Senator C. Anthony
DEMOCRAT 26TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bill to Study the Environmental Causes of Cancer Unanimously Passes
Maryland House and Senate
The Maryland General Assembly has worked tirelessly to address a number of issues during the 2013 session.
Perhaps none is more important than SB 380 establishing a workgroup to examine potential cancer clusters and
Senator C. Anthony Muse is the lead sponsor and advocate of the bill stating that, "as a pastor, I have eulogized
countless members of my congregation who have died of cancer; and many more, both young and old, have been
diagnosed with cancer -- too many for this to be considered normal. I also have several colleagues and close friends
in the Senate and House who have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease." Senator Muse became particularly
burdened about the rising cancer rate in the community in 2010 when his god-daughter, Charnise Carter and her
husband, Lamont Carter, founders of Juice 4 Life, Inc., were both diagnosed with cancer within months of one
another. Lamont Carter ultimately lost his battle at the age of 38.
It is estimated that one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some
form of cancer at some point during their lifetime. Between 2003 and 2007, Maryland had the 21st highest cancer
death rate in the country. While prostate cancer in Maryland is ranked above the national average, lung cancer
accounts for the highest percent (28%) of cancer deaths in the state.
The increasing cancer rates are so alarming that Senator Muse decided to take action. He introduced the first cancer
cluster bill before the Maryland General Assembly in 2011. Muse believes the government should take greater
responsibility in determining the causes of cancer. "Every Marylander has been affected by cancer and it's time that
we begin to study the environmental effects of this ever growing disease," he said.
The unanimous passing of the legislation establishing the Workgroup on Cancer Clusters and Environmental Causes
of Cancer signifies that the growing rate of cancer in the state has finally gotten the full attention of Maryland
lawmakers. The workgroup will examine the state's process for researching and identifying cancer clusters. The
workgroup's task will also include the sharing of information among state and federal agencies on the environmental
causes of cancer as well as research being conducted by academic medical institutions in the state. The workgroup
will also determine whether annual findings should be reported to the public.
The bill specifies that the workgroup consist of representatives of academic medical institutions in the state,
advocates for cancer patients, legislators, scientists, environmentalists, and representatives from both urban and
rural areas. Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has already convened a workgroup to
begin examining the number and percentage of individuals with cancer by sex, race, geographical area in the state,
and any other factor that it determines to be important. These existing resources can be used to comply with the
bill's reporting requirements.
Following the General Assembly's vote on what Muse refers to as the "Cancer Cluster Bill," Muse said, "when we, as
legislators, suspect that toxins in the air, water, or soil may be the cause of unusual groupings or unexpected
increases in cancer in the community, aggressive state action must be taken to investigate the possibility that
environmental factors may be one of the major culprits. We will finally start to address this issue with Senate Bill
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