Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that he has cosponsored legislation to create a cancer mapping program that would chart the occurrence of cancers as they relate to the locations of environmental facilities. The purpose of the measure is to help determine whether there are any environmental, occupational, or social factors that can lead to certain types of cancer.
According to Senator LaValle, the measure would require the Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation and a newly created technical advisory group, to establish and maintain a computer mapping system for plotting cancer rates and environmental facilities throughout the state. The information will not be limited to cancer clusters and will overlay locations of environmental facilities with cancer incidences. DOH will be required to make the maps available to the public, showing cancer clusters by cancer types, and will be required to update the maps periodically.
“The growing incidence of cancer is a serious public concern and is troubling to the medical and research communities,” said Senator LaValle. “This mapping project will provide a starting point to determine if there is a link between cancers and the environment. The information generated from this project should be very helpful to physicians and disease control professionals who are trying to uncover any possible connection.”