Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune, Report in Brief

Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune, Report in Brief

Ratings: (0)|Views: 533 |Likes:
Published by earthandlife
In the early 1980s, two water-supply systems on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were found to be contaminated with the industrial solvents perchloroethylene (PCE), which entered water supplies as a result of spills and improper disposal practices by an off-base dry cleaner, and tricholorethylene (TCE) from on-base spills and leaks from underground storage equipment. Evidence exists that people living or working at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and 1985 were exposed to the contaminants, which has generated considerable public controversy over potential health consequences, such as various cancers. This report, conducted in response to a request from the U.S. Navy, examines what is known about contamination of the water supplies and whether the contamination can be linked to any adverse health outcomes. The report finds that, even with today's scientific advances, the complex nature of the Camp Lejeune contamination and the limited data on the concentrations in water supplies allowed for only crude estimates of exposure. The report concludes that strong scientific evidence is not available to link the health problems among those exposed to the contaminants. The report also concludes that further research cannot provide definitive information, so policy changes or administrative actions to address and resolve concerns should not wait until additional health studies are conducted. In addition to reviewing information specific to Camp Lejeune, the report reviews available epidemiologic and toxicologic studies on associations between these chemicals and adverse health effects. The review shows insufficient evidence to justify a causal inference for any health effects. However, the committee found "limited or suggestive evidence of an association" between chronic exposure to TCE, PCE, or a mixture of solvents and some diseases and disorders, including cancers of the breast, bladder, kidneys, esophagus, and lungs. The majority of the health outcomes reviewed in the epidemiologic studies was placed in the category of "inadequate or insufficient evidence."

In the early 1980s, two water-supply systems on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were found to be contaminated with the industrial solvents perchloroethylene (PCE), which entered water supplies as a result of spills and improper disposal practices by an off-base dry cleaner, and tricholorethylene (TCE) from on-base spills and leaks from underground storage equipment. Evidence exists that people living or working at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and 1985 were exposed to the contaminants, which has generated considerable public controversy over potential health consequences, such as various cancers. This report, conducted in response to a request from the U.S. Navy, examines what is known about contamination of the water supplies and whether the contamination can be linked to any adverse health outcomes. The report finds that, even with today's scientific advances, the complex nature of the Camp Lejeune contamination and the limited data on the concentrations in water supplies allowed for only crude estimates of exposure. The report concludes that strong scientific evidence is not available to link the health problems among those exposed to the contaminants. The report also concludes that further research cannot provide definitive information, so policy changes or administrative actions to address and resolve concerns should not wait until additional health studies are conducted. In addition to reviewing information specific to Camp Lejeune, the report reviews available epidemiologic and toxicologic studies on associations between these chemicals and adverse health effects. The review shows insufficient evidence to justify a causal inference for any health effects. However, the committee found "limited or suggestive evidence of an association" between chronic exposure to TCE, PCE, or a mixture of solvents and some diseases and disorders, including cancers of the breast, bladder, kidneys, esophagus, and lungs. The majority of the health outcomes reviewed in the epidemiologic studies was placed in the category of "inadequate or insufficient evidence."

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: earthandlife on Dec 10, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/27/2013

pdf

text

original

 
       T       H       E
 CMI   S 
NATIONAL
I  I  
REPORT
National Academy of Sciences • National Academy of Engineering • Institute of Medicine • National Research Council
Public Summary and Context
I
n the early 1980s, two water-supplysystems on the Marine Corps Base CampLejeune in North Carolina were found to be contaminated with the industrial solventstrichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene(PCE). The water systems were supplied bythe Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water-treatment plants, which served enlisted-familyhousing, barracks for unmarried service
 personnel, base administrative ofces,
schools, and recreational areas. The HadnotPoint water system also served the basehospital and an industrial area and suppliedwater to housing on the Holcomb Boulevardwater system (full-time until 1972 and period-ically thereafter).This report examines what is knownabout the contamination of the water suppliesat Camp Lejeune and whether the contamina-tion can be linked to any adverse healthoutcomes in former residents and workers atthe base. Because of the technical nature of the report, this public summary is being provided to explain the committee’s approach
Contaminated Water Supplies atCamp Lejeune
Assessing Potential Health Effects
and reasoning, so that people who are notscientists can understand what was done andwhy. It attempts to place the committee’s
analysis and ndings into the context of a
larger discussion about environmental healthissues at Camp Lejeune in a way that will be helpful to people who have personal con-cerns about the situation at the base. It also provides perspective on why the committeewas unable to answer some questions.
The Charge to the Committee
The National Research Council (NRC)conducted this review in response to a requestfrom the U.S. Navy, the department under which the Marine Corps operates. The Navywas mandated by the U.S. Congress (PublicLaw 109-364, Section 318) to request a review by the NRC to address the evidence on whether adverse health outcomes are associated with past contamination of the water supply at Camp
Lejeune. The NRC developed specic instruc
-tions for the scope of the review (“the charge”).It then recruited and appointed a com-mittee of scientists with diverse but pertinent backgrounds and perspectivesto carry out the review.The charge had several elements.
One was to review the scientic
evidence about the kinds of adversehealth effects that could occur after exposure to TCE, PCE, and other contaminants. The second was to
Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.
 
2
evaluate studies that were performed or that areunder way on former residents of the base and toconsider how useful it will be to conduct additional
studies. The third element was to identify scientic
considerations that could help the Navy set prioritieson future activities. The responsibility of the com-mittee was to address its charge in a dispassionate,
expert, and unbiased way. Analyses and ndingswere neither subject to oversight nor inuenced by
the agenda of any of the entities with responsibilitiesfor Camp Lejeune, former or current residents of Camp Lejeune, or any other entity.
The Concerns of Former Residentsand Workers
The committee held three public meetings over the course of its study, two in Washington, DC(September 24, 2007, and September 12, 2008) andone in Camp Lejeune, NC (November 15, 2007).Former residents and other concerned individuals presented oral and written testimonies about their experiences at Camp Lejeune at those meetings. Thecommittee also sought comments from consultantsworking with community groups seeking answers toquestions about the water contamination. Althoughthese encounters were not exhaustive in identifyingall issues of concern or all perspectives, they gave the
committee a chance to hear rsthand from people
who have concerns. The committee sincerely appreci-ates the time and effort that went into the presenta-tions, testimonies, and materials that were provided.On the basis of the public input, the committeeunderstands that some people believe that the MarineCorps has not responded appropriately to the contam-
ination since it was rst discovered. Some believe that
the military leadership has not been fully forthcomingin providing data and information about the contami-nation and about the people who lived in affectedareas. Some have concerns about whether informationwas disclosed or released in timely and appropriateways. Questions have also been raised about the paceat which investigations have been conducted andwhether the investigations are the most appropriateones. Many expressed an interest in an unbiased andcredible review.Many of the people who addressed the committeehave suffered from serious diseases or have familymembers or friends who have suffered. The commit-tee was moved by the testimonies it heard andunderstands that some may have been looking for thecommittee to make a judgment on their particular case. However, science does not allow the committee
to determine the cause of a specic case of disease.This may be hard to understand. Why would scientic
experts not be able to determine whether a child’s birth defect or a parent’s cancer diagnosis was due toa chemical exposure? Unfortunately, for diseases thatcan have multiple causes and that develop over a long period of time, it is generally impossible to establish
denitively the cause in individual cases. It was
 beyond the scope of the committee’s charge to try todetermine whether any particular case of a disease or disorder is associated with exposure to the water supply at Camp Lejeune.Some parties contend that the Marine Corps hasnot done what it should to compensate them or to provide medical care for the harm they believe wascaused by their exposure to the contaminated water supplies. In 2007, the U.S. Government
Accountability Ofce (GAO) reported that former residents and employees of Camp Lejeune had led
more than 750 claims against the federal governmentrelated to the contamination. GAO also reports thatthe federal government is awaiting the results of astudy on childhood cancers and birth defects beforeadjudicating claims. It was beyond the scope of thecommittee’s charge to judge whether the militaryauthorities acted appropriately from a legal or ethical
 perspective or fullled their responsibilities to those
under their charge. It was also beyond the scope of thecommittee’s charge to determine whether or how themilitary authorities should address claims made.
The Committee’s Review and Findings
The committee divided its review into two major categories: (1) evaluating the exposures of former residents and workers to the contamination of theTarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water-supplysystems, and (2) evaluating the potential health effectsassociated with the water contaminants. The assess-ments were then considered together to ascertainwhether conclusions could be drawn about whether any adverse health outcomes could be attributed tothe water contaminants.
 Exposures to Former Residents and Workers
The term “exposure” refers to contact withcontaminants in air, water, or food that may occur through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal absorption(through the skin). In this case, it refers to drinkingwater that contains contaminants or using it for other  purposes. Bathing and showering are relevant, as well
 
3
as drinking, because TCE and PCE (and other solvents) can evaporate into the air (volatilize) when present in hot water used for bathing, showering, or washing dishes or clothing and can then be inhaled.All of these routes of exposure affect how the bodymetabolizes TCE and PCE, how the metabolites aredistributed and cleared by the body, and how organsystems respond.It is also important to understand the durationof exposure, which is the length of time a person isexposed. An understanding of individual behaviorshelps to estimate the degree of exposure that occurred.Water-related behaviors include water-consumptionand showering or bathing patterns, but whether suchinformation can be accurately recalled is questionable.The contaminated water systems also suppliednonresidential areas of the base, including schools,workplaces, recreational areas, and a hospital. Water-use patterns and behaviors in these settings areexpected to vary substantially from those in residentialareas. In addition, residential and nonresidentialexposures could overlap, thus, exposing individualsto contaminated water at multiple locations.
The Water Systems at Camp Lejeune
Figure 1 provides a simplied illustration of a
water-supply system at Camp Lejeune. Water-supplywells collected groundwater and pumped it to awater-treatment plant when the wells were turned on.The wells were “cycled,” meaning that only a fewwells pumped water to the treatment plant at anygiven time. A few wells that supplied water to theTarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point systems werecontaminated by solvents from sources on and off the base. When the contaminated wells were inservice, contaminated water was delivered to thewater-treatment plant where water from several wellswas mixed and processed before being distributed inthe pipes that supplied water to the base. Thus, thecontamination of the water supplies varied and was
FIGURE 1 Conceptual model of a Camp Lejeune water system. (1) The drinking water at Camp Lejeune is obtainedfrom groundwater pumped from a freshwater aquifer located approximately 180 feet below the ground. (2)Groundwater is pumped through wells located near the water-treatment plant. (3) In the water-treatment plant, the
untreated water is mixed and treated through several processes: removal of minerals to soften the water, ltration
through layers of sand and carbon to remove particles, chlorination to protect against microbial contamination, and
uoride addition to help to prevent tooth decay. (4) After the water is treated, it is stored in ground and elevated
storage reservoirs. (5) When needed, treated water is pumped from the reservoirs and tanks to facilities such as
ofces, schools, or houses on the base. Source: GAO. 2007. Defense Health Care: Activities Related to Past Drinking
Water Contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. GAO-07-276. Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Accountability Ofce.
1
 Wa ter Trea tmen t P lan t
3
Sc h o o lO f f ice
 W e l l s
2
 H o u se
54
R  
s
e
r
 v
 o
   i
   r

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Ann Darnell liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->