2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 24 Apr 2003 15:32:02 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Idaho Army National Guard Moves Ahead With Tank Clean Up
April 23, 2003
Idaho Army National Guard Moves Ahead With Tank Clean Up
By Jon Hanian

BOISE -  On the battlefield it's probably one of the safest places to
be. Inside the M1 A1 Main Battle Tank. But recently at the Idaho Army
National Guard, the crew compartments of 44 Abrams Main Battle Tanks
were contaminated with the heavy metal known as hexavalent chromium, a
known carcinogen.

It came from a filter that is supposed to protect the crew from nuclear,
biological or chemical weapons.

"This should never happen. Along with the testing on how to clean this
up they are coming up with procedures how to maintain these filters with
test procedures and maintenance procedures so this will never happen
again," said Lt. Col. Monte Stoppello of the Idaho Army National Guard.

The army thinks faulty maintenance allowed water to get into the filter
and corrode the parts. So each tank is being hand-cleaned with high
phosphate soap. A special team was flown in to help the army
decontaminate each tank which will take about 100 man hours to finish.

The work crews are protected from absorbing the material through their
skin or their lungs. Some 100 soldiers were exposed to the heavy metal
when the problem was discovered but the army says those troops will be
able to get additional testing.

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