Johnson County Childhood Cancer - 13 Investigates

13 Investigates

Desperate for Answers: Testing for Toxins

In the small industrial city of Franklin, Indiana dozens of children have been diagnosed with blood, bone and rare brain cancers. That's nearly half of the children diagnosed with cancer in Johnson County since 2008.

13 Investigates first made the alarming link between high pediatric cancer rates and the city of Franklin in 2015, after a group of desperate mothers came forward questioning why their children were getting sick and dying.

13 Investigates discovered at that time contamination had forced the shutdown of the city’s well field.

Additional contaminated sites were also identified.

Since 2015, mothers behind the not-for-profit "If It Was Your Child" and 13 Investigates have worked to keep the plight of these children in the forefront.

It wasn't until the summer of 2018 when 13 Investigates broke the story about toxic vapors detected in several Franklin homes that federal, state and local government agencies finally took real action.

It started when the Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), a not-for-profit organization out of New Jersey conducted an initial round of vapor testing in Franklin.

Desperate for Answers: Testing for Toxins takes you inside the contamination crisis and shows you how federal, state and local government agencies are responding, and where there's a need for more action.

It's the first time a serious coordinated investigation is taking place that is providing answers to the families of sick children in Johnson County, and more specifically - Franklin.

Franklin parents on edge after high levels of cancer-causing toxins found at schools

Published:
Updated:
A parent is speaking out about her children's school running more tests after a toxin known to cause cancer was found there.Read more

Franklin releases toxin level results at two elementary schools

Published:
Updated:
Toxic vapors from the cancer-causing chemical TCE have been found under the floor of classrooms in Webb and Needham Elementary Schools.Read more

2 schools shut down; Franklin mayor and schools call for extended vapor testing

Published:
Updated:
For the first time, preliminary environmental testing' results show contamination exceeding safe limits at two Franklin schools.Read more


High levels of suspected toxins force the shut down of 2 Franklin Elementary Schools

Published:
Updated:
13 Investigates has learned a new round of testing uncovered high levels of toxins within Webb and Needham elementary schools, prompting Franklin Community Schools to...Read more

New technology brings Franklin residents faster vapor testing results

Published:
Updated:
Environmental crews are in Franklin using new technology to conduct vapor intrusion testing.Read more

Office of Inspector General in Washington asked to oversee Franklin investigation

Published:
Updated:
A high profile environmental group said the EPA has failed to take proper and timely action to safeguard human health and the environment.Read more

Senator Donnelly calls on governor to push for EPA takeover in Franklin

Published:
Updated:
Senator Joe Donnelly and moms from Johnson County want the EPA to take over the investigation and cleanup of contamination in Franklin.Read more

Homeowners concerned over discovery of more migrating toxins in Franklin

Published:
Updated:
Major findings on Forsythe Street in Franklin where cancer causing chemicals are showing up in the groundwater and soil along sewer lines. 13 Investigates looks at what...Read more

Sen. Donnelly calls for federal takeover of investigation and cleanup of toxins in Johnson County

Published:
Updated:
Senator Joe Donnelly is calling on the U.S. EPA to take over the entire investigation and cleanup of toxic chemicals in Johnson County after 13 Investigates discovered...Read more


Report: State and Franklin city officials knew toxins were migrating into neighborhood in 2013

Published:
Updated:
New questions are being raised about the lack of action taken by federal, state and Franklin city officials in 2013 after discovering cancer-causing chemicals leaching...Read more

Johnson Co. residents turn out for meeting on Franklin environment testing

Published:
Updated:
A few dozen people, desperate for answers about why children in Johnson County have been diagnosed and died from all types of cancers for the past 10 years, came out to...Read more