WORKEDTODEATH.NET

 
 

Update  May  24, 2013

The Final Phase of the Study is completed.  The public meeting will be held on Thursday,  May 23, 2013 at  8:00 PM and we were told that that there was "no significant excess in the rate of brain tumors".   We only received a summary of the study and are awaiting the publication of the full study in the June issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine JOEM  and at that time our people will be looking over the complete study. 

We will keep you informed as this occurs.  Thank you all for your continued support, it is greatly appreciated.

Carol Shea

 

Please look at our News & Events Page for the Latest information on the status of the Study.    If you have any questions or comments please contact  me  at    Carol Shea  352-638-9260 or  email at  carolee.shea@ comcast.net.

 

                 WELCOME TO WORKED TO DEATH  

 

            

 

    Hi, let us introduce ourselves, we are Carol Shea and Kate Greco, wives of John Shea and John Greco.  Our husbands were friends and co-workers for over 30 years at Prattt and Whitney Aircraft.  They both lost their lives within one  month of each other to a VERY RARE form of brain cancer, GLIOBLASTOMA MULTIFORME.   GLIOBLASTOMA MULTIFORM MAGLIGNANT BRAIN TUMORS

    The Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) primary brain tumor is one of the most malignant and difficult brain tumors to treat.  It is also a very rare type of tumor.  According to the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, www.cbtrus.org  GBM's strike an average of 2.96 people per 100,000 - less than .003 percent - every year.  The State Health Department, in consultation with federal health and safety experts, is investigating the possibility of a brain tumor cluster at Pratt & Whitney's Connecticut plants.  We have, with the help of local newspapers and TV stations running our story, compiled a list of over 87 confirmed Glioblastoma cases, we have an additional 41 confirmed cases with other forms of brain tumors at Pratt & Whitney. THIS IS WELL BEYOND THE PERCENTAGES!!!!!!!

    We hope to inform you and engage your support for our efforts to help clean up this toxicity which we feel caused our husbands and many other deaths.  We hope you will read on to see what our efforts have uncovered.  We are involved in the largest study of its type in history which is being undertaken by the Universities of Pittsburgh and Chicago, under the direction of Dr. Gary Marsh, Dr. Frank S. Lieberman, both of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. N.A. Esmen of the University of Illinois at Chicago with the cooperation of the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health through William Gerrish its Director of Public Health Communications.

    We would like to thank our Attorneys,  Richard Gross and Matt Shafner of O'Brien, Shafner, Stuart, Kelly & Morris and also our California firm of Alexander, Hawes & Audet, especially, Amanda Hawes.  Without their continued efforts and support we would not have gotten where we are today. 

    We would also like to thank the many representatives of the media who have continued to give us their support and have helped us get the attention of the public to our efforts. 

    Our thanks also go out to the Local 707 IAM/AW Union reps, like Debbie Belancik,  who represent Pratt & Whitney Workers for their support and unending efforts to help this cause.  This cause would never have gotten this far without their continued involvement and support.  We have found a group of friends with the same desire to see change and it is appreciated.

    Please read our story and we surely thank you for your interest.

 

           OUR   MISSION

A Message from Carol Shea and Kate Greco about  Our Website and  its Purpose!

 

Realizing that this tumor is a very rare type, it seemed very suspicious to us that both our husbands would be affected with the same illness.  Since our husbands contracted this tumor only months apart, we started rersearching the causes of the brain tumor that eventually took their lives.  We found that there were two areas which needed to be looked into, and that is where it all started.

The first area we looked into was their family histories and if there was any past history of the illness.  Both of our husbands had relatively large families, we found that no one in either of their families had suffered from this type of brain tumor.  The second cause was environmental effects, which covered a host of different chemicals that could be related to this type of brain tumor.  Here are just a few excerpts from several publications researched:

    "EXPOSURE TO CERTAIN CHEMICALS, INCLUDING CHLORINATED HYDROCARBONS (LIKE PVC) AND BENZENE, IS ASSOCIATED WITH HIGHER RISK OF BRAIN CANCERS."   excerpted from www.Canceranswers.com dated 2/3/00.

    "BRAIN TUMORS OCCUR MORE FREQUENTLY IN PEOPLE REGULARLY EXPOSED TO:  ACRYLONITRILE, VINYL CHLORIDE, FORMALDEHYDE, LUBRICATING OILS, N-NITROSO COMPOUNDS, PHENOLS, PESTICIDES, PROLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS AND ORGANIC SOLVENTS."  excerpted from The Brain Tumor Association:  A Primer of Brain Tumors:  Causes dated 7/27/00 www.abta.org/primer/causes.htm

    "Yale epidemiologist Tongzhang Zheng published a new occupational study in the spring of 2001, based on his examination of 375 glio cases in Iowa.  He found an increased risk of brain cancer for, among others, sheet metal workers and workers with high exposure to solvents."  as published in the New Haven Advocate article "Worked to Death" dated August 2, 2001.  In our research, we also have examined - MSDS papers (Material Safety Data Sheets) - which were obtained - they are used as the standard information that manufacturers provide about the chemical makeup and health effects of their hazardous products.  Among them, sulfuric acid, which contains formaldehyde, many petroleum-based cutting fluids and lubricants;  and numerous organic solvents.  Those include trichloroethylene, or TCE, a human carcinogen, and the nearly identical-sounding buth somewhat milder 1,1,1, trichlorethane.  All of which substances were used by John Shea and John Greco at points in their careers with Pratt and Whitney.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is not enough room on this website to list all of the toxic hazards these men were exposed t over their long employment with Pratt,  for instance, contaminated drinking water, toxic chemical spills and many others.

Take a look at the New Haven Advocate newspaper archives for an article written by Carole Bass & Camille Jackson published on August 2, 2001 entitled "WORKED TO DEATH", from which this website found its title.  They did an excellent job of showing what life at Pratt and Whitney was like for these men. 

     No one can bring our husbands back to us, we have suffered a tremendous loss, but, someone has to do something to stop this from happening and maybe save a few lives.  By doing this we feel we can keep the promises we made to our husbands, that we would work to make sure that this toxcity becomes known to the public and that someone does something about it.  The killing must stop somewhere.   

  "HAPPY MAN"   as written by John Shea and published by

the Record-Journal Newspaper on January 20, 2000.

 
Dear Editor:
 
I just recently had surgery to have cancer removed from both sides of my brain.  I have had many people ask me how I could still be enjoying myself.  I always look so good.  The reason for this is I have a wonderful wife who has taken great care of me.  In the first few weeks she had to take me to the New Haven Hospital every day.  Now she takes me about once a month.  She had to quit her job of about fifteen years to do this, but she is handling everything really well.
 
I also have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law who call almost every day to see how I am doing.  I also have a great sister and brother-in-law and my nieces and nephew who care about me.  I also have gotten closer to the friends I have been working with for almost thirty years.  I don't work with them anymore, now they keep in touch either over the phone or by e-mail to see how I am doing.  I also have gotten closer with my neighbors.  They have been really looking out for me.  They aren't just neighbors anymore, they are real good friends.  This is the reason so many people ask me "how can you be having such a good time all the time?"  I am a very lucky and happy man.
 
John Shea

 

News and Events Contacts Meetings Useful Links
Pratt & Whitney, North Haven: 
Investigation of Possible Brain Cancer Cluster