FLOWER MOUND The Flower Mound City Council announced on Monday night that the Texas Department of State Health Services will once again examine data to see if there is a 'cancer cluster' within the town.

DSHS confirmed the study, which should be completed by June.

Mayor Tom Hayden said the town a review is necessary given a recent research analysis done by a professor at the University of Texas.

Rachael Rawlins and her team indicated last week that a state study released in 2010 was flawed. It said there was no cancer cluster in the area.

Hayden said the recent findings were concerning. 'No one on Council wants anyone to go through the difficulties of cancer,' he said.

The recent research examined the same cancer data that the state looked at between 1997 and 2008.

But unlike the state study, which relied on a 99 percent confidence interval to determine whether or not there was a problem, Rawlins' analysis only used a 95 percent interval.

At that level, she said there was a 95 percent chance that the increased cases of cancer among children in the area were not random.

Specifically, the cases involved children diagnosed with leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

'We should think about looking carefully at toxic commission in relation to public health effects,' Rawlins told News 8 in an interview last week.

In 2010, News 8 profiled three different Flower Mound families whose children were diagnosed with cancer at a young age.

Two of the families alleged that increased fracking operations in the area were to blame. Fracking emissions are known to include benezene, a carcinogen associated with cancer.

No direct link was ever found in Flower Mound, but the families persisted that more studies were needed.

Neither the state study in 2010 or the more recent analysis done by Rawlins looks at the reason behind the cancer cases; they merely examined whether or not the rate was elevated.

The new study will examine data through 2011.

In a written statement, the state health department said:

'The number of individual cancer cases can fluctuate significantly from year to year, particularly with rarer cancers and in such small geographic areas.'

The city said that it has conducted its own air monitoring in recent years and has found nothing that merits concern.


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