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tv   Houstons Cancer Cluster  Al Jazeera  May 28, 2020 1:32am-2:01am +03

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special economic treatment jeopardizing billions of dollars in trade. brazil is just reports of another $1086.00 covert $900.00 deaths in the last 24 hours and more than $20000.00 new infections this takes the country's death toll to more than 25000 a survey has found that 60 percent of brazilians support stricter social distancing measures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus that's in stark contrast to their president who has consistently attacked state and city lockdown measures. a space x. launch of 2 nasa astronauts to the international space station has been postponed due to bad weather the falcon 9 rocket was meant to lift off from the kennedy space center in florida now but the next attempt will be on saturday those are the headlines for us next but life.
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in 3. everybody was family and now everybody's day. that i grew up with. their families their parents are they it. is heartbreaking because i know no life that was in these walls you know and now there's no live in the wall under the west grew up in this house in the 5th ward historically black neighborhood in east houston. for years residents here suspected that the number of cancer cases was unusually high. is sad this is deb that they to me now where it used to be we were so happy running around the yard playing ball
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kickball ride in the little red wagon we was happy you got to find your own way you know because everybody's got home. last december their worst fears were confirmed a cancer cluster was discovered in their community. the state of texas concluded that the 5th ward in the nearby neighborhood called cashmere gardens at higher than expected rates of certain cancers. but they didn't explain why. it's been 4 decades what a years we have been suffering we have our loved ones we have lost parents we have an ice cream we have. some residents here blame the cancers on decades of possible exposure to korea so a likely human carcinogen. nearby real yard use the chemical mix to to preserve wood for almost 75 years. not one and now it looks
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a little bit. i want to know a lot of make them welcome back to apple maybe we need to know what it is think it's a way to make. faultlines travels to houston texas to follow a community search for answers and justice. oriel babineau was diagnosed with a suffered your cancer in may of 2018. when you. will tell you to start with. he said 19 with therapy treatments and reconstructive surgery on his esophagus how would you describe the kind of pain that is in life. is for shaving that's all i can say and where you sit up there and you hear
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a person say. come quick i feel like i'm gonna die need you here with me that puts bagel lump in your throat and they're going to continue to give you that pollen all along which 4 year old has lived in kashmir garden since he was a child back to say he was police officer so he still has that spunk in him he just wants to be able to get back to his normal life is hard to think like that he just doesn't look like himself and i just i try to make sure i see the man that i married the person that i know. he was no thin man he had someone on him that was before the diagnosis. last longer when. you think he was 70 years old on the pitch. but he's no you don't think that's all you can say history of the words right you know. his dad had lung cancer his cousin
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that from lung cancer his uncles had throat cancer and all of the right there i was at his mom's house right there on that industry. for years residents pressured the state to look into why so many people in the community had cancer. in 2019 the texas public health department found elevated rates of the suffragists bronchus larynx and lung cancers in cashmere gardens in the 5th ward. a couple of nights ago when i got here from the hospital and i started counting the houses that the people just on my block that have cancer i have had cancer you know 8 people in one block and you know including those they have that cancer you know so yeah something is definitely wrong. how many were you in this house
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8 of us one night with my mom it was an r. m 3 west group with 7 brothers and sisters on lavender street in the 5th ward yeah the same street we're surrounded in oryol this wonderful memories here. a lot of good memories here lot of good people in the community a lot of love in the community lot of family you know family everybody was family bunch of kids you could hear kids laugh and run and play em on the bicycles in the way egg and just fun. it got bad out there everybody's getting sick. this is my sister sent to georgia to oneness the things with the lung cancer this is carolyn her and cynthia a year part 2 years of boy and she passed away when lung cancer also in 2015 andre's older sister cynthia died from lung cancer at 63 years old 2 years later
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her sister carolyn also passed away from lung cancer my sister's wasn't smokers. and for them to get lung cancer. it was the smell of. my sister cynthia. she retired from perch no. diff no. the father year she had kids. hard working. mother figure. at the bottom of the pets. my sister curled mints. which was the key. to cynthia very hard work. very loving mother and grandmother.
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under his family moved to the 5th ward in 1963. her childhood home was a few 100 feet from a rail yard owned by railroad giant union pacific. from 1911 until 1984 railroad ties and telephone poles were preserved using creosote. creosote is a mixture of hundreds of chemicals many of the toxic. fumes can irritate the skin in the eyes and make breathing difficult. the smell is real strong. irritate your throat burn. smell like toy and you definitely have to go inside but going is i didn't happen we are living in poverty stricken neighborhood you know we don't have air conditioning we have
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a little still in fans those up in the attic that blew the cool air down into the house the guest macbook air could hardly breathe like i said i had balls to come up on my body. rashes i have the marks from scratch and. why do you think your family's been so affected by cancer because of the curse of. because of the krista. because of it there's nothing else. that's not the deal. is the chris so is the railyard. the really hard stop treating with creosote in 1984. but now the groundwater under more than $100.00 properties near the site is contaminated with chemicals found in creosote. this is the actual site but these are the 110 properties that have grown contamination underneath dr lauren hopkins is leading
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a community survey to learn more about the people within the cancer cluster of the 30 households or teams surveyed 43 percent reported the cancer diagnosis the city average 6 percent reliable determine precisely where the cancer is in the cluster look we know which census tracks are elevated and the census tracks that. are elevated out of the 10 are surrounding the union pacific railroad site do you think research contamination has anything to do with this cancer cluster i don't know what is causing the cancers we do know that those those are the kinds of cancers you would expect with exposure to those chemicals. i think because of all the chemicals that he's been living around being a little boy growing up living around roach rags the air the pollutants the water instead of all that had a lot to do with his cancer. how does it feel now knowing that you spent
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a lot of your life growing up in an area where you're more likely to get cancer terrified. terrified because no one what i know now and if my mother would have known she probably would have never brought us here to live. sandridge words grew up on lavender street next door to andrea. she's part of a group called empower which formed the 26 team to pressure the state to study because answering to the community would feel good in him in his call that the impact is also demanding that union pacific which owns the real yard address the pollution of neighborhoods in pacific you just you know you're really in a band that you can't come out of the mag on the way out we stayed until the bills into law minutes and you think people all the bills what is then up to you. but i am ready to fight and i am going to fight you say i'll go underground tell i'm
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dying and you had better hope but on that note. union pacific made nearly $6000000000.00 in profits and 2019 it's one of the biggest railroad companies in the world the crease all thing they could to have straight down my street across that tray straight or he was where the thing was with a cookie so we know when your mind is out in the neighborhood. is everywhere. in january sandra spoke at the 1st public meeting about the cancer cluster since the study was released. it was organized by congresswoman sheila jackson lee who asked the state to study the cancer returned to his beer gardens in the 5th ward in early 2019 i don't want to be full of bad back you want to say that is here is found a way i know that we have an up tick. in some way now someone was someone got us something but we have been a big and sound way on other baddies and if we all stick together we're not gonna
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make why everybody is here well intentioned to help find out the answers we've been waiting a long. time nationally renowned environmental activist erin brockovich was also there to support the community so tonight when everyone is here could i hear from you are you frustrated. are you getting answers are. you in this room has cancer or knows of someone that lives here that has cancer. is normal i don't know what else we have to. take. and. the community wants union pacific to either clean the contaminated groundwater plume or move people out of the neighborhood. i was diagnosed with a one month and. 27 days i've been trained and i'm in remission i want
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to go there's some kind of funding they have me low i'm on the phone to out of the fade away from the. he didn't know because elbows we would see only. our work here and they are your normal you're not here i got prostate and i got caught in. the union pacific representative was up to town hall but left before we could ask any questions you know where it's trace and mark would fall so we got her on the phone and we've just been to some of the streets near the site most of the houses are vacant just a handful of people still there you know if they were talking to you would you tell them it's still safe to live in these homes. and there's still maybe.
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once creosote 60 percent of the earth it's extremely difficult to take out. you know. pacific is removing only what's closest to the surface but leaving the rest behind. one of the things that union pacific had proposed for the korea so basically just wait and see let mother nature do her thing rodrigo cantu is an environmental lawyer is advising impact the chemicals and it can actually see through the soil and they can come into the atmosphere and if there's someone living above or recreating above or simply walking on their property they may be breathing in those vapors. you know this is how the chemicals and creosote behave and they haven't done the testing to see whether or not that mechanism is taking place according to state records regulators have known about the contaminated groundwater since at least the 1980 s. but residents we spoke with said they didn't hear about the contamination until
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decades later. the state environmental agency in charge of overseeing the site and the state health department both declined our interview quest. even though you were on a railroad track now it will follow. it will follow. it here. well let's just see just how much i missed. my father gather. eggs which can also bunk house and 2 months later he was. just made me so angry. at the everybody old man's tree is the no 56 fams let's just go is no way you don't know you can that make me believe you don't know that you were killing.
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they look dated is what public community they didn't care they just say forget that i'm down. across the united states communities of color are more likely to breathe polluted air than white ones. and black residents in particular are the most likely to live near polluting industries and toxic sites. why is it that continued saints are disproportionately found in their communities of color the historical institutional racism that has gone on in this country that has the lead to a sort of the limiting of where black and brown people call bought homes of well. stephen lester is a toxicologist with nearly 40 years of experience helping people in contaminated communities find answers. it's probably no coincidence that many of these communities many of these cancer clusters that we see many of the industrial clusters that exist in this country today happened to be around and in the midst of
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communities of color. we tracked down some of the men who used to work in the creosote facility at that real yard during the 1960 seventy's and eighty's how many of you have health problems that you think were caused by korea so. i had to go look up to him or. lung cancer. i found out only 17 are just my web i have prostate cancer so what was it like working there terrible smell matter we get a nice man we go back home with it. chris so they're strong they would burn your skin you know in the summertime you know. the burn if it hit just skin it would mix it it would make woodward to get water it would mix and would have me go but of what a fanta been doing to water it in the water it was real don't you know the ground
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when it would rain you know the ground knew it would bump you know it just like it was i don't know what we never did know what it was it was like gas you know it just bumped all over the yard you know we had christmas runnin down suddenly ordered from one end we were to the other into the river traction into neighborhoods back there where the where the hells were to anyone ever complaining what happened he did no idea we had my heart and know all the danger that we was under don't know how to breathe in this in the air and no no nothing now we know no protective gear no no no no nothing no calls no use you need i guess we just had to work in order to support our family and so they didn't say no and then i guess we. didn't even had you know we didn't know we didn't actual question you know how many people here think the cancer cluster in this community was caused by chris of contempt. and imo i didn't know how to do all
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react when you learned about the cancer cluster here yesterday lives with everyone you know you think and after that was an error that got acid everything added up. say the government announces they can't prove what's caused the higher rate of cancer when you do next it's now way this whole neighborhood went to vs and what nothing else out there but the question really. and yet i f. they come back to say this not you're lying and you're not going to tell my people they're in they gonna believe you. the texas health department could conduct an epidemiological study that could explain what's causing the harder to answer it. but it hasn't got to started. with the people of the 5th ward of kashmir gardens ever find the answers they're looking for there's no clear way to
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distinguish what's causing it without investing a great deal of money and governments not doing that and then of course you have the corporate side of this who's was putting pressure on government to say well let's are certain that these chemicals or comes will lead to this chemical than working. so it sounds like people are on their own yes unfortunately people are wrong and until there's a change in this country until people stand up and say enough people get involved and of course government to address these questions people are going to start on. a a lot. oh my. goodness.
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it's like. mike thank. you. for what account. we want. what the. my chick in moscow is a cancer clinic put in feel toward these people who are affected but you know they brought the chaos of they didn't go out and they didn't x. for us it's only right for you to bring a symbol to them to get here yeah that's not it is right yes ok good i'm trying to be. yeah yeah you know i didn't gone on too long of going on too long so
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what we're gonna do is so you know we are merely. i don't live in this area anymore when i came back to fight because this is a part of my humble beginnings and you never see the good job the beginning and that's what my mom used to always say when you can't go nowhere you can always go home. but that's not home over there anymore just like it's like a dead zone over there. it's a dead zone over there and it's just it breaks my heart but it makes me angry it's time for them to make it right make it right with the people in fear for warding can go on. and all these different places it's time to give the shit up. is the company doing enough to address your concerns they not do a name thing they've got a hotline. they have a hotline they don't humans have under of compassion to talk one on one with the
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people they give us a hotline. union pacific didn't agree to our quest for an on camera interview instead they sent a written statement saying in part 4 decades of testing showed there is no creosote pathway to reach property owners and recent health studies lack scientific testing needed to make any firm conclusions about the cause of her medical conditions. once everything comes out and chris so is the reason behind this then they can see the toll that it's taken on me it's more so especially my husband and how you know loss of income increased medical bills all the pain and suffering you know. plans that we had to do things are just on hold right now. are you optimistic that you'll ever get answers about what's causing it may be once
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we start getting of our role then yes eventually i'll get some answers and i'll push until i get answers. 2 weeks after we met stronger and her husband oriel died from complications related to cancer. was 55 years old. after oriole died joined about $500.00 other residents of kashmir gardens in the 5th ward in a class action lawsuit against the sisters. i don't want to give that this isn't a game. i'll cover for you because if i walk a lot i'm going to try to get a little get i'm going to get. what do you feel when you look out across this really. is a lot of hard rain and a lot of damage to the community is just since lou. on calls. you know we matter. we matter.
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you know men killed a mother and some only way to an appointment sadly the insurgents don't wear uniforms block or so it is seen long ago with the was oh the american occupation of iraq not the house on old america prince to account trump tower 2016 how come you didn't mention that meeting to congress and i did i don't know if i got the transcript wrong. i don't think you're that sharp but you can tell the difference between a polish guy a french guy or you do ya a charming head to head on a jersey it up. insulation in the case that you have or associated to regaled us that we start to has the potential to be biased in a number of different ways there are too many are for sure for the computer to get
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around who's checking those offices who commit those data entry is wrong to be saying that your sunday tonight is wrong to my to tell you a killer becoming a suspect before the actual crime and in-depth examination into preventative policing pre-crime on al-jazeera. and to hong kong special status the u.s. says it's lost its autonomy as china prepares a new security law. comes around and you're watching observer life my headquarters here in doha also coming up the u.s. death toll from growing a virus passes 100000 businesses are reopening across the country. also brazil's president doesn't follow the rules but a poll shows most of the country want social distance.

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