Lawsuit in Ohio Cancer Cluster Will Take Years

By JOHN SEEWER | May 21, 2013

Not much is known about a chemical compound that families believe is behind a cancer cluster in northern Ohio.

A federal civil lawsuit filed last week in Toledo points to a possible cause of the cancers that have sickened about 40 young people since the mid-1990s.

The families believe smokestacks from a Whirlpool Corp. plant in the Sandusky County city of Clyde sent the compound called benzaldehyde into the neighborhoods. Recent tests found the substance in several homes in the area.

Michigan-based Whirlpool says it will vigorously defend itself against the allegations.

Attorneys for the families say more research is needed to determine whether the chemical compound can cause people to get cancer.

One study from decades ago did show there were indications that it could cause cancer in mice.

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