Tags: Corps | Seeks | Families | Toxic | Risk

Corps Seeks Families at Toxic Risk

Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM

According to CNN:

So far, the Marine Corps has been able to contact only 6,500 of the 16,500 families stationed at the North Carolina facility between 1968 and 1985.

Now, it has turned to the news media to alert the others.

Corps officials insist that all current drinking water at Camp Lejeune is now tested regularly and is safe to drink.

Their concern is focused on those parents of children either born or conceived at the base during the 17-year period when, they now know, the drinking water was contaminated by high concentrations of the toxic chemicals PCE (tetrachlorethylene) and TCE (trichloroethylene).

The Corps said that it suspected a former dry cleaner of having dumped the PCE and that the base motor pool may have dumped the TCE, used as solvent for cleaning metal parts.

A University of Georgia environmental health professor, Jeff Fisher, said the presence of PCE and TCE was 10 times higher at Camp Lejeune than at other comparable toxic sites.

In 1998, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry published a report, based on a sampling of Camp Lejeune families, that identified a potential link between the contaminated water and birth defects.

The Corps said that as soon as it learned – in 1985 – that Camp Lejeune's drinking water was contaminated, it immediately closed the affected wells.

At that time, the Corps said, it informed the families then living on base but made no effort until last year to advise former residents.

Marine officials said they and water officials weren't monitoring wells for PCE and TCE until the early 1980s, because before that time they didn't know any better.

The Corps is requesting those parents whose children have not exhibited any health concerns to answer a 35-question telephone health survey.

Those wishing to participate may call the National Opinion Research Center at 1-800-639-4270.

Data obtained may be used in future research on effects the contaminated water may have on children exposed to the chemicals before birth.

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According to CNN: So far, the Marine Corps has been able to contact only 6,500 of the 16,500 families stationed at the North Carolina facility between 1968 and 1985. Now, it has turned to the news media to alert the others. Corps officials insist that all current...
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2000-00-02
Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM
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