Mystery as more than 100 former New Jersey school staff and students develop brain tumour

Known cases among the school's alumni appear to be growing. Credit: Google Street View

A growing mystery surrounds a high school in New Jersey, where it is claimed more than 100 former students and staff have developed brain tumours.

Colonia High School is reportedly being tested for radiation to determine if there is a link between the school and the seemingly growing number of diagnoses among its alumni.

Al Lupiano, who graduated from the school in 1989, first suspected the connection after his wife and his sister – who both attended the school in the 90s – were diagnosed on the same day.

His sister, one of his three siblings, died earlier this year.

Mr Lupiano was diagnosed with an equally rare tumour in 1999, when he was 27, on the left side of his brain just like his sister and wife.

Doctors, he said, were astounded to discover how large it had grown, especially given his age.

Both he and his wife had Acoustic Neuroma, a very rare type of tumour that he claims affects roughly ten from every million people.

Since first posting on Facebook to call on fellow alumni to reach out in March, 102 have so far come to him with a primary brain tumour.

“As of midnight Sunday, 10 April, I recorded the 100th case of someone having a primary brain tumour,” he recently posted.

“I never in my worst nightmare envisioned ever hitting this milestone. That’s 100 people with their life forever changed. 100 families having to be told the terrible news.

“100 stories of shock and disbelief with the diagnosis. I pray we find answers.”

He said that many of the people who have contacted him are former staff members at the school who didn’t live in the area.

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According to US media reports, the City of Woodbridge is taking the lead in the investigation and is spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for testing at the school, which has seen around 15,000 people graduate over the last 30 years.

“One hundred out of 15,000 have brain cancer - sure sounds like something we should be concerned about,” Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac told News 4 New York.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are reportedly waiting for test results, which could take weeks.