In a class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, victims of the Eastern Sandusky County Cancer Cluster and their families claim that benzaldehyde is to blame for the cluster.
According to the families, Benzaldehyde dust was found in every home tested where someone diagnosed with cancer in the cluster lived. A control sample, taken from a house on the other side of the county, did not test positive for benzaldehyde, attorneys said Wednesday.
Benzaldehyde is a colorless liquid with an almond-like odor. Attorneys for the families claim benzaldehyde is emitted during the production of household appliances, such as those made at the Whrilepool plant in Clyde.
The effects of benzaldehyde on the human body are not completely established. The United States Environmental Protection Agency lists benzaldehyde as a "hazardous substance," but does not say it is known to cause cancer.
An official EPA report states benzaldehyde "has not undergone a complete evaluation and determination under US EPA's IRIS program for evidence of human carcinogenic potential."
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