German health experts have been left baffled by a small village in their country where cancer has hit almost every household.
Wewelsfleth, the German village which has a population of 1,500, has been labeled the “village of the damned” as new cancer cases are 50% above average.
Researchers from the University of Lubeck who investigated the phenomenon, which includes breast, lung, oesophageal, womb and stomach cancers, could find no defining cause – although residents are blaming three nearby nuclear power plants and a shipyard where vessels used to be sprayed with highly toxic paint.
The villagers in Wewelsfleth are now demanding a government inquiry. They think authorities over the years have remained silent as wind and rain blew in cancer-causing particles into their homes.
But experts say this is not the case. Research by academics at the University of Lübeck probed the various cancers that had struck down the villagers.
As well as probing the nuclear plants it also looked into the nearby shipyard, asbestos sheeting used on garage roofs, electro-smog from power lines and the lifestyle of those who fell victim to the cancers.
The study could find no defining link to any one cause. The villagers are now asking health authorities in Berlin to commission another study to get to the bottom of the “plague of cancers”, as they call it.
Wewelsfleth mayor Ingo Karstens, who lost both of his wives to cancer, said: “It feels like a curse.”