We are the men and women of the U.S. Military

We enlisted/were commissioned in the military to protect our country in its time of need, agreed to sacrifice our body or lay down our life if necessary to protect the country we loved. We did NOT agree to be needlessly poisoned by the very country we swore to protect, and we certainly did NOT agree [Read More…]

0 comments
Our children were the “canaries in the coal mine”

danger pesticidesThe high number of reported birth defects, miscarriages, stillbirths, infant mortalities, preterm births, low birth weights, childhood cancers, and infertility in women and girls who lived in the DOD’s Base Family Housing may be partly due to the persistent, cumulative nature, and synergistic interaction of organochlorine pesticides. Unfortunately, the average length of time that we were stationed at a base was 4 to 6 years. Because of this, we lived with our families at one contaminated base after another, and the levels of toxins kept building in our systems, often with fatal results, especially for our children.

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have created environmental, safety, and legal issues for the DOD. Chlordane and other organochlorine pesticides (“OCPs”) were used as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, termiticides, and rodenticides at virtually every military installation in the U.S. In years past, organochlorine pesticides were so widely used to protect DOD structures and infrastructures that they should be presumed present in ALL structures and infrastructures built prior to the late 1980’s when the use of organochlorine pesticides was banned by the DOD.

As soon as the DOD suspected that it had a problem with these extremely toxic pesticides, the DOD had a moral and legal obligation to test all of its tenantable/habitable structures at its bases. If any building tested positive for unsafe levels of toxins, the DOD should have declared the building unsafe, condemned the building, relocated the occupants to safe housing/schools/offices, remediated the contamination or demolished the contaminated building, and notify the former tenants and building occupants about their possible exposures.

Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs) Significant Health Effects

According to the US EPA: “Acute and chronic exposure to these pesticides [chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin, and heptachlor] can cause numerous health effects and increase cancer risks. Although dependent on the pesticide and level and duration of exposure, studies on acute and chronic exposures of humans and animals to these pesticides have reported multiple neurologic effects, reproductive/development effects, and damage to the liver and kidneys.”

EPA to Army - Kansas Army Ammunition Plant KSAAP - Pesticides (PDF - 4.15 MB)

Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs) - ATSDR Toxic Substances Portal

The DOD Shirks Its Legal Responsibilities

The DOD does not want to spend the money to inform the military personnel, their families, civilian employees, and the surrounding community, of the potential health dangers posed by contamination at its military bases.

“The cost of attempting to identify all these individuals, including the cost of media advertising, would be a significant burden on the [DOD’s] budget …”
Elizabeth L. King, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs

1970 – Chlordane Contamination of Govt Quarters and Personal Property Webb AFB

1970 – The Air Force knew that some of the Webb Air Force Base Family Housing units, located in Big Spring Texas, were contaminated with and the occupants exposed to a large quantity of chlordane. The Air Force knew that due to the method used to apply the pesticide, the building design flaw, that a completed exposure pathway (CEP) existed at a large percentage of its tenantable/habitual structures, exposure of the occupants was possible at ALL of the Air Forces’ Family Housing units.  This CEP was confirmed by the by the New York Times news article “Chlordane Problem in Houses on Slabs” dated September 30, 1982.

Furthermore, the Air Force knew that there was NO safe level of Chlordane contamination for infants and young children on the surfaces of floors, personal possessions, or Chlordane aerosol and/or vapors.

A substantial quantity of 2% Chlordane insecticide (emulsifiable solution) was introduced into the heating ducts of two Capehart type housing units at Webb AFB, Texas on 12 March 1970. The insecticide was being used as a subslab termite control agent in accordance with AFM 85-7(8-16), when it was accidentally introduced into the heating ducts formed within the concrete slab. Several hours after the treatments the heating systems were thermostatically activated and distributed the pesticide as an aerosol and vapors throughout the housing units during the night. Page i

On 12 April 1970 a 2% water-chlordane insecticide solution was accidentally introduced into the heating ducts of two Capehart type housing units at Webb AFB TX. These heating ducts consisted of cardboard lined conduits within the concrete slab. Subsequent activation of the heating systems resulted in extensive human exposure and gross pesticide contamination of government housing and personal possessions.
Page 1

… and virtually undetectable floor residues are necessary if children are to inhabit the quarters.
Page 4

The presence of children in the family requires residue levels of 7.0 ug/ft2 on walls and ceilings and undetectable floor residues.
Page 6

All clothing and furniture should be decontaminated. Stuffed furniture, which will contain higher volumes of pesticides, should be reupholstered or replaced. All clothing should be dry cleaned twice and the dry cleaning solvent properly disposed of in a sanitary landfill. Children’s toys which can be dry cleaned should be where the cash or sentimental value warrants it, others should be replaced.
Page 8

– Chlordane Contamination of Government Quarters and Personal Property Webb AFB TX
USAF Environmental Health Laboratory (AFLC) – 12 March 1970 (PDF – 2.5 MB)

1982 – An Assessment of the Health Risks of Seven Pesticides Used for Termite Control

1978-79 – “… the Air Force in 1978 asked the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology, in the Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, to review the toxicity data on chlordane and to suggest an airborne concentration that could be used as a guideline in deciding whether the housing should be vacated.” …  “The Committee on Toxicology (NRC, 1979) concluded that it “could not determine a level of exposure to chlordane below which there would be no biologic effect under conditions of prolonged exposure of families in military housing.”
Page 1

1982 – “Given the available data and the fact that under conditions of prolonged exposure of families in military housing there may be persons, such as [developing fetuses and] young children, who in general are more susceptible to environmental insults, the Committee concluded that it could not determine a level of exposure to any of the termiticides below which there would be no biologic effects.”
Page 46 

An Assessment of the Health Risks of Seven Pesticides Used for Termite Control
The National Academy of Sciences and the Office of Naval Research – Aug 1982 – (PDF – 3.82 MB)

1981-82 – News Articles – Pesticide Contamination – Military Housing

1981 – “The Army Times and Its companion newspapers reported in today’s editions that thousands of families may have been ex-posed to pesticides while living in military housing. Pentagon spokesman Bill Caldwell said the Defense Department is ‘studying the matter to determine whether or not we should commence a large scale inspection and monitoring program for military housing units’.”

– Pesticide May Pollute Military Base Housing
The Palm Beach Post – April 27, 1981

1982 – A pesticide used to kill termites [chlordane] has leaked into the ventilation systems of more than 1,500 houses at United States Air Force bases across the country, according to studies made public recently by the Air Force. The pesticide, chlordane, was found to have entered heating and air-conditioning ducts in dwellings built on concrete slabs, allowing it to circulate in the air freely.”

 Chlordane Problem in Houses on Slabs
The New York Times – September 30, 1982

1996 – Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI)

Congress established the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) in 1996 as a tool to help the military improve the quality of life for its service members by improving the condition of their housing. …

MHPI addresses two significant problems concerning housing for military Service members and their families: (1) the poor condition of DoD owned housing, …

Source accesses on 22 January 2016: http://www.acq.osd.mil/housing/ 

2004 – Guidance for Addressing Chlordane Contamination at DOD Sites

a. What is Chlordane?
Chlordane was a registered use pesticide applied from around 1948 until 1988. Its primary use was for termite control, but other known uses include application to prevent nesting of fire ants around power transformers; as a herbicide to control weeds in turf; and to control insects on lawns, gardens, and food crops (such as corn). So there are potentially many areas on DoD property, including family housing units, where chlordane may be found as a result of lawful application.

b. How Was Chlordane Used?
High concentrations of chlordane may be found around military housing as a result of lawful application for termite control. To control termites, the chlordane was initially applied to soil prior to construction beneath building foundations. Then it was PWTB 200-1-31 DoD’s pest management practice to routinely reapply chlordane every three to five years thereafter by methods such as treating the perimeter of the foundation by spraying with a rod inserted into the soil, by applying via a small trench dug along the foundation, or by injecting the chlordane through holes drilled in flooring at the periphery of walls. Thus relatively high concentrations of chlordane may have accumulated in these areas over time.

Guidance for Addressing Chlordane Contamination at Department Of Defense Sites
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers – 30 September (2004 PDF 0.09 MB)

Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC)

At some point, senior management (rogue employees) within the DOD made a decision that it was more important to cover up the problem at its contaminated bases than help the American Citizens that it harmed. The DOD then went into CYA mode and started using the BRAC to close bases and transfer the responsibility and liability for the contamination on unsuspecting and naive communities. 

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission has Closed 133 Bases

 Seeking Justice

When we (the injured) try to seek justice for our injuries through the courts, we are told that our case has no standing because of the Statute of Limitations, Feres Doctrine, and/or the sovereign immunity clause of the Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA).

  • How can the DOJ/DOD argue that the Statute of Limitations has expired when rogue employees within the DOD conspired to and did conceal the true nature and extent of the contamination?
  • How can the DOJ/DOD argue that the Feres Doctrine bars service members from collecting damages from the United States Government for personal injuries when rogue employees conspired to and did conceal the true nature and extent of the contamination?
  • How can the DOJ/DOD argue that the Federal Torts Claim Act’s (FTCA) sovereign immunity clause prohibits suing the US government and/or its rogue employees who conspired to and did conceal the true nature and extent of the contamination?

Thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of men, women, children, and fetuses are sick, dying, or dead because of the cover-up. When are we going to get justice?

Because there is no Statute of Limitations for murder or manslaughter, when are those involved in the cover-up going to be prosecuted and/or court-martialed for the deaths that they have caused?

Culpability

Are DOD employees culpable for the deaths of American men, women, and children that could have been easily prevented? Yes

Culpable: Bameworthy; involving the commission of a fault or the breach of a duty imposed by law.

Culpability generally implies that an act performed is wrong but does not involve any evil intent by the wrongdoer. The connotation of the term is fault rather than malice or a guilty purpose. It has limited significance in Criminal Law except in cases of reckless Homicide in which a person acts negligently or demonstrates a reckless disregard for life, which results in another person’s death. In general, however, culpability has milder connotations. It is used to mean reprehensible rather than wantonly or grossly negligent behavior. Culpable conduct may be wrong but it is not necessarily criminal.

Culpable ignorance is the lack of knowledge or understanding that results from the omission of ordinary care to acquire such knowledge or understanding.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. S.v. “culpable.” Retrieved January 18 2016 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/culpable

The DOD’s Modus Operandi (M.O.)

Contamination and Covered-up - MCB Camp Lejeune, NC
Pesticides Contamination - Naval Air Station Alameda (NAS), CA
Pesticides Contamination - Marine Corps Base Hawaii Family Housing
Pesticides Contamination - George AFB, CA Family Housing

Reference

Organochlorine Pesticide:

Definitions:

  • Bioaccumulate: to become concentrated inside the bodies of living things
  • Organochlorine pesticides: POPs made out of organochlorine compounds.  These organochlorine compounds and there metabolites can cross the placental barrier and accumulate in lipid rich tissues such as human breast and breast milk
  • Persistent organic pollutants (POPs): organic compounds of natural or anthropogenic origin that resist photolytic, chemical and / or biological degradation (UNEP, 1999)
  • Persistent: extremely resistant to natural breakdown processes and therefore are stable and long-lived
  • Pollutants: toxic chemicals which adversely affect human health
  • Synergistic interaction: the effect of two chemicals taken together which is greater than the sum of their separate effect at the same doses

Acronyms:

  • AF – United States Air Force
  • ATSDR – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  • CAA: Clean Air Act
  • CERCLA: Superfund or Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980
  • CWA: Clean Water Act
  • EPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • FIFRA: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
  • DOD – United States  Department of Defense
  • POPs – Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • TSCA: Toxic Substances Control Act
  • WHO – World Health Organization

I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

The views and opinions expressed in this website/articles are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government