Statement From the New York State Health Department Regarding the Report of Cancer Cases in Levittown, Long Island
Albany, June 4, 1998 – Governor Pataki has directed the State Health Department to work with the Nassau County Health Department to gather appropriate information and data concerning cancer cases recently being reported in one area of Levittown, Long Island.
The State Health Department and Nassau County Health Department have begun working cooperatively on this issue. The County Health Department will begin collecting data from residents and will then report that data to the state. Once that data has been analyzed, the State Health Department, in consultation with the County, will determine the appropriate next steps for further investigation.
While the initial report to the state does not indicate an excess of any specific type of cancer in the one neighborhood, further information is needed to confirm cancer diagnoses and determine whether the occurrences may be unusual.
The state will determine whether: 1) there are several cases of the same type of cancer; 2) two or more cases of a rare type of cancer were diagnosed; 3) several cases were diagnosed among young people (or at ages where a certain type of cancer is rare); 4) cases are concentrated by year of diagnosis; 5) known risk factors existed and 6) there was adequate latency (how long did the person live or work in a certain place).