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EXCLUSIVE: The Investigation Into Water Contamination At Camp Lejeune May Reopen Soon
The toxic water crisis at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that left 750,000 Marines, sailors, spouses and their families exposed to contaminated drinking water between the 1950s and the 1980s may face a renewed investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On May 10, the CDC posted a sources sought notice for a cancer incidence study on water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The purpose of the study, according to the notice is to:
“... assess whether there is an association between exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and the incidence of specific cancers in approximately 463,922 cohort members, the study will require that vital status and cause of death for decedents be obtained for 425,319 of the cohort members who had not died prior to January 1, 2009 before accessing cancer registry data from up to 55 state, territorial, and federal cancer registries.”
The difference between this proposed study, which is focused on cancer incidence, and previous studies, which focused on mortality rates, is that a “cancer incidence study would have a greater capability of evaluating cases of highly survivable cancers than a mortality study.” A 2005 panel of scientists recommended that a cancer incidence “should receive the highest priority,” but one has yet to be conducted.
The study, though still tentative at this time, may start to gain ground in the coming months, Bernadette Burden, a spokesperson for the CDC, told Task & Purpose in an email: “The request for capability studies is a step to make sure we are on the right track with the proposal request and have clearly stated the needs and intent,” Burden said. “We are still planning to post the request for proposals this summer. The study has received all the necessary approvals.”
The water contamination that occurred at Camp Lejeune ranks among the biggest in U.S. history, but it wasn’t until January of this year that the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that veterans stationed at Lejeune in the 1950s through the 1980s were eligible to submit applications for VA benefits.
“Hundreds of mothers suffered miscarriages or gave birth to stillborn babies or infants with birth defects, such as spina bifida. An unknown number, but likely thousands, have developed cancers, including leukemia, bladder, liver, and kidney cancer, and Parkinson’s disease, after living on the base,” Task & Purpose reported earlier this year. And while the Department of Defense cleared Camp Lejeune water of toxins after Dec. 31, 1987, families posted there in the years following believe their health issues may be the result of water contamination.
The CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have done multiple studies in recent years on the drinking water at Lejeune. A 2014 mortality study using two groups — one from Lejeune and one from Camp Pendleton, California, where there were no instances of contaminated water — revealed that residents of Camp Lejeune had a higher mortality rate for the following causes of death: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cancers of the bladder, brain, cervix, colon, esophagus, female breast, kidney, larynx, liver, lung, oral cavity, pancreas, prostate, rectum, and soft tissue; hematopoietic cancers; Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; leukemias; multiple sclerosis; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; non-cancerous kidney diseases; non-cancerous liver diseases; and multiple sclerosis.
“Scientific [and] medical studies continue to investigate whether diseases and disorders experienced by former Camp Lejeune residents and workers are or are not associated with previous exposure to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune in 1987 or before,” Capt. Phillip Kulczewski, a spokesperson with Headquarters Marine Corps, told Task & Purpose in an email.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.