Disease clusters are still too little understood and there is great need for more research. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Disease Cluster Alliance make the following recommendations:
There is a need for better documentation and investigation of disease clusters to identify and address possible causes. Meanwhile, toxic chemicals should be identified and controlled through reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), so these chemicals don't pollute communities and sicken people.
Due to a lack of resources, the limited statistical power in doing investigations of small communities or rare diseases, and a lack of knowledge about exposures, it has been difficult for state and federal agencies to shed light on most disease clusters and their causes. There is a need for better documentation and investigation of disease clusters and their causes.
Specifically, the organizations call for:
1. Directing and funding federal agencies to swiftly assist state and local officials, and investigate community concerns about potential disease clusters and their causes;
2. Reducing or eliminating toxic releases into air, water, soil and food through stronger environmental controls and tough enforcement of those requirements; and
3. Requiring chemical manufacturers to ensure the safety of their products.
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