2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 7 Feb 2003 20:26:46 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Navy health study ignored toxic gas
Navy health study ignored toxic gas
Report says Moffett residents safe, but doesn't factor in unhealthy
indoor air
By Gabe Friedman

Hundreds of Moffett Field military residents might still be breathing
unhealthy levels of toxic fumes in their homes, despite a Navy study
that says they are safe.

A new Navy report says residents of Orion Park, a military housing
complex next to Stevens Creek, are not in danger from trichloroethene
(TCE) -- a solvent linked to cancer, lupus and Parkinson's disease --
that can move from ground water into homes.

But the Navy did not base its study on the actual amounts of TCE found
in the homes, which are up to 250 times what the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) says is safe.

Instead, the Navy used a controversial computer program to estimate how
much gas would escape from TCE-laden water just below the ground into
homes. The program predicted indoor levels far lower than what is
actually inside, and the risk assessment was based on these lower

Environmental advocates are outraged at the report, but Navy officials
say their job was not to compute health risk from TCE actually in homes;
instead they were aiming to find out the risk only from TCE originating
in ground water. Their research -- called into question by EPA officials
-- indicated that most of the gas in homes was not from the ground. The
report does not indicate other possible sources.

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