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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Presents Update on Polycythemia Vera Research

Schuylkill County, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will update community members on the polycythemia vera (PV) research projects in the tri-county area of Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Carbon Counties, PA on September 20, 2012 in Tamaqua, PA.

The availability session will be held from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Tamaqua Public Library, 30 South Railroad Street. Representatives from ATSDR and other researchers will present the update at 6:00 pm and again at 7:00 pm. Representatives will be available to speak with area residents about the projects between presentations and until 8:00 pm.


Lora Werner, Regional Director, ATSDR

Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, Epidemiologist, ATSDR


Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 6:00pm


Tamaqua Public Library, 30 South Railroad Street


For directions to the library, visit


PV is a rare illness that causes the body to make too many red blood cells. In 2008, an ATSDR investigation identified a cluster of PV cases in Eastern Pennsylvania. In 2009, ATSDR received funds to continue the PV investigation.

ATSDR is conducting 14 research projects and 4 non-research projects. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations are working with ATSDR on these PV related projects.

The projects are based on the recommendations of an expert panel that identified four areas for investigation: epidemiology, genetics, toxicology and environmental analysis. Some of the research projects are evaluating risk factors associated with the development of PV, essential thrombocytosis (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) in the tri-county area. Fieldwork for the projects is expected to be completed this fall. Research findings and reports will be presented at future public meetings as data review and analysis are completed.

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Schuylkill County, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania


Final Health Screening Report Released in Polycythemia Vera Investigation
Release Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has released its final report regarding the Community Health Screening for the JAK2 genetic marker.

Latest Findings Released in Polycythemia Vera Investigation
Release Date: Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Following two rounds of community health screening in northeastern Pennsylvania for the JAK2 genetic marker, 19 (1.6%) of the 1,170 people tested were found to have this mutation. This is the first time large scale screening for this JAK2 genetic mutation has been done in the United States. The frequency of the mutation in the general population is not known. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted the screenings in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

ATSDR Slates October 24 Public Meeting on Polycythemia Vera
Release Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009
The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will hold a public meeting in the Tamaqua Area Auditorium at Tamaqua High School, 500 Penn St, Tamaqua, PA, on Saturday, October 24, 2009 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. to update area residents on recent efforts regarding polycythemia vera (PV).

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