Wire: Camp Lejeune Water Study Finds no Definite Disease Link
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune can't definitively be linked to health problems among people who lived at the Marine base over three decades, according to a government report released Saturday.
The Associated Press reported the following details:
Former residents of the base in eastern North Carolina don't have diseases different from the general population and the industrial solvents that tainted well water there between the 1950s and 1985 were at concentrations that don't cause obvious harm to human health, according to the report ordered by Congress and released by the National Research Council.A Marine Corps spokesman, 1st Lt. Brian Block, said the service would study the report before making a statement.
But the 341-page report, which reviews past studies of the base's water and health issues there, said there are severe challenges in trying to connect the contaminants to any birth defects, cancer and many other ailments suffered by people who lived and worked on base.
It "cannot be determined reliably whether diseases and disorders experienced by former residents and workers at Camp Lejuene are associated with their exposure to contaminants in the water supply," the report states.
"Even with scientific advances, the complex nature of the Camp Lejeune contamination and the limited data on the concentrations in water supplies allow for only crude estimates of exposure," David Savitz, chairman of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement.
The study says the Marines and Navy shouldn't wait for more scientific studies before deciding how to deal with health problems reported by former base residents. And it calls into question the value of further studies.
"It would be extremely difficult to conduct direct epidemiologic studies of sufficient quality and scope to make a substantial contribution to resolving the health concerns of former Camp Lejeune residents. Conduct of research that is deficient in those respects not only would waste resources but has the potential to do harm by generating misleading results that erroneously implicate or exonerate the exposures of concern," it states.
"After a thorough review of the report, we will determine what the next appropriate steps are," he said.
(Report from newswire sources.)
Related: Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water Web Site
Source: Lejeune water study finds no definite disease link
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