Old Tomato Cannery Stirs Up New Fears In Franklin

Dec 2, 2019

Franklin residents concerned about rare child cancers in the area are now turning their attention to another polluted site. 

Franklin Community Schools hopes to find the source of contamination at two of its elementary schools. Tests showed high levels of the cancer-causing chemical TCE in vapor underneath the Needham and Webb buildings early last week. But samples inside were at levels the state considers safe. 

Students will be able to return to Needham and Webb elementary schools in Franklin on Monday after the school district determined the buildings are safe.

In the past decade, as many as 24 children in the small city of Franklin were diagnosed with rare cancers. Their parents want the federal government to declare a cancer cluster and investigate. But defining a cancer cluster — so it can be investigated — is complicated. 

EPA Calls For Soil Cleanup Around Franklin Sewers

Nov 29, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to clean up contaminated soil underneath some sewers in Franklin just south of the old Amphenol industrial site. Some residents suspect contamination from the site is causing rare child cancers in the area. 

Franklin Community Schools says kids can return to Needham and Webb elementary schools on Aug. 8, the end of summer break. A company tested the properties for cancer-causing chemicals that some think could be contributing to high child cancer rates in the area.

The Environmental Protection Agency was ready to ban some uses of the cancer-causing chemical TCE or trichloroethylene, but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt put that effort on hold last year.