Sierra Streams Institute launching study of living in a mining-impacted community |

Sierra Streams Institute launching study of living in a mining-impacted community

Nevada City-based non-profit Sierra Streams Institute is partnering with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California to launch an important new study of the health consequences of living in a mining-impacted community. This study is an extension of a recently completed research that was an effort to determine whether there may be human health impacts from living in a mining-impacted community, and to see whether our residents may have higher exposures to certain metals in the environment compared to people living outside the area. The initial pilot study that we conducted revealed some intriguing findings:

— Women over 35 years and who lived 10 or more years in the Gold Country had significantly higher urinary cadmium levels, 

— Arsenic levels in our pilot study participants’ urine samples were higher overall than in similarly aged women in the U.S.

This second study, funded by state tobacco taxes through the California Breast Cancer Research Program, will focus on the amount of cadmium and arsenic in the bodies of women with and without breast cancer residing in the Gold Country.

These two metals are of interest because they are found at high levels throughout the Gold Country, are known carcinogens and may play a role in developing breast cancer. The three most populous counties in the Gold Country, including Nevada County, have breast cancer rates that rank in the top 10 counties in California.

Sierra Streams Institute is currently seeking women older than 18, with a history of breast cancer and currently living in western Nevada County to participate in this exciting research project. Participants will be asked to provide a urine sample, toenail clippings, and complete a brief questionnaire. We are also planning a subsequent study involving environmental sampling or participant’s home soil, dust and water samples. The researchers are currently working out the study protocol for that aspect at this time and upon approval, participants will be invited to participate in that future aspect of this project sometime in late summer/early fall 2016.

To volunteer for the CHIME Study or to learn more about this study, visit, or contact Joanne Hild at or Katy Janes at at 530-265-6090 x200 or x202. Given our small community, all personal information and research data will be collected by Cancer Prevention Institute of California in order to protect your privacy. No personal information will be shared with Sierra Streams Institute staff or anyone else.

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