No connection found between Fifth Ward cancer clutter and chemicals used by railway, said Texas Health Department.
Union Pacific has countered claims of a cancer cluster in northeast Houston's Kashmere Gardens area, as per the recent findings from the Texas Health Department. In response to a 2022 City of Houston report suggesting that chemicals previously used by the rail company were causing a cancer crisis, Union Pacific has asserted that there are no cancer concerns according to the Texas Health Department's evaluation.
However, residents in the Kashmere Gardens community remain skeptical despite these findings. Numerous individuals have reported cancer diagnoses and losses of family members to the disease, all potentially linked to the alleged chemical contamination. Some of these personal stories include individuals suffering from lung cancer, esophageal cancer, COPD, and other related health issues.
The City of Houston's 2022 study points to chemicals utilized by Union Pacific in treating railway ties many years ago, which are believed to have seeped into the soil and water, potentially causing the high incidence of cancer cases and fatalities in the area. Residents have expressed their frustration and grief over the situation, with an overwhelming number of funerals becoming a grim reality.
Union Pacific's stance is based on the Texas Health Department's study, which examined the same soil samples as the city's report. According to the department's findings, there is no established link between the soil contaminants and adverse health effects. However, the study acknowledges certain limitations, such as limited soil samples taken at a single point in time and the need to accurately assess individual exposure to the chemicals.
Despite Union Pacific's claims and the Texas Health Department's findings, the Houston mayor's office remains unconvinced, asserting that the higher prevalence of cancer cases and fatalities in Kashmere Gardens is undeniable when compared to other areas in the city.
In response to ongoing concerns, Union Pacific has announced its intention to seek permission from property owners to collect soil samples from yards to further investigate contamination and initiate cleanup efforts.
Alice Tao 报道