LeRoy Mystery Disease/Illness Update 6/14/2012: Air, Soil, Water tests Negative

LeRoy Mystery Disease/Illness Update 7/14/2012: Air, Soil, Water tests Negative

Downtown LeRoy- Safe according to new test results

Update 6/14/2012: It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the LeRoy Mystery Disease/Illness, which affected more than a couple dozen (mostly teenage girls) with sudden and inexplicable Tourette’s like twitching/tic symptoms. Since most of the girls went to the same High School, it was thought that the strange symptoms were caused or perhaps triggered by pollution on or near the school grounds. The case became controversial- parents of the children we not buying the conversion disorder theory and brought in environmental activist Erin Brockovich to the town, where she and her associates including soil researcher Bob Bocock attempted to find positive test samples in and around the LeRoy Junior/Senior High School. But today in Le.Roy, N.Y., “Test results show no health threat from water, soil and air samples taken near the school, as reported by channel 13 WHAM:

The state covered most of the testing performed by Leader Professional Services. Company president Michael Rumrill said since February, the cost reached $72,000. Most of the bill is from highly-expensive testing in laboratories. read more


LeRoy Mystery Disease/Illness Update 7/14/2012: Air, Soil, Water tests Negative

Kim Cox, LeRoy School Superintendent has sent this letter to the community this last wednesday:

“I have excellent news to announce concerning the results of the air, soil and surface water testing of the Junior/Senior High School building and grounds by Leader Professional Services. Leader has compiled an extensive report concerning the testing undertaken and subsequent analysis, concluding there are no adverse health impacts from contaminants in the air, soil or water in or around our high school campus.

First, I want to thank Leader for its very thorough and extensive sampling and testing and its associated report (referred to as the “Final Report”).  The Final Report represents a tremendous volume of work which included not only the comprehensive sampling and analysis, but before the Final Report could be finalized and published, such sample results were subjected to a rigorous and painstaking quality assurance review process to ensure accuracy. The Final Report, including its appendices, provides a detailed explanation and analysis of the sampling results.  To appreciate the depth of analysis performed by Leader, the underlying data alone that was compiled and analyzed encompasses almost six thousand pages.   The Final Report can be found through the link below (This is a link to the letter and the findings). The Final Report will also be available in the District’s main office and the local public library.

To summarize the key findings:

Some in our community have been concerned about such chemicals as trichloroethylene (TCE) and methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE) may be present on the campus and causing adverse health impacts. I am very pleased to tell you that the testing results do not show any detectable levels of trichloroethylene, methyl t-butyl ether, formaldehyde, or mercury.

The air sampling revealed only compounds expected to be found in multi-purpose educational buildings, like Le Roy Junior/Senior High School, and most important, the levels of the substances detected were in all cases below applicable standards and criteria associated with potential health impacts and in most cases well below such standards.

The substances found in the soil and water are commonly found in residential neighborhoods and parklands and, with one exception, were well below applicable standards and criteria associated with potential health impacts. There were no unexpected findings on the Junior/Senior High School Campus setting given its residential and recreational use and the past uses of the site. The one exception was that arsenic, a metal naturally occurring in soils in this part of the country, was detected in one soil sample at the base of a gas well’s brine tank.  It was present at a concentration slightly above certain regulatory criteria but within the norm for soils in this region. Given the level found, it is not a health risk.

You may have been aware that during the air testing phase, Leader recommended we raise the height of the exhaust stacks connected to our boiler as on occasion a down draft would cause an exhaust odor in the boiler room and in the hallway near the boiler room. While not considered a health issue, the odor was an annoyance and so we proceeded with this project in March.  Additional work will be done this summer so that this issue is effectively alleviated.

With respect to the costs associated with the testing, the state has so far committed to covering the stack project and 92% of Leader’s costs, which is truly good news for everyone in the District.  We are hopeful that other incidental costs will also be supported by the state.

The best news of all is that our students are doing well.  The Board of Education and I want to thank all of our students, staff and parents, as well as everyone in the community for their support and patience as we worked through this situation over the last several months. You all worked hard to ensure our students remained focused on their education, and for that I am truly grateful.

It is critical that at this time with year-end testing and special activities, and to ensure the District can continue to focus on our students, that we maintain a sense of calm and normalcy.  At the same time we recognize that some may have additional questions.  For that reason we are directing all questions you may have regarding the Leader report to Bill Albert atwalbert@harrisbeach.com. Bill will make every effort to be responsive to your question or that it is received by the person in the best position to provide an answer.

I wish everyone a safe and happy summer.

Thank you,
Kim Cox

I am pleased to hear that the students are doing well-  but that is kind of a vague statement about the current condition of the girls… I too would answer “I’m doing well, thank you” even if I were just getting out of surgery.

Superintendent Cox has been in the past understandably protective of her school district, but has refused to answer questions posed by Bob Bowcock and in general, negative to any outside findings. What happened to Erin Brockovich, her team and her remarks that “this case has only just begun?” I find it odd that this environmental maverick just disappeared off the scene?

If you want to find out all the information about what happened in LeRoy New York, Holistic Remedies News was one of the great places to go that covered the mystery Illness daily. You can check out all the articles here

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  1. Paleo Jimbo says:

    Thanks for the update!

    I still think it would be a great idea to do an info-graphic that summarizes the major events of this LeRoy incident…. kind of a visual timeline….

    look at these… especially the one of google aqusitions and the one about birth and growth of social sites… yours can just be a simple, verticle scrolling visual guide to events…

    Just an idea….

  2. cj hewish says:

    Get nhewish email off my screen. If s/he want to contact me that is hes decision. Them gals at high school just conspiring to get attention. Mimicking tourettes, they think, is fun. Like being into Beavis and Butthead twenty years ago or Neddy or Min on the Goon Show (England) 50 years ago: all the kids in the school would copy the comedians. In those days you were exposed to mercury vapour, formalin and H2S in the science labs. What harm did we come to? You want to wrap kids in cotton wool so they grow up soft. When they pull your leg (tail ?US) you take them and it seriously. I think the school and all them authorities have been had, and been had good. LOL. CJH


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