Pratt & Whitney study reveals expected levels of brain cancer/tumors in workers

06/04/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Hartford, CT—A $12 million company-funded workplace study found that brain cancers and tumors in employees at Pratt & Whitney’s Connecticut plants were not above rates reported within the general population. The conclusions came from phase two of a multi-year study and were released Thursday, June 3, 2010, as reported by the Palm Beach Post.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UMPC) released the findings on Thursday, noting that the results did not greatly differ from those found during phase-one of the study.

The workplace study covered 223,894 workers during a 50-year period. Nearly 4,425 Florida employees for Pratt & Whitney who worked in plants outside The Acreage at some point or another were also included.

The study concluded that within a span of 50 years, 606 employees who worked at the eight Connecticut plants suffered lethal brain tumors.

Though these findings revealed expected levels of cancer rather than excessive ones, the discoveries were not all positive.

At a plant in North Haven, Connecticut, levels of glioblastomas were higher than expected. The levels were found to particularly affect salaried workers.

The Palm Beach Post report described glioblastomas, formally known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), as a “rare and especially lethal brain tumor.” However, WebMD stated defined the ailment as the “most common malignant primary brain tumor.”

There has no been no direct connection between The Acreage pediatric brain cancer cluster and Pratt & Whitney’s Loxahatchee facility as of yet. However, the company’s notorious hazardous waste disposal prompted many locals to question whether conditions at the plant could have contributed to the cluster.

Justice News Flash previously reported that four families in The Acreage filed a class-action lawsuit against Pratt & Whitney. The suit was filed with regard to allegations that the aircraft engine manufacturing company’s seemingly erroneous management of toxic waste was to blame fro the pediatric cancer cluster in the community.

However, the federal lawsuit was filed in regards to decreased property value based on elevated media coverage of the known cancer cluster, as opposed to liability for the actual reported illnesses in the area.

According to Pratt & Whitney spokesperson Emily DeSantis, “We are reassured that the study does not show an increased rate of brain cancer among our Connecticut employees.”

The third-phase of the study, which will focus on potential exposure to toxins and any possible links to cancer, is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Toxic Tort Lawyers.

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