The parents of a 20-year-old man in a Palm Beach County community with a high number of brain cancer cases say their son has become the latest victim in the region. The family of Joey Baratta says he died from a malignant brain tumor Saturday. Baratta's stepfather, Bill Featherston, said his stepson was first diagnosed with a benign brain tumor at 16 while living in Davie. Six months later he moved to The Acreage with his family, and in December 2008, he said doctors found a tumor that was malignant. The state Health Department released preliminary findings last month that showed elevated levels of cancer in The Acreage from 1995 to 2007, but the agency said that findings could be skewed by outdated population figures. Health officials are still investigating.
Faulty systems caused fatal blast
The T2 Laboratories explosion that killed four and injured 32 people in December 2007 was likely caused by an inadequate cooling system and a system that couldn't contain an out-of-control chemical reaction, a federal agency reported Tuesday. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board also said that although the plant was owned by a chemical engineer and a chemist, neither had an educational background on reactive chemicals and the two "were unaware of the potential for a runaway accident," board chairman John Bresland said. Plant employees were making a gasoline additive when a chemical reaction went out of control, raising the pressure inside the reactor, causing a massive explosion and chemical fire.