top of page

Brain Cancer Cluster - Hanover, MA Fireworks Site

Update: I found three (Just got another one right now so four) more cases of brain tumors today in that area based on my article last night. I hope everyone puts so much pressure on the Town that they force Hanover / Hanson to clean the site, Please See Comments at the end of this article. Up to 38 now in 3-mile radius.

Contact our senator, contact the town, this is absolutely ridicules.

Please contact Rep. Bill Keating (, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (, and Sen. Ed Markey ( to get federal funding because the pollution crosses through several towns (Forge Pond, Lilly Pond, Factory pond and waterways/streams/rivers that are connected.)

According to the National Cancer Institute, instances of brain tumor are 6.4 our of a 100,000 which translates to .19 in every 3,000. My findings to this point indicate that the area surrounding the Hanover Fireworks site is at least 34 in every 3,000.

17,795% higher.

I have found close to 40 cases in a 3-mile radius (Roughly 3000 People).

I have a rare type of tumor called Oligodendroglioma (1 out of 300,000). Four years ago I started my research based off of the sheer number of close friends afflicted with this disease. I knew something was very wrong.

The support I have received through social media is nothing short of astonishing - Based on this, the Patriot Ledger, WCVB and WBZ Boston News have all interviewed me.

Once it became public, I was flooded with comments on social media. Friends and family of those I had not yet found came forward. While a few are lucky enough to still be alive, many have passed away. The number of known cases went from 15 to 34. Each new article brought more exposure, and more cases.

There are only two known causes of brain tumors; Vinyl Chloride and Radiation exposure. Both of which were known to be present at the Fireworks site.

Residents in the Hanover / Hanson area deserve to know that the site saw more than 60 years of unadulterated contamination with chemicals I can’t pronounce, and not in small quantities.

The following map was shared with me from someone with access to privileged information.

Below is a list of some of the hazardous chemicals dumped at the site.

Based on recent information, the fireworks site extended far beyond what the public previously knew. A recent publication showed just how big the site really is.

Public Map

Current Public Map

Real Map

Prior to the Forge Pond Park it was a corn field. Behind it were old munition bunkers, a childs dream playground. We played there everyday.

I went back to the trails to show the open wells and bunkers near the forge pond park. This area is not gated off, and to my knowledge, has not been tested for contaminants.

While the Fireworks site is the source of the contamination, its effects reach beyond its geographical area. As many of the reported cases shown at the bottom of this article indicate. The general Hanover / Hanson area feels its effect. Not just those who have never stepped foot in the fireworks site itself.

From 1907 until 1947 the site was used by National Fireworks Inc., which produced pyrotechnics and, during World War II, manufactured and tested explosives for the US government. The property was then purchased by American Potash and Co., which operated there for a few years, (Producing Uranium Disks) then sold the land to the Atlantic Research Corp., a government contractor that produced explosives for the Army and Navy. The federal government also allowed other entities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to dump hazardous waste there.

The land’s soil was contaminated with enough mercury, lead, and other heavy metals to qualify for Superfund status, a designation given to the country’s most polluted sites, which would put environmental oversight under federal purview. In 2012, local officials asked the state not to pursue Superfund status, because they wanted to avoid the stigma associated with the designation and wished to maintain local control.

To this day, I believe that the remnants of these pollutants continue to reek havoc on the citizens of Hanover and Hanson.


I don't enjoy spending my free time on this topic. And I don't like the exposure. I would much prefer to spend more time with my family.

My loved ones and I want to think about my brain tumor as little as possible. These conversations reignite the traumatic feelings we felt at diagnosis.

However, I feel that God has put this task on me.

I know too many close friends that have passed away, are currently battling or have lost a close one to this unfortunate situation.

In order to prevent more suffering, I feel that we need to do the following:

1. Call it a Superfund Site. Get the Federal Government involved. It was a mistake to resist this status in the past and it is time to rectify that mistake.

2) Clean up the site by completely removing the contamination, not just the munitions.

Victims Messages:

Nick Squires: Diagnosed with an Oliodendroglioma. King St

Name Blocked: My (Nick Squires) Next door neighbor – Passed away from brain tumor – Recently - King St

Name Blocked: I grew up in Hanson, on King street (right on the Hanover line). I’m 37 and just had a golf ball size tumor removed from my head. It was a meningioma.

Name Blocked: Friend of mine (Nick Squires) on king st is blind from their brain tumor - king st

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, I saw your article on Facebook and wanted to reach out to you. My mother grew up in Hanover on Circuit St and she was diagnosed with a stage 2 oligodendroglioma in 2016. She has 2 surgeries to remove it and then had to have radiation and chemo. When I read your article it blew me away, now I wonder if her cancer was due to the contamination.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, I just wanted to reach out to you as I grew up on Cross Strest in Hanover and I was diagnosed in 2002 with an acoustic neuroma and underwent brain surgery to remove it.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, I grew up on Stonegate Ln and I know of at least 3 women that have died due to brain cancer. I lived there from 1980 to 1992. I KNOW there are more

Named Blocked: (Friend of mine) – Current has a brain tumor.

Public: Julie Cignarella (Friend of mine) – Died from brain cancer - 31

Public: Rob Simmons (33 years old) - Has a pituitary brain tumor (Briarwood Dr) – Friend of mine

Name Blocked: (Briarwood Dr) - Died of brain tumor – 40

Name Blocked: lived in Briarwood Dr and his father died of brain cancer.

Name Blocked: I was diagnosed with a Meningioma over 10 years ago, followed for 5 years, it did not grow at all, I was told unless I have severe headaches I was ok. I lived on Briarwood Drive.

Name Blocked:I lived on Samoset Dr.I just want to let you know that I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor late 2016 just after my 40th birthday and had it removed in January 2017. I have acromegaly due to my tumor. I grew up on 179 samoset drive. I graduated from Hanover high in 1994 and lived at that address from 1986-2004. I was a normally healthy person until this issue came about. You can use my name and address and if you need any help please reach out.

Name Blocked: My girlfriend was diagnosed with a tumor on pituitary gland about 7 years ago, shes 32 now and grew up about 2.5miles from the firework site

Name Blocked - Died of a brain tumor - Harvey Cir

Name Blocked: Died of brain tumor – Harvey Cir

Name Blocked: and Nick squires. I grew up on Plain st. Also within a few miles of the factory and my mom just passed of brain cancer 4

Name Blocked: Hi Nick. My son Name Blocked was dx’d with a neuro enteric brain tumor in his frontal lobe in 2015. So rare that only 7 people in the world have it. He had brain surgery at MGH and is doing well. He’s 26 now. We live on Colonial Dr. in Hanover.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, thank you for sharing your article. So very scary. I lived in Hanover growing up. Spring Street, Jackson Road and then Grove street. I live in Hanson now. I was diagnosed 16 years ago with a menginoma.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick~ I just read your article. I lived in 3 houses in Hanover on circuit street I was born in 1959 I was just diagnosed last week with a brain tumor called meningioma, I am going to see the neurosurgeon today! Not sure if I would be included in this study We moved when I was 8-10 And lived on Adams Circle in Hanson until I was about 16

Name Blocked: Hanson - State st, off broadway . Daughter pituitary tumor removed 2015

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, I have recently had a few people reach out to me to read all your posts and comments. I grew up and lived on Bradford Road in Hanover until I was 25 and was diagnosed with a meningioma in 2009 when I was 36. I have always wondered how and why. You are courageous for all you are doing. Please let me know what I can do to help. Wishing you all the best as you continue to fight for your health. Your family is beautiful!!

Name Blocked: Just Received Comment From Patriot Ledger Article: We lived on Tecumseh Dr for a few years & my dad just died of brain cancer! That’s just around the corner from the site!

Name Blocked: Just Received Comment From Patriot Ledger Article: On 01/01/14 I was diagnosed with Stage one Ganglioglimo - Pleasant street.

Name Blocked: Well this is super scary, We lived in Hanson right near king street for 9 years, Moved away 2 years ago. My son was diagnosed with Pseudo Tumor, Intracranial Hyper tension. Pretty much his brain thinks he has a brain tumor but he doesn’t. He has to have Spinal Taps to release the pressure and extra spinal fluids, has poor vision and terrible headaches. Rare condition to have, and I know a young female who was also diagnosed in Hanson near the Hanover line.

Name Blocked: OMG....I had a brain tumor-meningioma! It was large, 7cm and accidently diagnosed Jan 2018. I had it removed Jan2019 and followed with proton radiation!!! I also live within 2 miles-off Cross St in Hanson! Please reach out to me-I am intrigued and have lived here 13 1/2 years!!!

Name Blocked: We lived on Tecumseh Dr for a few years & my dad just died of brain cancer! That’s just around the corner from the site!

Name Blocked: Just Received Comment From Patriot Ledger Article: Hi Nick! All your research is incredible. I have been following your story! To add to your list, my mom passed away in 1993 from brain cancer and I grew up on Sequoia Lane. You're family is beautiful and your strength is admirable!

Named Blocked: my mom died of brain cancer lived on king st. She lived on Pleasant Street for many years and unfortunately was diagnosed on dec 23 and passed May 1. Her type was very aggressive. If there is any other info you need please let me know. We appreciate your voice !!!!

Name Blocked: Nick, reading your post on brain cancer. I live in Hanson down the street from the fireworks factory and was diagnosed with ganglio glioma 3 years ago. Appeared out of nowhere after being here for 7 years

Name Blocked: I have a friend from HS named Name Blocked, she passed away in 2017 from a brain tumor. She grew up on Main St., near Plain St. I'm not sure if she is on your list yet.

Name Blocked: My mother died of astrocytoma ( a brain cancer) in 2015. Lived on Broadway in Hanover from 1982 to 1992. Happy to talk

Name Blocked: My sister died of brain cancer. We grew up on East Street Hanover.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, do you know the Name Blocked? They lived on King Street on Hanson/Hanover line. My mom's best friend has lived there her whole adult life, and her daughter who's about my age just got surgery for a brain tumor the Monday after Name Blocked.

Name Blocked: My brother died of glioblastoma in 1997. We lived near St. Mary’s Church!

Name Blocked: Hi Nick, I saw a post from my neighbor about the contamination. I’m very sorry for what you’re going through, & i’m glad you’re in remission! I wanted to let you know I lived in the development on King Phillip Lane by tecumseh & myrtle st. My neighbor across the street had Glioblastoma Multiform. I know you’re specifically trying to find out about brain cancer so i just wanted to let you know if that would help in any way

Name Blocked: I graduated in 1990 with Named Blocked. He lived on old Farm Road. I don’t know how to reach him but I know his dad had same glioblastoma around 2009

Name Blocked: Friend lived 30+ year Hanover St & Grove .. she died of brain cancer in 1985, just putting 2 & 2 together .

Name Blocked: My friend worked at the rubber factory in the same area. He had a brain tumor as well.

Name Blocked: My husband, Name Blocked, grew up between RT 139 and Circuit St. He has brain cancer and his mother died of colon cancer.

Name Blocked: Hi Nick! My name is Name Blocked & I saw your article about brain tumors. I live 5 miles from king street & battled a brain tumor in 2012 that almost took my life. I would love to help in any way I can

Brain Cancer Map

(5 or 6 more cases coming soon)

Additional Links

$73m will go toward pollution cleanup

Vinyl Cloride

Cancer Worries in Hanover

Mercury and lead contaminate old National Fireworks munitions site

Brand new 4.3 Million Hanover Park near Fireworks Site

UMass grad students create plan for contaminated site in Hanover

Hanover, MA Munitions Plant Explosion, Dec 1967

Recent Law Suit against Dow Chemical for Vinyl Chloride / Brain Cancer (He won 100+ million)

Forge Pond Mercury Adisory

In Hanover, 'no one is satisfied' with pace of National Fireworks cleanup plans

bottom of page