Ninety-four former staff members and students from Colonia High School in Woodbridge, New Jersey, have developed an “extremely” rare form of malignant brain tumor, leading local officials to approve an emergency probe of the school Tuesday.
Radiological assessments will be conducted throughout the school’s 28-acre campus, as well as indoor radon testing, this coming Easter weekend, the New York Post reported.
“There could be a real problem here, and our residents deserve to know if there are any dangers,” Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said, according to the outlet. “We’re all concerned, and we all want to get to the bottom of this. This is definitely not normal.”
One former student, Al Lupiano, 50, was diagnosed with brain tumors in the 1990s but subsequently recovered, according to NJ.com. Lupiano also lost his younger sister to the disease in February at the age of 44, the outlet continued. Lupiano’s wife was also diagnosed with a brain tumor, the NY Post reported.
All three family members attended Colonia High, the NY Post noted. Lupiano has spearheaded a public push for answers after he started a Facebook group focused on former Colonia students and the rare brain cancer, the outlet noted.
“My list quickly started multiplying…it all seemed to be linked back to the high school.” Colonia High School graduateAl Lupiano talks to @KatyTurNBC about gathering names of over 80 individuals with rare brain tumors who attended the school. pic.twitter.com/mL9bVg9nE4
— Katy Tur Reports (@KatyOnMSNBC) April 1, 2022
A majority of the graduates and staff members suffering from the condition were at the school between 1975 and 2000, but some students went through the school as recently as 2014, the NY Post continued. (RELATED: Video Shows Man Repeatedly Running Over Woman With SUV After Minor Incident)
“Several types of primary brain tumors, including cancerous forms like glioblastoma and noncancerous yet debilitating masses such as acoustic neuromas, haemangioblastomas and meningiomas,” have been diagnosed, according to the outlet.
“What I find alarming is there’s truly only one environmental link to primary brain tumors and that’s ionizing radiation. It’s not contaminated water. It’s not air. It’s not something in soil. It’s not something done to us due to bad habits,” Lupiano told CBS News.
The school was built in 1967 and currently serves roughly 1,300 students, the NY Post noted. The school campus is just under 12 miles from the Middlesex Sampling Plant, which was used to crush, cry, store, package and ship uranium ore during the development of the atomic bomb under direction from the Manhattan Project, the outlet continued.