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U.S. EPA gives $224,000 to the University of Nevada to study leukemia cluster

Release Date: 6/17/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile ( - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell) or Dr. Mark Walker, University of Nevada - Reno, 775/784-1938

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $224,000 to University of Nevada and an Arkansas research institute to study leukemia among children living in Fallon, Nev.

Since approximately 2000, sixteen children living in Fallon have been diagnosed with leukemia. The cause is still unknown.

The Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute will use the funding to evaluate whether certain factors -- genetics, environment, diet -- may have played a role in the leukemia cluster. The University of Nevada will provide administrative support for the research.

"Our hearts go out to the families of the children diagnosed with leukemia," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's water division for the Pacific Southwest office. "We remain hopeful that this research will provide us with vital information to understand the leukemia cases in Fallon."

Senator Harry Reid (D - NV) was instrumental in securing the funding for this research.

"I think it is critically important to harness the expertise of outside specialists to investigate the cluster, and the retention of Dr. James is an important step in this effort," said Senator Reid. "The families deserve no less than the most skilled of eyes to find clues to the cause of the cluster."