Local News

Residents Say Their Neighborhood May Be Causing Cancer

Posted March 29, 2005 6:42 a.m. EST

— Some people in Fayetteville claim the neighborhood they live in may be making them sick.

The residents say their neighborhood, near Fayetteville State University, was built on land that was once used for the illegal dumping of trash and chemicals.

Now, many residents who live in the Broadell Homes section have cancer, said Leon DeLaine.

"One in this house, two in this house, three in this house," said DeLaine, who's parents lived in the neighborhood and had cancer.

"We would play with the barrels of chemicals as little kids," DeLaine said. "If the answers don't lie in the woods, then there's a strange coincidence."

About forty years ago, before the neighborhood was built, people dumped illegal chemicals and trash in the woods that lie behind the subdivision.

In the 1960s, African Americans bought upscale homes in the area. Since then, residents said, a large number of old and young residents have gotten sick.

"You really don't think it could happen to you, but it could living where we are," said Brittnay Spivey, whose 20-year-old brother has cancer.

Though it's unclear how the rate of cancer in this neighborhood compares to the rate of cancer in other areas, Cumberland County health officials plan on investigating, DeLaine said.

Health officials will take water and soil samples from the neighborhood on Wednesday, he said.