|From:||CPEO Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||21 Feb 2003 16:38:14 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Services Working on Ways to Beat Battlefield Environmental Hazards|
Services Working on Ways to Beat Battlefield Environmental Hazards By Rudi Williams American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2003 -- Military environmental health risk experts were unprepared in 1991 when Saddam Hussein ordered engineers to blow up hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells. Over the next seven months, more than 1 billion barrels of oil went up in flames, some creating huge, dark soot plumes. Kuwait and much of the Persian Gulf was shrouded in poisonous smoke, creating a large-scale environmental disaster and possible medical problems for U.S. troops breathing the contaminated air. "We have preventive medicine specialists throughout the services, but they were concentrating on things like food, water, and basic sanitation and hygiene," said John Resta, director of health risk management at the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. "The oil well fires showed us other hazards out there that we had not been prepared for, such as industrial chemicals, air pollution, and contaminated soil from hazardous waste disposal sites." The center works to maintain the health of deployed troops by reducing the impact of potentially harmful environmental exposures. Teams are dispatched worldwide to provide technical expertise and services in the areas of occupational health, industrial hygiene, medical surveillance, laboratory work and health promotion. In addition to Aberdeen, the center has subcommands in Landstuhl, Germany; Camp Zama, Japan; Fort Meade, Md.; Fort McPherson, Ga.; and Fort Lewis, Wash. In May 1991, the center sent an environmental surveillance team to Kuwait to investigate the occupational and environmental health hazards associated with the oil well fires, Resta noted. This article can be viewed at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb2003/n02212003_200302211.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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