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Letters: Vital news about toxic plume

A view of the Bethpage water tower from

A view of the Bethpage water tower from 11th Street in Bethpage. (Sept. 12, 2012) Credit: Steve Pfost

I was pleased that Newsday printed an informative article about the toxic plume threatening the drinking water and air quality of Long Island residents ["A neighborhood's cancer questions," News, Sept. 25].

The coverage gave the issue the attention it deserves. Knowledge about the contaminants at the former Northrop Grumman site in Bethpage and their potential link to increased cancer cases from wells nearby have been known for some time. However, such information and what has been done so far to remediate the situation has been largely kept out of the public's eye.

This plume has the potential to spread to more communities on the South Shore. Such an occurrence would harm more residents' health, area parks and ultimately the Great South Bay unless there is remediation.

Miriam Berman, Massapequa Park

When I first met my late husband's family, they told me stories of how they all grew up in Bethpage when Central Avenue was still a dirt road, and how they used to run across the potato farms to bring Roy Grumman his lunch in the aircraft plant.

I also learned how members of my husband's family died of bizarre forms of cancer. I always attributed their illnesses to the pesticides from the potato farms. Never did I consider that the cancers that killed my husband and members of his mother's family might be from the pollutants that Grumman and the U.S. Navy were allowed to store or dump.

I fear for members of his extended family who still live in that same house off Central Avenue in Bethpage.

E.D. Byrnes, Port Jefferson Station