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tv   Houstons Cancer Cluster  Al Jazeera  May 30, 2020 7:32pm-8:01pm +03

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sition is in response to oil shipments to venezuela as well as significant advancements in iran's nuclear industry the waivers allowed companies to work on conversing iran's iraq heavy water reactor provide enrich uranium for attack iran research reactor and to transfer used fuel. a journalist has been killed in a pub attack in afghanistan's capital the interior ministry says the target was a minivan carrying employees from a private television channel based in kabul the driver was killed at least 15 other people were injured. gunmen have killed at least 15 people advocate a fossil others are wounded or missing in loon province following the attack on a convoy that was transporting trade has groups linked to al qaida and eisel have been blamed for the similar previous attacks and those headlines pony's fear here on al jazeera off the fault lines next.
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everybody with family and now everybody's day at. that i grew up with. their families their parents i day 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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kid long 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 a 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 and i was furious 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 it. doesn't want to know a lot. welcome back to apple maybe we need to know what it is think it's a way to make the. fault lines 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. but need a. lot so you are stuck with. he said 19 with therapy treatments and reconstructive surgery on his esophagus how would you describe the kind of anything like that is for shaving that's all i can say and where you
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sit up there and you hear a person say. come quick i feel like i'm gonna die i need you here with me that puts big a lump in your throat and they're going to change it to give you 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 try to make sure i see the man that i married a person that i know. he won't know thin man he had someone on him that was before the diagnosis. lost love would. 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
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war it's right you know. his dad had lung cancer his cousin that from lung cancer his uncles had throat cancer and all of the right there always 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 esophagus bronchus larynx and lung cancers and 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 again 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 pay. my sister curl 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 and 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 that 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 phase 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 close of. because of the crystal. because of it there's nothing else. that's not the deal. is the chris so is the railyard. the really hard stop treating wood 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 cancers in the cluster are located 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 moving around tracks the air 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 no she probably would never want to see a truly. sandridge words grew up on lavender street next door to andrea. she's part of a group called empower which formed in 2016 to pressure the state to study because answering to the community would feel good in him in his coma the impact is also demanding that union pacific which owns the real yards 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 oh well we stayed in a building to listen to let me thank you thank people little's what is then up to you. but i am ready to fight and i am going to fight you say i go underground tell
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i'm dying and you had better hope i don't that no times. union pacific made nearly $6000000000.00 in profits in 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 rates in kashmir gardens in the 5th ward in early 2019 i don't want to be full of bad news but i do want to say that it is serious found way i know that we have an uptick. in some way now someone was someone that's something we have been making and sound way on other baddies and
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if we all stick together we're not gonna make why everybody is here well intentioned to help find out the answers we've been waiting a long. hi 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 answer. 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. yet the community wants union pacific to either clean the contaminated groundwater plume or move people out of the neighborhood my name is barbara 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 is some kind of funding they have me low i'm on the phone to out fade away from the. the elbows elbows we will see only. our work to restore normal you're all right you know you're out i've got prostate and i've got 5 is. a union pacific representative was up to town hall but left before we could ask any questions you know where it's jason mattera so we've 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 hp into 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 roderigo can too as 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 is 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 fall. it will be. a serious problem let's just see just how much i missed. my father get. eggs which can also bunk house and 2 months later he was. to just say it made me so angry. at the everybody old man's tree is the no 56 fams what's just go is no way you don't know you can that make me believe you don't know that you were killing people they looked at it is what public community they didn't care they just say
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forgive them 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 sites are disproportionately found in their communities of color the historical institutional racism that has gone on. this country that has the lead to sort of the limiting of where black and brown people call bought homes and live. steven 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 in this stuff
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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 are you. lung cancer. i found out on the 17th they're just not what i have prostate cancer so what was it like working there terrible smell smell that we get in his man we go back home with it. chris oh they're strong it would burn your skin you know in the summertime you know. the burn if it hit your 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 he drink the water to get in the water it was real don't you know the ground when it would rain you know the ground knew it would bubble you know it just
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like it was i don't know what we never did know what it was it was like gas you know it just bubble all over your you know we had christmas running down suddenly or from one end there were to be other you know into the river to actually into the neighborhoods back there where the where the hells were to anyone ever complaining what happened if you did no i did. not hide and know all the danger that we was under that you know how to breathe in this in the air and no no nothing now we know no protective gear no no no suits and no nothing you know because we use you need i guess we just had to work in order to support our family and so they didn't say no and i guess we. didn't even had you know we didn't know we didn't actually know question and you know how many people here think the cancer cluster in this community was caused by chris of tempus. and imo i didn't know.
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how to do all react when you learned about the cancer cluster here yet or lives with everyone you only think of after there was an error that got acid and 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 with the d.s. 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 enough to do me a logical study that could explain what's causing the harder to answer it. but it hasn't yet to started if you will. 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 less are certain that these chemicals or these alpha comes related 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 the right thing the easy. oh my. goodness.
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it's like you're like thinking what. you're. thinking what a cow. what the. my chick. is a cancer clinic put in feel toward these people were affected but they brought the chaos of they didn't go out and they didn't expertise it's only right for you to bring a symbol to them to get here yeah that's not it is right here ok because i'm trying to be. yeah yeah you know i didn't gone on so long it's gone 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. just 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 warning can go out. and all these different places it's time to give this shit up. is the company doing enough to address your concerns they not do a name thing they've got a hot blood. they have a hotline they don't much have of compassion to talk one on one with the people
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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 that maybe
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once 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 is something you. don't have a 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 a lot of down to the community is just since flu. uncultured. you know we matter. we manders.
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as bombs continue to rain down on afghanistan civilians are paying the ultimate price they are completely forgotten and no one is listening to these people while those responsible operate with impunity this is about owning your mistakes this is about saying sorry and this is about accountability and then lastly on the counter or as anyone from the us military been in touch with you since the night in the not for plans investigates of gonna stop civilian loss in the us air war on a. strongman
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is ruining with an eye and faced on the sidelines from his allies is deafening the us was perfectly happy to trade off the march for sea for security while western leaders turning a blind eye when even the citizens have fought and victim to his repression executions torture or censorship is not acceptable and you won't hear such strong words from let's say berlin or paris or london man in cairo on al-jazeera you know men killed a mother and son on their way to an appointment sadly the insurgents don't wear uniforms block water is soon on with the was of the american occupation of iraq that the house on hold americans to account trump tower 2016 how come you didn't mention not 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
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a polish guy a french guy or your charming head to head on a. but more protests planned over the police killing of a black man minnesota's governor fully mobilizes the national guard. and i'm adrian for the get this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up dying on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic doctors in peru more colleagues struggle to cope with one of the world's highest infection rates. iran all those thousands of health care workers who risked their lives to protect all this.

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