Cancer Cluster Concerns Are Still Justified

Dear Editor,

I would like to offer some clarification to the Guardian’s Oct. 22 news feature entitled “Lit Building Cancer Investigation Inconclusive” on the status of the health concerns regarding the Literature Building:

1) While it is impossible to link electromagnetic field levels definitively to the breast cancer cases, the EMF level associated with the elevators was a reasonable initial cause for concern given the elevators’ unusual setup.

2) The difficulty in finding a specific cause for the high incidence of breast cancer in the Literature Building has to do with the very nature of epidemiological research: that research requires large numbers to generate reliable data.

3)The administration, in consultation over the summer with the Chair and Vice Chair of the UCSD Academic Senate and the Literature Building Committee, proposed the five cited mitigating actions including a study of the possible presence of toxins.

4) UCSD’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety stated that the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) did not have all the data when it did its study, which cast doubt on its relevance.

5) The Office of Environmental Health and Safety, not the Literature Department, hired Ninyo & Moore to perform a chemical trace analysis study (through rigorous air sampling) of the building.

—Roddey Reid
Chair, Literature Building Committee