Pinsky, Brockovich probe Leroy sickness

Jan. 31, 2012 at 12:58 AM
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LEROY, N.Y., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Dr. Drew Pinsky, who hosts a cable TV show, says he has joined Erin Brockovich to help find out why 17 LeRoy, N.Y., teens have Tourette's-like symptoms.

Pinsky, an internist and addiction specialist, met with the environmental activist Monday to discuss why the teens at LeRoy Junior-Senior High School might be afflicted with involuntary twitches, verbal outbursts and seizures, reported.

Brockovich, whose California water-contamination case was turned into a motion picture starring Julia Roberts, said she sent a team to the school this past weekend, but it was turned away by school district officials who said they wanted "sound advice" from professionals "void of self-interest," HLN, which carries Pinsky's program, reported.

The district said it summoned police Saturday because unauthorized the presence of the sample collector and TV crews were disrupting a planned musical event involving students from 22 schools, HLN said.

The school district said the "rogue" sampling Saturday was not done in accordance with accepted standards, the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Environmental groups said more investigation is needed to rule out environmental contamination. Rumors persist the school sits atop rock and soil trucked in from a part of Leroy after a huge spill of the toxic solvent trichloroethylene -- an industrial solvent -- from a 1970 train derailment. The chemical was banned in many countries in the 1970s.

More recently, five natural gas wells using hydraulic fracturing were opened in the past decade. The wells, owned by the school district, ring the junior-senior high school building.

However, Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a New Jersey neurologist, is looking into the possibility a strep bacteria is to blame, WIVB-TV, Buffalo, reported.

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