Flap Continues over Lejeune Health Assessment
by Allen G. Breed
Aug 19, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and congressmen is urging the Centers for Disease Control to complete a new, comprehensive report on the health effects of toxic tap water at the Camp Lejeune Marine base.
The lawmakers also want the agency to investigate whether people were exposed to airborne toxins inside buildings after contaminated wells at the North Carolina base were closed in 1985. And they asked the agency to look into the feasibility of a "cancer incidence study" for Lejeune.
The four senators and two representatives were reacting to news that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR, a division of the CDC, intends to issue a less comprehensive report than the one it released in 1997. The original public health assessment was withdrawn four years ago because of incomplete data.
They said they also are concerned the agency will ignore "the potential for harmful exposures via inhalation" in the decade and a half after contaminated wells at the coastal North Carolina base were taken off line.
The Aug. 9 letter to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden was signed by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson of Florida; and U.S. Reps. Dennis Ross of Florida and John Dingell of Michigan.
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