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Contaminated Drinking Water Found at 385 Military Sites

Contaminated water from petroleum release into the Navy’s water system causes illness to military families

Discovery at Camp Lejeune:  CBS News reports that thousands of military families are seeking accountability, through the courts, for having been exposed to contaminated water, while living on base. 

The U.S government acknowledges the fact that for 35 years, Marine families in North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune were exposed to “. . . dangerous chemicals, while drinking, swimming, and bathing in potentially toxic water.”  Over time, toxic agents seeped into the ground water from nearby sources such as fuel depots, junk yards on base, and a dry-cleaning establishment nearby.  The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry stated that in some areas the water was 400 times what safety standards allow. And that information comes from only one of the nation’s military bases.

Senator Richard Blumenthal has called on the Department of Defense to conduct a “comprehensive review” of bases, and has said, “The Pentagon ought to do a national audit of all its bases to determine where there may have been contamination, where it continues, and what can be done to stop it.” The toxic water conditions on bases have resulted in kidney, liver, breast and blood cancers, such as leukemia.  Additionally, people in military families who lived on these bases have developed Parkinson’s disease, reproductive issues, and chronic anemias. It is speculated that infant deaths, during those specified years, may well have been the result of water contamination.

Discovery at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam:  A CNN report by Tina Burnside and Kelly McCleary reveals that dangerous levels of petroleum contamination were found in yet another groundwater source at the base in Honolulu, Hawaii.  This expands the scope of a toxic water crisis for many military families residing there.

The Navy reported diesel fuel levels more than double the Hawaii Department of Health’s limit were detected in samples collected from the Aiea Halawa Shaft.


The level of this contaminant poses a public health threat and is considered unsafe to drink,” said Kathleen Ho, deputy director for environmental health. “This news is concerning — especially as the cause of the petroleum release into the Navy’s water system remains unknown.”

During a town hall meeting with Navy officials, residents described an array of mysterious symptoms including sore throats, stomach burning, profuse sweating, unmitigated headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation. They asked for more than relocation.  They demanded accountability and action.

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Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/toxic-water-marine-base-service-members-families-justice/https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/09/us/hawaii-navy-water-contamination-second-site/index.html#


              

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