More families speak out on pollution and dangerous chemicals in South Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Colorless, odorless, and it could give you cancer.

In a FOX13 investigation last week, we told you the EPA is getting involved after learning Sterilization Services of Tennessee in South Memphis could be emitting a dangerous chemical in the air.

Since then, we’ve heard from numerous families in South Memphis and Boxtown living in a fear of pollution.

SEE MORE: ‘People are dying’: Neighbors in some of Memphis’ oldest communities plagued by pollution

FOX13′s health reporter Mandy Hrach spoke with a man who said he was diagnosed with a rare condition that could be linked to air quality.

Tyler Moore Jr. grew up in the Walker Homes neighborhood of Memphis. It’s just east of Boxtown and two miles south of the sterilization plant.

He was diagnosed with a condition called sarcoidosis which often affects a person’s lungs and skin.

“I know in that area, there was a lot of people who have had cancer, breast cancer, or lung cancer,” Moore said.

RELATED: Community members concerned due to possible pollution in Memphis area

One of those people was Moore’s mother who had breast cancer.

She worked as a florist before she died last year.

Moore is now living out her legacy, spending time making bouquets for different floral shops.

But, he suffers from a rare autoimmune condition that doesn’t always make it easy.

“It was detected in my eyesight. So, I’ve had three corneal transplants. One on my right eye and two on my left eye,” he said.

Moore was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. It causes patches of swollen tissue to develop in his organs.

Doctors say the disease may be triggered by environmental factors, such as gas emissions and pollution.

“In that area where Walker Homes is, there’s a lot of plant settings,” Moore said.

Moore said he recently moved out of the neighborhood.

He wants more to be done to make sure the air is safe for the people still living there.

“Testing is one but, somehow or another, we need some kind of means of controlling it or making sure that the air is cleaner than it normally had been,” he said.

Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said they are working with the state health department to do a cancer cluster study.

They want to see if cancer rates in areas of South Memphis are higher than in other parts of Shelby county.