2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 28 Nov 2003 20:32:04 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Jet fuel chemicals found in Fallon tree core samples
Jet fuel chemicals found in Fallon tree core samples
Frank X. Mullen Jr.
11/27/2003 12:56 am

Chemicals found in jet fuel have been detected in two Fallon tree core
samples collected as part of an investigation into the town’s leukemia
cluster of 16 children, three of whom have died.

Jet fuel has been a suspected cause of the leukemia cluster, although
government agencies and the owner of the 47-year-old jet fuel pipeline
that runs beneath Fallon have said the line never has leaked. But the
Arizona scientist who conducted the tree ring study said one tree core
sample containing fuel was taken where the pipeline passes next to a
school and the other was taken within yards of the Fallon Naval Air
Station — two potential sources of jet fuel.

“There were major fuel spills at the naval station in the past and the
pipeline is within feet of where the tree core sample was taken near
E.C. Best Elementary School,” said Mark Witten, a toxicologist at the
University of Arizona who has been investigating the cancer cluster
since 2001.

“The hydrocarbons found are not naturally-occurring and one of them,
naphthalene, is a bio-marker for jet fuel that has been used to
determine human exposure to jet fuel in Air Force studies.

“My guess is the chemicals found in the (school) tree come from a leak
in the jet fuel pipeline.”

A spokesman for Kinder Morgan, the pipeline’s Houston-based owner, said
the 63-mile underground pipe between the Sparks fuel farm and the Navy
base never has leaked. He said the firm is in compliance with all laws
and regulations.

“We haven’t seen the results of the tree study, but we have never had a
release from the Fallon pipeline,” said Larry Pierce, Kinder Morgan
spokesman. “Numerous agencies have ruled out the pipeline as a cause of
the Fallon leukemia cluster.”

Critics of the state and federal government’s probe have said the
agencies skimmed the surface of data supplied by suspected polluters and
did no field tests to determine if the line has leaked.

Calvin R.X. Dunlap, a Reno lawyer representing the families of two
leukemia patients who died, has listed Kinder Morgan among the
defendants in wrongful death suits. The complaints allege that jet fuel
and other pollutants caused the cancer outbreak.

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