Northwest Miami-Dade neighbors concerned with 'cancer cluster'

Neighbors suspect King Recycling as source of contamination

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. - The Miami-Dade Health Department is beginning to look into concerns of a "cancer cluster" in a neighborhood where residents said an unusual number of people have died of cancer in the last year.

"Certain people are saying, 'There are people dying on my street, one next door to me, the next one in the back of me and two down the street from me,'" said Dinet Galop, who also said asthma has gotten worse in the neighborhood of Northwest 83rd Street and 36th Avenue. "I've been here for 15 years. My neighbors have been here some 30, some 40 years. We have never had respiratory problems before."

Several residents who live in the area took their concerns to a county commission meeting in July. Based on their presentations, Commissioners Jean Monestime and Barbara Jordan placed a resolution on the agenda for Thursday's commission meeting calling for an investigation by the county health department.

Though the data and names collected by the neighbors are not yet officially nor scientifically documented, residents are concerned that a source of contamination may be a two-year old recycling plant that borders their neighborhood.

A man identifying himself as the owner of King Recycling said he had not heard of the concerns, then suggested his neighbors had no proof that could link the business as a source of illness.

Tuesday morning, a county worker arrived to present King Recycling with a code violation. The citation directs the company to cease storing, processing or disposing of waste without proper permits.

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