Cancer Cluster in Northeast Pennsylvania

On August 25, 2008, at a townhall meeting in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, the United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) announced that, after a year of investigation, it has confirmed the existence of 33 cases of a rare type of cancer in an isolated region in northeast Pennsylvania.

Polycythemia vera (PV) is a rare blood disorder, usually affecting older adults and rarely seen in those under the age of 20, in which the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells. Excess red blood cells can thicken the blood and lead to other complications.

The ATSDR’s report states that the 33 cases span Carbon, Schuylkill, and Luzerne counties in northeast Pennsylvania and that some of the high risk areas in question had “potential environmental sources in common.” Indeed, residents in these counties are well aware of the presence of a variety of potential polluters in the region, as facilities that dump and incinerate waste and burn fuel dot the landscape there.

If you live in the Carbon-Schuylkill-Luzerne County region and have been definitively diagnosed with PV, and you would like to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit with an attorney, please contact us at our website,, or call us directly at (888) 348-6787.