Pratt & Whitney Cancer Study Findings Released

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The results of a new study trying to find if there's a link between brain cancer and Pratt and Whitney employees was released Thursday. 

"It’s kind of the same as it is every other time, it’s inconclusive," said John Shea, who lost his father to brain cancer.  "I don’t think that Pratt and Whitney as an entity will ever take responsibility for it," said Shirley Platt, who lost her husband to brain cancer.

For the people who lost loved ones to cancer, hearing the newest survey results is more frustrating than hopeful.  John Shea's father worked at the North Haven Pratt and Whitney plant.  Shirley Platt's husband worked in Middletown and East Hartford.  Both men died from glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer.

"I’d like to see Phase 3 coming along and identifying something that may have caused some of this," said Platt.

The results from both phases one and two of the study couldn’t make a clear, consistent link between Pratt and Whitney and the cancer.  Researchers say there isn’t a higher incidence of brain cancer for Pratt employees.  However, in the next phase of the study, they will be looking at a slight increase in cancer cases at Pratt’s North Haven plant to see if environmental factors could be a link.

"Very proactive, getting work process, getting chemicals they used in the 50’s, pulling up chemical safety data sheets, going over machining operations, going over electromagnetic fields, going over x-ray units and working side by side with the researchers," said Debra Belancik, a Pratt and Whitney employee who helped to start the investigation.

"That’s our goal is to find out if there is a cause and get that cause or whatever, out of the picture, so future generations have a safe work place," said George , who also works for the company.

It may not help those who have already lost members of their families, but it could provide answers.  "There’s still something there, so if they can find it they could save a few lives," said Platt. 

The next survey results are due out next year.

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