DOH offers LeRoy victims evaluations
Tests show nothing unusual in school's water
Updated: Wednesday, 01 Feb 2012, 4:46 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 01 Feb 2012, 4:42 PM EST
ALBANY, N.Y. (RELEASE) - New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D, MPH today announced that the Department has secured an agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that the NIH will provide the Leroy High School students suffering from tic-like symptoms with a free, independent third-party evaluation of their cases.
The evaluations will be performed under the auspices of Dr. Mark Hallett and Dr. Susan Swedo of the NIH Institute on Neurology in Bethesda, Maryland, at no cost for the specialized consultation or for travel and accommodation costs of the students and their families.
The Department of Health is sending information on this opportunity to visit NIH to the parents and families of those affected by this illness and urges them to take advantage of this opportunity to be examined by these experts.
Dr. Hallett is currently NIH’s Chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and Chief of its Human Motor Control Section. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a clinical study of the diagnosis and natural history of patients with neurological conditions.
Dr. Swedo is currently Chief of the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Swedo and her NIMH team were the first to identify a new subtype of childhood disorder thought to be related to streptococcal infections known as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS). Dr. Swedo's work has led to the development of several possible therapies for the condition.
“The Department of Health understands that parents and students in the LeRoy School District are seeking more information on the tic-like symptoms that have presented in some students in the Jr/Sr High School,” Dr. Shah said. “Based on the clinical evaluations of the patients and the pattern in which these cases presented, the Department continues to believe that there is no environmental or infectious cause of these illnesses or public health threat to the community.”
At the request of the school district,t water samples from the school at the Department’s Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. The Department analyzed three drinking water samples taken on January 25, 2012 from the Leroy High School by the Genesee County Health Department. Two samples were taken from areas frequented by students (student laboratory and kitchen). The third sample was taken where public water enters the building and is representative of water quality in the Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) distribution system that supplies the high school and the surrounding area. The analyses of these samples were completed on January 30, 2012.
The results show nothing out of the ordinary. All three samples meet state and federal drinking water standards. The water quality in the student areas was no different from the water quality in the area around the high school. In addition, all three samples were consistent with the normally expected water quality for the entire Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) service area. The only chemical detections to note were three disinfection by-products, the earth metal barium, and fluoride. All of these detected chemicals were at levels that are within state and federal drinking water standards. The disinfection by-products were found at levels consistent with entire the MCWA service area. Disinfection by-products occur at all drinking water systems that chlorinate surface water and result from the reaction of the primary disinfectant (chlorine) with naturally occurring organic material found in all surface waters of the State. The detected barium comes from Lake Ontario and is consistent with the level normally present in MCWA's water. Fluoride is added by MCWA for dental protection purposes and the level detected is MCWA's optimal target level for fluoride. Detected Chemical Range of Levels Detected Maximum Contaminant Level
Chloroform 27 - 28 (ug/L or ppb) *
Bromodichloromethane 10 (ug/L or ppb) *
Dibromochloromethane 2.8 (ug/L or ppb) *
Total Disinfection Byproducts = 39.8 - 40.8 (ug/L or ppb) 80 (ug/L or ppb)
Barium 0.018 - 0.019 (mg/L or ppm) 2 (mg/L or ppm)
Fluoride 0.7 (mg/L or ppm)) 2.2 (mg/L or ppm)
*Drinking water standards for the disinfection byproducts are set for the total, not the individual components.