Troops at two dozen bases exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water


An internal Department of Defense study completed this year found that drinking water at 24 facilities exposes about 175,000 military personnel annually to dangerous levels of chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses. I was.

A report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group said the water tested from each base contained 70% of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances known collectively as PFAS, the Environmental Protection Agency’s previous cut. found to contain more than one trillion. Off for safe drinking water.

In June, the group noted that authorities had revised that standard to 1 in a trillion.

According to the EWG release, “The Department of Defense analysis also did not include military personnel’s drinking water purchased from local water utilities or from privatized base water systems, which were also contaminated with chemicals. There is a possibility that

Bases with dangerous PFAS levels include Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Marine Corps Base Pendleton, California, and several Army and Air Force installations in South Korea.

Overall, the Department of Defense is aware that nearly 700 bases have been contaminated to some degree, according to its own task force investigating the matter.

The congressional-mandated report completed in April is not posted on the ministry’s information site on the topic and is available only on request, according to the Environment Working Group.

In addition to these 24 bases, publicly available water-test data are available at more than 90 other facilities, including Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two of the military’s most populous sites. Shows PFAS over ppt.

Aqueous film-forming foams, widely used on military installations to extinguish aircraft and vehicle fires, find their way into groundwater and are known to be a major contributor to PFAS contamination on bases.

The Department of Defense has banned its use during training, but non-toxic alternatives are not yet in widespread use.

Pentagon efforts to clean up existing pollution have been delayed. The latest report on the activities of the PFAS task force notes that in the first half of fiscal year 2022, 100 inspections/assessments were conducted at DoD facilities, briefed Congress, and held public outreach events. I’m here.

Megan Myers is the Pentagon Bureau Chief of the Military Times. She covers operations, policy, human resources, leadership and other issues affecting service members.



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