Credit: Courtesy

Preliminary results of an investigation regarding incidences of cancer among adults at Dos Pueblos High School were returned to Santa Barbara school district officials recently, and “no concerns have been found so far,” the district announced in a press release on Wednesday. The statement emphasizes that these are early reports and that the final results will be known in a few weeks.

In December, a group of employees at the high school had met with Principal Bill Woodard to voice their concerns about a recent cancer diagnosis among staff and a recent death that might have been due to cancer. The California Department of Public Health tracks cancers, and it usually identifies a “cluster” as more cases of a single type of cancer that appears “in a group of people, in a location, or in a time period than would be expected based upon usual patterns.”

The California Cancer Registry is reviewing the Dos Pueblos cancer cases among the staff, and “[s]o far, they have not found any common link or cluster of cases,” the announcement states.

Over the winter break, environmental engineering consultant Geosyntec had taken air samples indoors and outdoors on campus, as well as soil samples on and off campus to test for radon and electromagnetic fields, the release states. The preliminary lab test results found no concerns.

“We care about our employee and student safety and take these concerns very seriously. We are thankful the preliminary report indicates no health concerns but will continue to monitor the findings to ensure that is still the case,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, superintendent for the district, adding her thanks to the Public Health department for their assistance.

The information was shared with Dos Pueblos staff on Tuesday, said Ed Zuchelli, spokesperson for the district. The final reports from Geosyntec and the California Cancer Registry are anticipated in the coming weeks, he said, at which time the district plans to hold a forum to discuss the findings.

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