A Hampton Bays High School senior’s research on radon and thyroid cancer has been published in an international science journal.
The research by Caroline Oakland, 17, was featured last month in Toxics, an open-access online journal published by MDPI. In the seven-page article, Oakland discussed her work over the past four years with mentor Jaymie Meliker, an associate professor at Stony Brook University.
Their research explored county-level radon and female thyroid cancer incidence in Iowa, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the radioactive decay of uranium in soil and becomes short-lived radioisotopes that can be inhaled and layer the aero digestive tract.
“Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation,” Oakland wrote.
Oakland’s research did not find an association between elevated radon and female thyroid cancer in the three states.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” Hampton Bays science research teacher Stephanie Forsberg said. “Authors in this journal are typically adult Ph.D. researchers in the field.”
Oakland also swims competitively with YMCA East Hampton RECenter’s Hurricanes Swim Team, plays lacrosse and is involved in her school’s Leo and Key clubs.
— MICHAEL R. EBERT