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Sheffield Lake & Avon Lake Cancer Clusters Exposed: A 5 Mile Radius of Contamination (Lorain County, Ohio)

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Two small Cleveland suburbs are experiencing extremely high clusters of cancer related illnesses.  For decades, residents of Sheffield Lake & Avon Lake have been plagued with an abnormal number of cancer related deaths, upper respiratory conditions, stomach & skin conditions, rare forms of leukemia, brain tumors and cervical/ovarian cancers.  For those who have lived in either city for generations know all too well the stories of Jim who passed away from lung cancer, Jeanie the next door neighbor who died of stomach cancer, Judy who lived across the street and passed from a rare form of liver cancer, a 5 yr. old named Cody who lost his battle with leukemia and on and on it goes, down the line, home after home after home, residents found to be rife with terminal illnesses caused by cancer and losing their lives.

This article exposes the facts surrounding the source of these extremely high cancer rates as well as documents that carcinogens that each company is responsible for.  For almost half a century research has repeatedly shown that pollution in the air, dumping chemical waste in Lake Erie and the culmination of these toxic elements seeping into the under water tables are not the direct cause of the cancers found clustered in Lorain County.  Instead, the scientists and environmental groups that have performed their various research studies have continuously blamed the sudden cancers on individual genes or genetic predisposition hardcoded into DNA which is then triggering the carcinogen to activate.  They also have blamed the cancers on prior locations of residency, smoking, or being around smoke, stress & food.  In truth, they’ve lied to you, they’ve manipulated you and they’ve used fancy words, fat payouts and government backing to effectively streamline these falsities in an effort to turn them into truths (mission accomplished).  All of which has been done in an effort to keep businesses thriving, to accrue more wealth and most importantly to decimate any pending or potential future civil litigations launched against their respected companies.  Not anymore

Ohio doesn’t track cancer rates in cities, but parents do, sometimes on paper, sometimes only in their racing minds. M. Bender, a 38-year-old mother of three from Avon Lake, Ohio, keeps her own list of names and ailments. On it: two high-schoolers, a middle-schooler, a fifth-grader, and two babies — all battling leukemia. They’re joined by 8 people with brain tumors and 29 others with cancers of the thyroid, breast, cervical, testicles, ovaries, and more.  Family members and friends, relatives, community activists also are keeping track in Sheffield Lake and have done so for decades.  With one woman, Jane S., having witnessed almost the entire street of Gayle Dr. in Sheffield Lake have someone affected with cancer who lived in the area for more than 20 years.

child cancer
Child Cancer Statistics

Between the years 1988 and 1999 residents who lived off of Gayle Dr. in Sheffield Lake which falls in the middle of Walker Rd., & Hawthorne Ave., experienced cancer rates that were at their most extreme, with more than 20 cancer related deaths and 27 cancer diagnosis’s in all (on just that single street).  The closer that residents lived towards Guenther Park, the higher the death rate and larger the clusters became with strings of homes directly in line with one another falling victim to a variety of terminal and incurable forms of cancer that effected primarily the lungs, stomach & liver.

Nickel was in her lungs. How the heck was nickel in her lungs?”

Since the year 2000 higher than normal rates of cancer have continued to emerge from the same 5.7 mile radius around the epicenter, that being Gayle Dr.

In June of 2018, yet another cluster began to form, a new one that wasn’t previously mentioned…  This time located off of East River Rd., in Sheffield Village.  Dozens of concerned citizens took the matter up with the Sheffield Lake Mayor, Mayor Dennis Bring, regarding a silver filament that had started to coat their cars, windows, homes, swing sets and even the grass.  At this meeting it was discovered by residents that many of the families were suffering from lung cancer, breast cancer and had lost mothers, fathers & children to cancer related illnesses all up and down East River Rd in the past 10 years.

One resident stated “My daughter had a lung infection right around the same time that I noticed her swing set was covered with this thin silver, shiny, dusty material.  I think it’s coming from the steel mill.  I’m not sure where else it’s coming from or how to exactly explain it.  Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic said that her lungs were irritated and inflamed.  She didn’t have a common cold, she doesn’t have asthma, she was having an allergic reaction from “nickel”.  Nickel was in her lungs.  How the heck was nickel in her lungs?”

A class action appears to be forming (with one already currently making it’s way through the courts just like the countless others from the past who have gone after the Water Department, Avon Lake Power Plant, Steel Mills, BF Goodrich, Ford Motor Co. and various Treatment Plants) related to the high cancer related deaths and diagnosis forming from this area and the mysterious silver.

cancer cell
Cancel cell activated

After a sample was taken and analyzed of the unknown silver coating, it was determined that the residue left behind was a derivative of steel and indeed contained a variety of elements, most importantly nickel – which has been linked to cause cancer in high doses or concentrations.  With the wind trajectory sailing the smoke stacks around like a funnel and displacing their elements all across the surrounding area like a silver blanket, it’s no wonder that there have been so many cancer related deaths.  Not only do the elements seep into the air, but they also get into the under water tables (drinking water, vegetation/gardens, etc) and from there ultimately into the water treatment facilities.

Not So Fun Fact:  When regulatory inspections are performed to asses various levels of toxic chemicals that are released from smoke stacks, or waste that is flowing into Lake Erie, companies in question are given an advanced notice of the arrival date and time of the inspection.  By doing so, these companies alter their outputs and adjust their production levels during the scheduled inspection.  This is secretly referred to as “scaling back”.  With the temporary shortened burn rates and limited intake and outtakes they trick the inspection into thinking the levels released are lower than what they really are.

In order to remove high amounts of toxic nickel levels from water it requires a strong acid cation exchanger. Activated-carbon filtration can be used to reduce the amount of nickel in drinking water, but may not remove it all. Reverse osmosis will remove 97 – 98% of the nickel from drinking water as well.  However, once the situation is compounded, there is no telling what the drinking water, rain water, vegetation, vaporized air and such have on the effect of ones immune system.  Evidently, it’s enough to activate the dormant carcinogens into hyper active mode for a heightened percentage of the local population.

The cancer statistics in Sheffield Lake are alarming to say the least.  Out of the 12,000 residents that reside there it is estimated that roughly 5% or 600 residents will be diagnosed with cancer at one point or another in their lifetime.  The majority of these diagnosis’s occur after residing in the town for more than a 20 year period – which means a prolonged exposure to persistent nickel, chemicals and other elements in the air and even possibly water supply.  These numbers are extremely high considering the relative number of residents that reside in the city.  However, the numbers used to be far higher 2 decades ago when there was 10,000 residents in the town and almost an 8% cancer diagnosis rate.  These numbers come from Mercy Hospital in Lorain reports dating back to 2000 and spanned the course of the 1990’s.

The Silent Killers

Readers Note:  The silent killers listed below all show a direct pattern.  Each company releases carcinogenic toxins into the atmosphere and environment.  These plants and their locations also surround high cluster zones.  Furthermore, based on prior records of dumping from BFGoodrich (which are documented in their entirety below) residents of Avon Lake are residing in homes that are sitting on top of the waste, scattered across the area which is also coincidentally filled with pockets and swaths of cancer cases.  Avon Lake also has existing and new housing developments that are being built right next to, or in some cases on top of existing waste dumps and hazardous carcinogenic chemicals.  This is reality, this is the cause.  Too many combined cancer causing agents within a small radius.

The comparison of distance to Gayle Dr. has simply been used due to specific communication from a multitude of residents (old and current) that reside there.  We understand fully that Avon Lake has a crisis and there are indeed pockets filled with extreme cancer diagnosis all along Walker Rd., however our outreach into that community is not as extensive, nor precise as Sheffield Lake at this time.

Avon Lake Power Plant

avon lake
Avon Lake Power Plant

The Avon Lake Power Plant burns coal.  The primary carcinogen related to the plant is mercury.  As of this writing the company discharges roughly 389 million gallons of water back into Lake Erie.  The set standard rate limit for mercury that is contained within that returned water is 8 nanograms per liter. The EPA limit for systems that discharge into Lake Erie is 1.3 nanograms per liter.  The company has an active permit that allows them to send their mercury filled water into the lake.

  • Address:  33570 Lake Rd, Avon Lake, OH 44012
  • Distance from plant to Gayle Dr.:  1.1 miles
  • Carcinogenic:  Mercury

Lubrizol & PolyOne

carcinogenic
Lubrizol & PolyOne

Lubrizol and PolyOne corporations both are extensions from the old BFGoodrich and maintain daily operations that spew contaminations and carcinogenic toxins into the community.  It should be noted that in May, Lubrizol announced a $30 million dollar expansion which was met with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Companies such as this have for more than half a century had local politicians and inspectors turning their heads to achieve massive profits at the expense of the citizens that reside nearby.

BFGoodrich

bfgoodrich
BFGoodrich of Avon Lake

The city of Avon Lake had hazardous waste buried all across it in the 1950’s and 1960’s and this was a well kept secret for many years.  The farmers were paid money to allow the dumping to take place on their fields and BFGoodrich purchased acres specifically utilized for dumping.

In the 1950s, before Avon Lake grew into an up-and-coming suburb, the city used an eight-acre plot just east of Miller Road as its dump. Along with residential waste, trees, and brush, it allowed companies to dump industrial waste there. Ohio EPA records show that BFGoodrich, which produced cancer-causing vinyl chloride, dumped 100 tons of waste into the landfill between 1954 and 1964. (A report produced by Goodrich says the only waste dumped into the landfill was organic paper and plastic resins, which the company calls nonhazardous.)

The landfill closed in 1976, but the dumping mysteriously continued. In 1980, U.S. EPA investigators found that “sewer sludge had been dumped at the site on a regular basis,” records show. The hazardous sludge contained heavy metals, including “high levels of cadmium,” known to cause a number of cancers. Investigators identified surface-water contamination, but they gave the site a “low priority for site inspection,” records show. It made it onto the U.S. EPA’s superfund list. But as with many of those sites, nothing has happened since.

  • Address:  Out of business (renamed/restructured/acquired and now is known as Lubrizol and PolyOne)
  • Distance from plant to Gayle Dr.: Less than 1 mile
  • Carcinogen:  Vinyl Chloride

Ford Motor Plant

ford motor
The Ford Motor Plant in Avon Lake

Benzene has a sickly sweet smell. Near Miller Rd. in Avon Lake right by the Ford Motor Plant this smell can often be found permeating the air. Benzene has been directly linked to cause acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

  • Address:  650 Miller Rd, Avon Lake, OH 44012
  • Distance from plant to Gayle Dr.:  1.1 miles
  • Carcinogen:  Benzene

Republic & U.S. Steel

chromium cancer
Republic Steel of Lorain Ohio

The steel mills are a bit further out from the cluster zones, and they no longer coat the entire city in their orange filament as they had done in the years past before the EPA cracked down on regulations.  However, the Steel Mills are just another carcinogen floating around in the atmosphere and there’s no telling where the winds will carry all the debris.

  • Address:  1807 E 28th St, Lorain, OH 44055 (Republic Steel)
  • Address:  2199 E 28th St, Lorain, OH 44055 (U.S. Steel)
  • Distance from plants to Gayle Dr.:  7.6 miles (both)
  • Carcinogen:  Nickel, Chromium & Formaldehyde

The Cancer Wall

UPDATE:  As of 8/6/2018 we have removed the individuals listed below at the request of some family members – due to the multitude of names not being listed and in some cases, families not wishing their beloved to be listed any longer.

Those who lost their lives to the battle with cancer were initially grabbed from only Google’s first 3 pages of search results (as the results were sadly never ending) when browsing for “sheffield lake obituary cancer”.  The pages span in the hundreds upon hundreds.  Some of the entries will either state “cancer” or “sudden/lengthy illness”.  For the sudden/lengthy illnesses, if there is a donation at the bottom of the obituary from the family asking for donations to the American Cancer Society, then that individual more than likely perished from cancer.

The results alone found via Google are staggering as there are thousands of obituaries from people who have died all across the country who were either born or raised in Sheffield Lake or Avon Lake.  With that being said, this means that the cancer death rate is far far greater than previous estimates…

The Bottom Line:  To sum it up, the residents who lived off of Gayle Dr., that were most affected with cancer were all within 1.1-1.5 miles of the most carcinogenic producing plants.  These companies haven’t just dumped into the environment illegally over the course of time, but they also did so legally and still do to this day.  The compounding effect of all these individual and various forms of carcinogens floating in the atmosphere has created a toxic tornado that breeds rare forms of cancer and leukemia.  To make matters worse, residents of Avon Lake (and we presume Sheffield Lake as well) reside on top of decades worth of dumping grounds that have been scattered throughout the county.  When taking all of these matters into effect, we see that there is an underwater table saturation filled with carcinogenic elements, the air is polluted naturally through vaporization of the elements that then become breathable, or are literally dropped down through rain clouds which then even further saturate the vegetation, gardens, homes, pools, lake and water supply.

SCUMBAGGED Tip:  The only sure fire way to reduce the risk of cancer in these areas is to never drink the water supply.  To use air filtration systems that can purify the environment of your home (which become pricey) and to understand that if you refuse to do both of these steps that you run the risk of being exposed to carcinogens with every breath you take.  You also need to be aware that natural daily life events such as smoking and eating certain foods or drinking increases the risk of developing cancer in these areas because you are already exposed to higher rates of a variety of carcinogenic toxins.  If you can’t afford clean water and air filtration systems with a negative air flow, then it might be best to calm your fears and move out of the area entirely.   The question you need to ask yourself right now is why continue to put you and your family at higher risk of developing cancer?  Your home value, liking the community in which you reside or simply residing close to your work in an effort to reduce the commute should have absolutely zero weight in the reality of the situation…  If you remain in the “Cancer Zone”, the risks are far greater than almost any area in the United States.

26 COMMENTS

  1. There were several cases of cancer and leukemia on lynne Drive and on lake road near the Avon Lakr boarder. I know of 6 people from that area that have either died from cancer or leukemia or is in recovery. I went to a community meeting they had at Avon Lake High School years ago when they came out with the report saying it was not a cancer cluster. I asked them if they extended their research into Sheffield Lake and they said NO. If there is a class action law suit going on I would like more information please.

  2. There was a city dump in Avon Lake back in the 60’s and old B.F. Goodrich would dump barrels of sludge at the dump which was across from Aquamarine. NOW there are homes built .

  3. My mother had leukemia and passed away in1984 and 2 sisters one of breast cancer and one of ovarian cancer. This was talked about quite often amongst family.

  4. my husband has had brain cancer three times already and also Parkinson’s also my mother lived on Pasadena died of lung cancer in 2015 we have lived in Sheffield Lake for 28 years

  5. Your numbers are way off base you need to do better research I know of other people that died of cancer in that area that are not on your list. My mother got breast cancer then lung cancer and finally died of brain cancer after fighting them for almost 15 years

    • We can only detail information based on what has been provided. We’re thinking about going door to door in the community and post informational fliers on the doors to ask the residents to contact us and provide us with specific information. This is the only way to ascertain the full extent of the seriousness and to better provide detailed information on the clusters. We know the numbers are far far greater, but again, can only submit was others provide. Thanks!

  6. I moved to AL in 1990 …everyone back then knew of the burried toxins…I did not garden or dig up the soil just because I new the dumping stories. We knew the exact areas because we knew the farmers and original AL families. Back then most of the land was undeveloped. The farmers started selling off to the builders and the earth started being turned and the cancer stories trippled….mostly young kids with rare forms of cancer ….most original AL families had all been touched by cancer or auto immune disease. ..t

    The state and county would test and find the results were inconclusive…and the housing boom continued.
    At one point having a film on your house or car was common….again complaints were answered with it was discharge from the stacks and non toxic.
    We all knew it was bad but most did not care because everyone was making a good living working at the different plants or getting rich off the cities growth.
    Unfortunately the secrets were kept and money lots of money was made by local families…everyone fed off the desire of people from CLE wanting to head West and live by the lake which at that point was clean again.
    I too often said if someone went door to door and did family stats we would be overwhelmed by the numbers.
    Nothing can be done now its too late…no one will ever really be held accountable this one goes really deep and wide …..inconclusive will live on.

  7. This is absolutely insane because I worked for hospice the last 12 years and just the last 4 years my new territory was Sheffield lake, Avon and all the surrounding… and right where it mentioned about gayle drive I had 4 patients all with cancer and literally houses from each other… I swear to god I thought something was weird about it but just went about and did my job… this is nuts!!!!

  8. Cobra, Tell us more about the current class action that is going through the courts and any other possible upcoming class action. My mother a long time Inwood Blvd (Avon Lake) resident, passed from cancer.

    • I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, at the age of 28. My parents have lived off Walker Rd. For 20 something years now. I had a bone marrow transplant in 2013 and have had problems since. Is there a law suit going on? I’d like more info if so.

  9. My family grew up off of Gayle Dr in Sheffield lake and we lived there between 1979 and 1996. My father died from lung cancer and prostate cancer, the neighbor died from lung cancer, there was a 55 year old woman across the street from our home who died of breast cancer. Rich next door died from lung cancer. There were families on the back street too who were just as bad as Gayle Dr. was back then if not worse you should try to get info on those families. I also know the owner of our previous home worked at Ford when he bought the house in 1996 and he currently is battling lung cancer in the same house we grew up in. Kind of makes you really think hard about what’s going on? I always knew something wasn’t right but they always said it was just a part of life. Where I live at now in North Ridgeville there’s been people who have lived here for their whole lives in Mills Creek and I can’t tell you more than 2 people IN THE WHOLE development that I know has passed from cancer. Something is seriously wrong with this picture…

  10. My family has lived in Sheffield Lake since 1940, which is 20 years before I was born. I’ve read about the high instances of cancer in Avon Lake but was unaware of the rates in Sheffield Lake. My mothers battle with ovarian cancer ended in 2002 after nearly five years fighting it. She had lived here 61 years. My daughter in law’s dad died around 2008 of cancer at his Avon Lake home. He fought it three times. Too many people have suffered horribly. Enough is enough!

  11. COBRA
    The kids that grow up in Sheffield Lake on Erieview, Thelma, Gayle, Lynn, and Covebeach in the 60s 70s and 80s have mostly moved out all over the country sad to say but I do not know If you can get and accurate count now putting out fliers. If you do decide to follow thru with a flier post it here so it could be copied and most of us are friends on FB and we can get it out to most of the people that grew up in that area and get them back to you.

    • i heard about things in Avon Lake many years ago. but i must say, either this article is misleading or i didnt know what was going on on Gayle Dr in Sheffield Lake. i grew up on gayle dr, lived there for 21 years. there are only about 50 houses on gayle and i knew almost everyone (small town and i was the paper boy for many years). i do not recall any weird cancers or deths. i know folks that lived or still live there for 30+ years. does anyone have any knowledge of folks that had cancer on gayle dr. i have a difficult time believing this entire article just because of this. oh, and we all played on the jello poop at the AL dump, i swam at CEI almost every day during the summer, should i be worried?

  12. I’ve lived on Howell rd for 4 years and I’m in Devonshire Avenue for 24 years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. There were other women on our streat that died of cancer. I think, including me, a total of 5 women were diagnosed with some form of cancer. Most of them died.

  13. We rented in Smugglers Cove back in 1991/92.
    At night if you were outside, the air reeked of paint or some strong type odor like paint. It was so strong and awful and common sense told me to get my two girls both 2 and under out of there!! I told my husband there was no way we would ever stay. How could that be ok for a body? We moved shortly after.

  14. Just to name a few direct in line with one another from the 1990’s… Kevin Volbert, J. Smith, Jeanie C., Ronnie Servantis (or Servantez). Those are the names I remember, there’s also other people from when I lived there and then moved in 1996. Had to get out feared getting it myself. When I say the whole damn street had cancer I mean the whole damn street back then.

  15. Any info on a class action suit ? This is sickening and hits very close to my family also effected . Any way we can help ??

  16. I was told of a dump at the end of East RiverRd where Ford Rd comes in, years ago in the mid 70’s it was closed, now there are houses built on top of it. My 9 year old Nephew lost his life in 94 as well as my best friend recently, we all grew up on East River near the steel mill and asphalt plant

  17. I live in Lorain close to the Steel Mill now but lived in Sheffield Village prior to this my son was diagnosed June 18th with stomach cancer at the age of 44 and passed July 6th. I am waiting on autopsy report for further findings. I would like more information on the class action law suit…

  18. Wow. I moved to SL with my parents in 1977. We lived on Lake Rd directly across from Lynne Dr. My father died from leukemia in 1988. My mother developed breast cancer around 1997. It seems like we could always smell the paint plant. Thankfully I moved in 1990.

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