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.

Inspector General sends alert to EPA: Correct outdated risk information for toxic Franklin site

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The Office of the Inspector General has issued a "Management Alert" to the EPA office handling risk communication involving toxins in Franklin.Read more

New Report: Areas of toxic exposures likely overlooked in Franklin by EPA

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A new sampling report released Wednesday says the Environmental Protection Agency likely missed more homes exposed to toxic vapors in Franklin.Read more

EPA vows to do better in Franklin

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The EPA had a clear response Wednesday night for Franklin residents grappling with toxic contamination.Read more


Franklin Homeowners: EPA failed to adequately warn of toxins and risk

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Franklin homeowners say they were left in the dark by the EPA and other government agencies set up to protect them.Read more

Sewer collapse causes flood of concern for family living near toxic plume

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A flooded basement turns into a potential health scare for some homeowners living in the middle of a toxic plume.Read more

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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