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Delegation Seeks Answers About N.H's High Childhood Cancer Rates


A recent federal study found the Northeast, and most of all New Hampshire, had the highest rate of childhood cancers in the country between 2003 and 2014.

Now, the state's congressional delegation wants to know what public health officials are doing to respond. They requested more information on the issue in a letter this week to the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

They want to know what's unique to New Hampshire that might be driving its high pediatric cancer rates. They also asked know how the government will address those problems, and seek public input.

The letter raises concerns that the high cancer rates could be tied to PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. It points to the pediatric cancer cluster identified on the Seacoast in 2016.

A state legislative commission has been investigating whether that's related to PFAS contamination at the Coakley Landfill Superfund site. Several other potential causes have been less investigated.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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