Erin Brockovich is on the case again. This time, she is investigating a possible cause for the strange Tourette-like illness affecting 15 students at LeRoy High School in New York.
Brockovich is an environmental activist who became widely known to the public after a movie about her, starring Julia Roberts, was released in 2000. The movie depicted how Brockovich managed to link cancer cases in a small California town to toxic drinking water.
reported that Brockovich became involved in the LeRoy High School illness after learning that there was a chemical spill near the school 40 years ago, which contaminated the drinking water. In 1970, a train carrying cyanide and an industrial solvent called trichloroethene derailed and spilled its contents within three miles of the high school. The crystals were removed, but the trichloroethene was absorbed into the ground, according to a 1999 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Brockovich states that families of the affected students contacted her, asking for help and a further investigation into the situation.
Brockovich told USA Today
: "When I read reports like this—that the New York Department of Health and state agencies were well aware of the spill and you don't do water testing or vapor extraction tests—you don't have an all-clear."
The New York Department of Health recently determined there is not any environmental or infectious cause of the mystery illness at LeRoy High School. The department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond told ABC News,
"The school is served by a public water system...an environmental exposure would affect many people."
The school district issued a statement saying, "Medical and environmental investigations have not uncovered any evidence that would link the neurological symptoms to anything in the environment or of an infectious nature." LeRoy High has an indoor air quality report and a mold report posted on its website.
The illness at LeRoy High School so far has affected 14 girls and one boy.
Source: 1 huffingtonpost.com
Source: 2 usatoday.com
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