Investigation is launched after 5 women who sat near each other at work all developed same cancer

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By James Kay

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An investigation has been launched after five women who worked within meters of each other in an office all developed the same cancer.

Liverpool City Council has confirmed that five employees working at its Moore Street office building in Sydney’s southwest have developed thyroid cancer over the past three to five years.

This alarming development has prompted an urgent investigation into the potential 'cancer cluster' by the NSW Department of Health, per News.com.au.

The affected staff members were all stationed on levels five and six of the office building.


In response to the situation, level six has been closed, and employees have been relocated to level four while the investigation is underway.

Jenny Havilah, an employee diagnosed with thyroid cancer, expressed her concerns to 9News.

“It certainly sounds very sinister,” she remarked, noting that three of her colleagues, who sat just five meters apart, were experiencing the same health issue.

“I’m worried about my colleagues, not just on the sixth floor but those who worked in that building.”

Havilah recently underwent surgery to remove her thyroid and some lymph nodes and is awaiting her results.

GettyImages-1607093307.jpgThe women all developed thyroid cancer. Credit: SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Liverpool City Council is taking the matter "very seriously" and has engaged a third-party environmental health consultant.

Concurrently, the NSW Department of Health is conducting an epidemiological investigation.

“The decision to relocate staff is in response to the council’s high level of concern for the welfare of its staff,” the council stated. “Our thoughts are with those affected and we wish them a prompt recovery.”

The council’s acting CEO, Jason Breton, addressed the situation in a meeting with staff this week.

In leaked audio obtained by 9News, Breton can be heard stating that three of the affected women were “well and working” despite being in different stages of the illness.

“Yes, we’ll get some media about this – we’ll deal with that, we have a bit of a strategy for that,” he said.

GettyImages-1485405967.jpgHavilah underwent a procedure to remove her thyroid and lymph nodes and is waiting for results. Credit: Jecapix/Getty

However, Ms. Havilah contested Breton's comments, telling 9News she was “far from well and working.”

In a separate statement to 9News, the council assured that the women had been informed it is “unlikely there is a causal connection between our workplace and the cancer diagnosis.”

As the investigation continues, the council remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of its employees.

A collective cause for the cancer diagnoses has not yet been found.

Featured image credit: Nitat Termmee/Getty

Investigation is launched after 5 women who sat near each other at work all developed same cancer

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

An investigation has been launched after five women who worked within meters of each other in an office all developed the same cancer.

Liverpool City Council has confirmed that five employees working at its Moore Street office building in Sydney’s southwest have developed thyroid cancer over the past three to five years.

This alarming development has prompted an urgent investigation into the potential 'cancer cluster' by the NSW Department of Health, per News.com.au.

The affected staff members were all stationed on levels five and six of the office building.


In response to the situation, level six has been closed, and employees have been relocated to level four while the investigation is underway.

Jenny Havilah, an employee diagnosed with thyroid cancer, expressed her concerns to 9News.

“It certainly sounds very sinister,” she remarked, noting that three of her colleagues, who sat just five meters apart, were experiencing the same health issue.

“I’m worried about my colleagues, not just on the sixth floor but those who worked in that building.”

Havilah recently underwent surgery to remove her thyroid and some lymph nodes and is awaiting her results.

GettyImages-1607093307.jpgThe women all developed thyroid cancer. Credit: SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Liverpool City Council is taking the matter "very seriously" and has engaged a third-party environmental health consultant.

Concurrently, the NSW Department of Health is conducting an epidemiological investigation.

“The decision to relocate staff is in response to the council’s high level of concern for the welfare of its staff,” the council stated. “Our thoughts are with those affected and we wish them a prompt recovery.”

The council’s acting CEO, Jason Breton, addressed the situation in a meeting with staff this week.

In leaked audio obtained by 9News, Breton can be heard stating that three of the affected women were “well and working” despite being in different stages of the illness.

“Yes, we’ll get some media about this – we’ll deal with that, we have a bit of a strategy for that,” he said.

GettyImages-1485405967.jpgHavilah underwent a procedure to remove her thyroid and lymph nodes and is waiting for results. Credit: Jecapix/Getty

However, Ms. Havilah contested Breton's comments, telling 9News she was “far from well and working.”

In a separate statement to 9News, the council assured that the women had been informed it is “unlikely there is a causal connection between our workplace and the cancer diagnosis.”

As the investigation continues, the council remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of its employees.

A collective cause for the cancer diagnoses has not yet been found.

Featured image credit: Nitat Termmee/Getty