Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.
A cancer cluster caused by pesticides in South Carolina would be hard to prove. Here’s why.
Cancer clusters are rare and difficult to prove, and pesticides are unlikely to be the cause of several recent cases of brain tumors in Mount Pleasant, a national water quality expert said.
Erik Olson, director of the National Resources Defense Council’s health program, said the system Mount Pleasant Waterworks uses — reverse osmosis — is an excellent technology that will “remove basically anything, including pesticides.”
“If they’ve had reverse osmosis for a long time, that would suggest it’s probably not pesticides,” Olson said.
Mount Pleasant has used the technology since 1991.
Warrants: Former Wellford police chief charged in prescription fraud
WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) – The former police chief of Wellford is facing 10 charges connected to the filling of unauthorized prescriptions.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed 48-year-old Timothy Alexander was arrested on five counts of MDP other in Schedule I, II or III controlled substance and five counts of violation of drug distribution laws.
According to the arrest warrants, Alexander is accused of conspiring with a woman to obtain unauthorized Percocet prescriptions from pharmacies in Woodruff and Spartanburg.
New study pinpoints sea rise hot spots, with Edisto and Kiawah islands caught in the crosshairs
In just 18 years — less than the life of some mortgages — rising seas will cause disruptive flooding in about 170 coastal communities across the United States, including Edisto and Kiawah islands, a new analysis says.
Prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, the report is said to be the first nationwide attempt to identify tipping points — times and places where flooding is so frequent that residents abandon their land or pump big bucks into projects to hold back the ocean.
No stranger to high water, Charleston already sees regular “nuisance floods” at seasonal high tides, though the problem has grown worse in recent years. Charleston averaged four days of tidal flooding 50 years ago. Last year, the city had a record 50 flooding days, many when the sun shined.
Even so, the city has yet to reach a “chronic inundation” threshold — when 10 percent or more of its usable, non-wetland area floods at least 26 times per year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists report.
That will change within a couple of generations.