Possible Link Between Contaminants in Campus Building and 150 Cancer Cases Among University Students and Alumni – One America News Network

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North Carolina State University (Photographer: Logan Cyrus/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
North Carolina State University (Photographer: Logan Cyrus/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:15 PM – Monday, April 1, 2024

North Carolina State University has been in the process of investigating claims from a number of current students and past alumni who were exposed to concerning amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a possible carcinogen, from one of the college’s now-closed campus buildings.


“The International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared PCBs to be probably carcinogenic to humans. The National Toxicology Program has stated that it is reasonable to conclude that PCBs are carcinogenic in humans,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Investigating student and alumni exposures to potentially carcinogenic levels of PCBs in one of its closed campus buildings since November 2023 is an ongoing effort for NC State University in Raleigh.

More than 150 cancer cases in students who attended Poe Hall have been reported to the local news outlet WRAL. Around November 2023, a month after PCB levels exceeding 38 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for building materials were found inside five rooms of the building, WRAL began investigating concerns regarding the building. 

“I was finishing up my finals, and I was going in for a physical at the health center. … I was having night sweats for weeks and weeks before this, and I could not figure out what was happening,” NC State alumna Christie Lewis explained to Fox News Digital. “I was having to get up in the middle of night and change clothes completely. And then I would fall asleep. And I had to put a towel down. It honestly took me weeks to even tell my husband about them because I kept on forgetting about it because it was just in the middle of the night.”

Lewis studied at NC State between 2007 and 2012. She first chose business as her major, but ultimately changed her major to education, attending Poe Hall lectures. The report states that she studied in the building “for about four years.” Lewis received a thyroid cancer diagnosis while attending the college. Doctors discovered a tumor in her throat and she was diagnosed with angiosarcoma only a few months after the initial diagnosis, as reported by the New York Post.

“And so just as I’m finishing up my finals and my papers, I’m going to see an endocrinologist and they’re doing a biopsy of my neck, and that’s traumatic,” Lewis stated. “They don’t sedate you or anything. They just kind of shove a huge needle into your throat and jab it around everywhere.”

Lewis was aware that some people eventually go on to develop cancer, due to genetics, environment, or diet, but when she saw that NC State alumni were being diagnosed three times as often as any other group in Wake County, she became more concerned.

“I could have never made that connection by myself because I didn’t know anybody else. I was the only one in my little cohort of classmates who had cancer when I was in college,” she said. “And I just thought that something was just wrong with my body. That something was wrong with me. I have four siblings, and everybody’s so healthy except for me.”

Lewis stated that she now feels “violated” since she believed she was “getting a good education…in a safe place,” and then “all of a sudden,” she was “put in unsafe conditions.” Additionally, Lewis expressed that she has worries that the “forever chemicals” can “pass in utero” and as a result, pass onto her children.

It remains unknown if the individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer will act against the school. Any updates of Poe Hall’s status can be found here.

The EPA provided the following statement regarding PCBs:

“PCBs have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects. They have been shown to cause cancer in animals as well as a number of serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including: effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other health effects.

Studies in humans support evidence for potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects of PCBs. The different health effects of PCBs may be interrelated. Alterations in one system may have significant implications for the other systems of the body.

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