Cancer rates near OUC ‘drastically exceed’ national average, attorneys say.
Residents of neighborhoods near the Orlando Utilities Commission power plant claim that their properties have been contaminated by toxic byproducts that have caused cancer rates in the area to "drastically exceed" the national average.
A lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of residents of Stoneybrook, Avalon Park, Eastwood and other communities north of the power plant.
“This area is marketed as the perfect environment to raise your child but, despite being told this was a safe place for our family, our property was inundated with toxic contaminants from the coal plant,” plaintiff and Avalon Park resident Michelle Irizarry said. “As a parent, it’s heartbreaking to know I put my children in harm’s way because I was being misled about the true risks.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs wrote in a news release that the coal-fired power plants contaminated homes in the area and months of testing and investigating prove that carcinogenic toxins are present "at levels in excess of state and federal regulatory standards critical to protecting human health."
Along with the carcinogenic radionuclides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons found from coal combustion residuals and coal dust, attorneys said they also found high levels of polonium, which is a highly radioactive byproduct of coal ash that is known to cause cancers, genetic disorders and other health effects.
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“We are bringing this lawsuit after many months of investigation, as well as testing of the local community’s soil and evaluating its effect on residents,” co-lead counsel Theodore J. Leopold, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, said. “These claims are filed with a tremendous amount of due diligence and scientific evidence. The connections we’ve seen between the coal plant, property damage, health issues, and child cancer are astounding and should be treated as a national outrage.”
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