Issue Date: May 4, 2009
Military Base Health Assessment Withdrawn
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), a relatively obscure sister agency of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, has withdrawn its 1997 public health assessment of Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base located in North Carolina, because of concerns about the accuracy of information related to drinking-water exposure pathways. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), chairman of the House Science & Technology Committee's Investigations & Oversight Subcommittee, welcomed the news, but questioned whether health assessments at other sites should also be withdrawn. Activists have claimed for years that ATSDR's assessment of Camp Lejeune drew upon flawed data to conclude that exposure to volatile organic compounds such as perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene in drinking water does not pose a health hazard. ATSDR plans to revise parts of the assessment related to contaminant pathways in groundwater and publish a new one by summer 2010.
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