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Shaheen Legislation to Bolster Pediatric Cancer Research and Public Outreach in New Hampshire Passes the Senate

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Appropriations committee, issued the following statement after appropriations legislation that included her amendment to bolster research on pediatric cancer passed the Senate. This amendment would also provide support for public outreach to raise awareness of contributing factors for pediatric cancers in New Hampshire. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that between 2003 and 2014, New Hampshire had the highest pediatric cancer rate in the country—with 205 pediatric cancer cases per 1,000,000 in the population.

“We need to understand the underlying factors contributing to New Hampshire’s alarming pediatric cancer rate so that we can better protect children in our state,” said Shaheen. “The federal government can play a key role in this effort which is why my legislation calls for a report on the types of cancers prevalent in New Hampshire and the specific geographic breakdown of high cancer rates within different areas of the state. New Hampshire families have many questions about the high pediatric cancer rate in our state and they deserve answers.”   

Shaheen’s amendment directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide a report to Congress identifying the different types of pediatric cancer found in states with the highest rates of incidence, including a geographic breakdown of pediatric cancer rates within each of these states. The amendment also authorizes the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conduct public outreach to improve awareness of possible contributing factors to pediatric cancers, including environmental exposure. Finally, the amendment calls on HHS to provide an update on the Department’s efforts to study, document and track childhood and adult cancer clusters in New Hampshire and around the nation.

Shaheen and the New Hampshire delegation recently called on the Trump Administration to release information on actions taken by HHS to examine the factors that are contributing to high pediatric cancer rates in New Hampshire and other states, including environmental contamination.