis are posted here. There was no excess of new cancer cases observed among children in Carlsbad during this time period.

The Carlsbad Unified School Board has put the question of soil testing on the agenda for its July 28 meeting. For information about times, dates and locations of School Board meetings, visit this web site.

We are coordinating with state and local agency partners to address the action items from the Community Forum of June 28th.  We continue to work with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday.


July 9, 2010

Work continues by the local public health department, in collaboration with other local and state agency partners, to determine the best approach to address concerns of the residents of Carlsbad, based on the data presented at the Community Forum of June 28th.  Dialogue continues with community residents to clarify information, provide follow-up, obtain additional data, and answer any new questions.   

The California Cancer Registry has finished the analysis of Leiomyosarcoma as requested by community members.  This was one of the action items from the Community Forum held on June 28th.  The results of the analysis are posted here and the data show that the number of cases of Leiomyosarcoma is no higher than what would normally be expected in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, Vista, or San Diego County during the years 1996 through 2008.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday.


July 2, 2010

The second Carlsbad Community Forum to address cancer concerns was held on Monday, June 28, 2010, at the Sheraton Carlsbad.  A face-to-face question and answer session was held at 6 PM.  At 7PM, the formal program began, with welcome and introduction by Dr. Wilma Wooten, comments from Mr. John and Mrs. Stacey Quartarone, and presentation of the most recent data from the California Cancer Registry by Dr. Donald Lyman, who was the featured speaker at the event.  After Dr. Lyman's presentation, attendees had an additional opportunity for extended Q&A with content experts from state and local agencies. Dr. Lyman's presentation, summary next-step action items, and the audio recording from the forum are posted here.

Forum attendees included:

Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH, Public Health Officer, County of San Diego HHSA;  Donald Lyman, MD, DTPH, Chief, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control, California Department of Public Health;   Lynda Barbour, Regional Health Promotion Director, American Cancer Society;  William Bosan, PhD, Chief Toxicologist, California Department of Toxic Substance Control;  Thomas Cota, Performance Manager Cleanup Unit, California Department of Toxic Substance Control;   Marcia Ehinger, M.D., Chief, California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, California Department of Public Health;   Mahmood Hossain, Chief, Monitoring & Technical Services Division, San Diego Air Pollution Control District;   Margaret McCusker, MD, Medical Officer, Cancer Surveillance and Research Branch, California Department of Public Health;   Jack Miller,  Director, Department of Environmental Health, County of San Diego;  Steven Plyler, Water Superintendent, Carlsbad Municipal Water District;  John Roach, Ed.D, District Superintendent, Carlsbad Unified School District; and Ken August and Joanne Wellman, California Department of Public Health.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday.


June 30, 2010

The Action Items from the June 28 Community Forum are now available. 


June 25, 2010

The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) has provided responses to questions posed by the community. The questions and responses can be found by clicking here.

As a reminder, the Community Forum will be held Monday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Carlsbad, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive. There will be an opportunity for face-to-face Q&A with state and local agency representatives. The presentation and additional Q&A will begin at 7 p.m.   

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business each Friday.


June 18, 2010

The date for the next Community Forum has been finalized. The Forum will be held on Monday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Carlsbad, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive. A Pre-Forum Workshop will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. A media advisory has been issued today as well.

Representatives from the California Cancer Registry, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, American Cancer Society, and other local agencies will attend the Workshop and Forum. Progress on the work accomplished to date and the next steps will be discussed.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update is posted by the close of business on each Friday.


June 11, 2010

The next Community Forum is set for late June; details will be available next week. Representatives of the California Cancer Registry, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and American Cancer Society will be invited to the Forum. Progress on the work accomplished to date and the next steps will be discussed.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update will be posted by the close of business on each Friday.


June 4, 2010

Three points for update today are as follows:

  • Community Data Reporting
  • Q&A About the CA Cancer Registry Reporting Program
  • Additional Resources

Community Data Reporting. We have added a new section that includes a description about the cancer case validation process. It outlines the steps which are taken by the California Cancer Registry during validation. The Individual Case Submission Form for residents who wish to submit information is also available in this section.

Q&A About the California Cancer Registry Reporting Program. We have added a section that describes in further detail the process of cancer reporting with important information about the factors affecting the duration of that process.

Additional Resources. We have added three downloadable documents that describe in further detail the purpose, process and outcomes of the California Cancer Registry statewide surveillance system. There is information about the data collection process, cancer research and other related topics.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update will be posted by the close of business on each Friday.


May 28, 2010

Two points for update today are as follows:

  • Individual Case Submission Form
  • CAHAN Alert to Providers

Individual Case Submission Form. We have a new Individual Case Submission Form for residents who wish to submit information so their cases may be verified with the data from the California Cancer Registry. The form can be either faxed or mailed to Public Health, the fax number and mailing address are provided on the form. Longer-term plans include establishing a secure email address for reporting cases. Please click here to open and view the form. Once you open the form, you can print it from your browser or save the file to your computer first and then print it.

CAHAN Alert to Providers. Public Health Services issued a CAHAN Alert today to providers to remind them of their legal responsibility to report cases of cancer within six months of diagnosis.  California Health and Safety Code requires physicians and other health-care providers to report all new diagnoses of cancer.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update will be posted by the close of business on each Friday.


May 21, 2010

Three points for update today are as follows:

  • Task Force Meeting
  • Data Collection
  • Response to Task Force Request

Task Force Meeting. The initial goal of the Task Force was met this week when all case data collected to date by the community was sent to County Public Health for secure transmission to the California Cancer Registry for validation.

Data Collection. County Public Health is also setting up a system to facilitate case reporting by the community. The system will initially feature a downloadable case reporting form, fax number and mailing address. This first iteration of the system is expected to be in place early next week. Longer-term plans include establishing a secure email address for reporting cases.

Response to Task Force Request. As per the request of the Task Force, the County Public Health has asked the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program to review the incidence of birth defects for the Carlsbad community.  The Program plans to have a preliminary analysis available for the next Community Forum in June.

We appreciate your participation in this process. The weekly update will be posted by the close of business on each Friday.


May 14, 2010

The Community Task Force met this past week for the first time. The Task Force is composed of five community volunteers, as well as county staff.  The Task Force developed consensus on the following actions:

  1. To have a representative from the main state Cancer Registry offices present a brief update at the next forum including validated data from the community survey;
  2. To have a more detailed explanation of the registry’s reporting process;
  3. To postpone the next Community Forum for two weeks from the original proposed date of May 26th, to allow the state Cancer Registry sufficient time to validate the community survey data;

Community members asked for expansion of the health inquiry to include other potential health impacts. Data for some areas of concern are not collected. The County agreed to request that the state Birth Defects Registry review data for the Carlsbad area.

Thank you very much for your participation.


May 7, 2010

The Community Task Force has been formed. The plans are for the Task Force to meet at least twice before the next Community Forum. The Task Force’s two main goals are:

  1. Collection of additional case data so that the County can forward these data back to the California Cancer Registry for analysis, and
  2. Assist the County in planning the next steps to address community concerns.

The next Community Forum meeting is tentatively scheduled for late May.  The date, time, and location will be announced once confirmed.

Updates will be posted on this website every Friday or more often if needed. In addition, an announcement of the posting will be e-mailed to any individuals who signs up. Click on “email” at the top of the page to sign up for the weekly updates.   

Thank you very much for your participation to address the concern of the Carlsbad community.