The Miami-Dade Health Department is looking into a report of an unusually high number of cancer cases in a northwest Miami neighborhood. Lillian Rivera, director of the county health department, said authorities are not yet clear about what the situation is.
The Miami-Dade Health Department is looking into a report of an unusually high number of cancer cases in a northwest Miami neighborhood.
"We have to make it very clear we do not know if we have a cancer cluster. So at this present time based on the Centers for Disease Control, we are calling this a suspected case of cancer cluster," said Lillian Rivera, director of the county health department.
The neighborhood is across the street from the King Metal recycling facility. Residents are concerned there might be a connection between this plant, cancer and asthma.
Dorothy Hall, who lives in the neighborhood said she was coughing, wheezing and had a congested chest.
Antoinette Moss says her asthma attacks have gotten worse since this plant started recycling two years ago.
"I've been here over 28 years. This is the first time that I have seen so much dust and stuff since that plant over there started doing the grinding, and I am convinced it comes from that," Moss said.
For now, King Metal recycling has been shut down for failing to meet zoning requirements and operating without a permit, but it had passed county environmental inspections.
"When inspectors go out they look to see if there's a nuisance being created does it look like smoke or dust or anything coming from the facility those kids of things are not apparent from inspection when we inspect the facility," said Lee Heft, assistant director of the Department of Environmental Resources Management.
Plant employee, Leonardo Enriquez, said they cut metal here for shipment to China , he doesn't wear a mask and is in good health.
Residents were prepared to show proof to the county commission that there is an environmental problem.
"When you have the fibers from the metal and small particles like that mixed with the air uh huh. That's a chemical dust," said Moss.