Environment: The Geography of Cancer

New Jersey struggles with a baffling outbreak

The citizens of Rutherford, N.J., a prosperous, green and pleasant town seven miles from New York City, normally use their well-appointed high school auditorium for everything from class plays to graduations. But last week more than 500 parents were gathered there for a very grim purpose. School officials, acting on reports from parents alarmed by an apparently high incidence of cancers in the town, had compiled a list of eleven residents recently afflicted either with leukemia or Hodgkin's disease and asked state health authorities to investigate....

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