Texas health officials said Monday they will update a 2010-11 study of cancer cases in Flower Mound after a University of Texas researcher criticized the previous study. The Texas Department of State Health Services said its original study analyzed the occurrence of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood brain cancer and female breast cancer.
“The findings showed that the incidence of all but breast cancer was within a statistically normal range. The agency found no evidence of a cancer cluster or evidence that the community was at higher risk for these types of cancers,” DSHS said Monday. “DSHS continued to collect cancer data from the area. An update report will be released in June.”
In a paper published last year in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Rachael Rawlins, a lecturer and researcher in the UT School of Architecture, looked at existing data and studies on air emissions in the Barnett Shale and state efforts to monitor potentially harmful effects.
She concluded that the health department looked at too large a geographical area — two zip codes that encompass most of the city's population in the leukemia cases. Rawlins also said DSHS demanded too high a level of certainty linking higher breast cancer reports to environmental contaminants.
The city of Flower Mound was scheduled to talk to Rawlins last week and said it would provide additional information.
-- Jim Fuquay