Protecting Children and Communities from Disease Clusters

A national movement to support policies to protect children and communities from disease clusters.

1/26/2011 Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Crapo (R-ID) introduced “Trevor’s Law”:

S. 76, Strengthening Protections for Children and Communities From Disease Clusters Act
click here for a .pdf of the bill

When a community is concerned that they are experiencing an unexpected increase in the incidence of birth defects, cancer or other diseases, people become concerned and want help in getting answers to their questions.

Senator Boxer introduced this legislation with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) to help communities that want to investigate and address “disease clusters.” The bipartisan bill aims to:

• Strengthen federal agency coordination and accountability when investigating these potential certain “clusters” of disease;
• Increase assistance to areas impacted by potential disease clusters; and
• Authorize federal agencies to form partnerships with states and academic institutions to investigate and help address disease clusters.

Legislative updates:

3/29/2011 Erin Brockovich, Trevor Schaefer and Gina Solomon testified at U.S. Senate Hearing.

6/2011 The U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works approved the bill, so it will next go to the Senate floor.

About NDCA
The National Disease Clusters Alliance is made up of a unique cross-section of representatives across the country from non-profit organizations, community activists, scientists and academia. We share a common concern about high rates of disease and the need to investigate and stop environmental contaminants harm to our health.

Read our letter of support for this bill.

About Trevor
Trevor Schaefer survived a 7-year battle with brain cancer from the age of 13. Schaefer and his mother Charlie Smith founded the Trevor’s Trek Foundation to push for more research into environmental causes of chronic disease clusters. The “Trevor’s Law” legislation was initiated by Susan Rosser, Smith, Schaefer, and University of Arizona toxicologist Mark Witten. “Environmental toxin exposure is insidious in all instances, yet affects our children in greater proportion than adults,” Schaefer says. “This bill will help eradicate predatory disease by bringing together agencies with the relevant expertise needed to investigate these clusters.”

Supporters of disease cluster reform
Trevor’s Trek Foundation

Other supporters
Senator Boxer’s staff also received letters of support from these organizations:
Breast Cancer Fund
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice
The Children’s Environmental Health Network
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Sierra Club
Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc. Professor of Pediatrics, Dean for Global Health, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine, Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center

What we believe
There is an urgent need for early identification and rapid response of disease clusters. Our public health efforts should be proactive and driven by health tracking data. We need thorough investigation to discover causes for the excess disease. Communities have many questions about possible environmental causes of disease and the best science should be made available to answer these questions. When problems are identified there should be a collaborative effort to halt the outbreak.

Young cancer survivor will testify in D.C. with celebrity to support proposed law, 3/22/2011

Study of Disease Clusters Urged
Gannett Washington Bureau, 2/19/2011

Senator Boxer Kicks off 112th Congress by Introducing Bills to Reduce Pollution and Protect Public Health
U.S. Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee, 1/26/2011

Rise in Childhood Cancers Parallels Toxic Chemical Proliferation
Environmental News Service, 1/26/2011

Can Where You Live Make You Sick? Trevor, Charlie and Senator Boxer on the Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC, 12/20/2011, video 8 minutes.

A Young Cancer Survivor Becomes the Inspiration for Legislation
Tonic, 11/17/2010

Proposed law would track cancer, chronic disease clusters nationwide
epiNewswire, 10/5/2010

Mother and son fight for legislation on cancer clusters, 9/30/2010

Take action!
Trevor’s Trek Foundation has a link where you can petition your representative:
Put Children’s Health Above Politics

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