State health officials say a high rate of cancer in Ashland appears to be linked to a former industrial dye-making plant in the town.
The state Department of Public Health's seven-year study finds that people who came in contact with waste ponds and contaminated wetlands near the plant had cancer rates three-times greater than those who had no contact with the water.
The rate rose to four-times as high for those swam in the water and also had a family history of cancer.
Investigators collected information from nearly 1400 people between the ages of ten-to-18 who lived in Ashland from 1965-to-1985.
The study found 73 cases of cancer. Two-thirds of those cases were people under the age of 35 at the time of diagnosis.
Ashland is the site of the former Nyanza Chemical and Dye Manufacturing facility which operated from 1917-to-1978.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
This program aired on April 25, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.