Magazine article Risk Management

Cancer Strikes Military Neighborhood

Magazine article Risk Management

Cancer Strikes Military Neighborhood

Article excerpt

Many neighbors around the former Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, have marked their lawns with crosses to indicate that their homes have been struck by cancer, and many of these victims are blaming the Air Force for contaminating their neighborhoods with trichloroethylene (TCE). State health officials have noted a higher rate of liver cancer and birth defects in the neighborhood, but the officials insist that it will be hard to connect TCE to the illnesses. The chemical has been used for decades to strip grease off metal parts, and it has been deemed a "probable" carcinogen by many state, federal and international agencies, but the Department of Defense and other groups have delayed action on scientific assessments of TCE, which would most likely lead to stricter standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent assessment of the chemical pinpointed its toxic nature and the National Academy of Sciences is expected to issue a report that will shape government policy regarding TCE this summer, but it is unclear if the academy's assessment will mirror that of the EPA and other groups calling the chemical toxic. …

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