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Then, in 2001, her friend Allison Allred was diagnosed with the same cancer.

“I was just seeing some mild flashes of light for, say, 7 to 10 days,” she said.

Their friend Ashley McCrary was the next to develop ocular melanoma, after seeing black spots.

“What’s crazy is literally standing there, I was like, ‘Well, I know two people who’ve had this cancer,” she said.

McCrary told her oncologist, Dr. Marlana Orloff at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, that her friends had the same cancer, and Dr. Orloff and her colleagues are now studying the strange connection.

“Most people don’t know anyone with this disease,” Dr. Orloff said. “We said, ‘Okay, these girls were in this location, they were all definitively diagnosed with this very rare cancer what’s going on?’ ”

RELATED VIDEO: Mom of 4 Diagnosed with Rare Cancer Loses Eye Weeks Before Giving Birth to Twins

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The results also show the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's computer models overestimate how clean the air really is, said University of North Carolina's Jason West, who wasn't part of the study.

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FILE - In this March 19, 2015, file photo, a thick haze of smog looms over the skyline of Chicago. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that Americas nitrogen oxides levels, a key ingredient in smog, arent falling as fast as they used to and may be leveling off. The Monday, April 30, 2018, study means that when tighter new air quality standards go into effect later this fall, more cities may find themselves on federal's dirty air list. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) The Associated Press

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Dear Ecouterre readers, We want to thank you for sharing this journey with us for the past eight years. Ecouterre.com broke ground in 2009 as the world"s first website dedicated to ethical and environmentally sustainable fashion. We helped to start the conversation about "eco fashion" when that term was fairly...

Dear Ecouterre readers, We want to thank you for sharing this journey with us for the past eight years. Ecouterre.com broke ground in 2009...