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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.
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.