Monticello Cancer Link Decision Delayed

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Monticello residents must wait for spring to learn whether state health officials agree there's a link between cancer cases and a closed local uranium mill.

The Utah Department of Health's study of 440 cases was scheduled for completion in December. It was delayed while the state worked out a contract with the Utah Cancer Registry, which will conduct part of the research.

"We're trying really, really hard to be patient," said Barbara Pipkin, a member of the town's Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure committee.

State officials agreed to expand an existing study by looking at registry cases after a series of public hearings in May. The additional cases included people who had moved or were treated out of state and those inadvertently excluded from the registry.

The health department is also trying to find ways to add names of people diagnosed with cancer before 1973, when the registry was established, epidemiologist Juliana Grant said.

The uranium mill operated on Monticello's south side between 1941 and early 1960. The mill processed uranium and vanadium. After its closing, area residents used mill tailings in the mortar and foundations of their homes.

Residents want monetary compensation for anyone who fell ill, not just for miners and millworkers.

Monticello was once a U.S. Department of Energy Superfund Site, but was removed from that list in 2000.

Information from: The Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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