Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Marines Promote Environmental Health Survey Participation

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Marines Promote Environmental Health Survey Participation

Article excerpt

Marine Corps officials are trying to reach about 10,000 former residents of on-base housing at Camp Lejeune, N.C., who may have been exposed to contaminants in the water supply prior to 1985.

The effort is being made in conjunction with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is attempting to survey previous on-base housing residents to determine if exposure to drinking water may be related to specific health concerns in children who were conceived during the time of exposure. The survey, which began in September 1999, is seeking parents of children born or conceived while living at Camp Lejeune family housing between 1968 and 1985.

The 35-question health survey is conducted by telephone and gathers data that may be used in a follow-up research study about the effects that these substances may have on children exposed before birth. Depending on the results of the survey, ATSDR may conduct a health study to enhance scientific understanding of the health risks associated with exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water supply It is now known that VOCs were present in base water distribution systems that provided water to on-base housing. (All of the wells containing VOCs were shut down by early 1985. Currently all drinking water at Camp Lejeune is regularly tested and safe to drink.)

The survey focuses on two specific VOCs often used in dry cleaning or as degreasers: tetrachloroethylene (PCE), also called perchloroethylene, and trichloroethylene (TCE). …

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