A List of Suspected Cancer Clusters in Florida

Did you know that Florida had three confirmed disease clusters? In Loxahatchee (Acreage), they found a brain cancer cluster. In Immokalee, they found a birth-defect cluster, and in Tallevast, they found a cancer cluster. 

However, these aren't the only cancer cluster concerns. Many more were investigated throughout the state. There is a need for better documentation of disease clusters to address possible causes. Below are a few cases in the news throughout the years and some resources to begin your research. 

Azalea Neighborhood of St. Petersburg

Brevard County Health Investigations & Concerns: 
  • Port St. John is an unincorporated neighborhood that was investigated for having a cancer cluster and asthma issues in children before two power plants were decommissioned in the area and a new plant was built. 
  • Palm Bay's Harris Corporation is a superfund site where numerous health investigations occurred, and families brought forward health concerns, including childhood cancer.
  • Kennedy Space Center workers have brought forward health concerns regarding exposures to legacy contamination from the shuttle era. There was an ALS cluster investigation among workers at NASA. 
  • Satellite Beach High School graduates brought concerns in 2018 after learning that the air force base next door, Patrick Air Force Base, had high levels of PFAS chemicals in their wells. 56 graduates were diagnosed with rare cancers, including an Oncologist who attended the high school. The survivors and Fight For Zero pushed for a health investigation and regulations on the chemicals found in the area's groundwater. 
  • South Patrick Shores is an unincorporated neighborhood directly next to Patrick Air Force Base that had 30 cases of Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the 90s. The nonprofit organization, Fight For Zero, brought forward concerns regarding buried military debris underneath homes and pushed for a Formerly Used Defense Site designation in 2019.  
  • PFAS Chemicals were detected in the City of Titusville, Melbourne, and Palm Bay drinking water by nonprofit organization Fight For Zero through professional laboratory testing. 
  • Indian River Lagoon is a national estuary of significance that has had harmful algae blooms throughout the past decade. During warmer months, chemicals used on lawns and by government agencies wash into the watershed feeding harmful algae and causing blooms. Cyanobacteria cause harmful health effects, and bacteria from sewage spills have been known to cause severe infections such as MRSA. 

Brevard County, Florida | Patrick Air Force Base + Space Industry

Manatee County, Florida | Bayshore High School Cluster

Orange County, Florida | Avalon Park OUC Plant

Orange County, Florida | Lake Apopka Cancer Cluster

Miami-Dade, Florida | Childhood Cancer Clusters

Florida Blue-Green Algae and Disease

St. Lucie County, Florida | Brain Cancer Cluster

St. Lucie Cancer Cluster History

Palm Beach County, Florida | The Acreage

Louella Phillips: Phosphate Mining from Emma Green on Vimeo.

Polk County, Florida | Phosphate Mining

Other Florida areas of concern for environmental health impacts: 
  • Jacksonville Florida
  • Eglin Air Force Base
  • Union County, Florida (highest rates of cancer)

Other Disease Cluster Information in Florida

Water Quality and Contamination Issues in Florida

Stel Bailey

Stel Bailey, a cancer cluster survivor and environmental health advocate, is a researcher and journalist with more than two decades of multimedia experience, having been published globally.

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