If I were to tell you that there were nearly 2,800 cases of heat-related illness among active-duty members of the US military last year, you might not be surprised. After all, we have troops deployed throughout the Middle East, where some of the world’s hottest places are found. But what if I were to tell you that of those thousands of cases, only 67 occurred among troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan? It turns out that right here at home in the US, thousands of servicepeople suffer from heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke every year, and the problem is set to grow much worse.
September 25, 2018 12:08 PM EDT
A new UCS factsheet released today looks at PFAS contamination at military bases, revealing that many of the sites have levels of these chemicals in their drinking or groundwater at potentially unsafe levels. PFAS, or poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances, have been used in everything from Teflon pans, to nonstick food packaging, to water-repellent raingear for decades. Only recently has it been revealed to the general public that these compounds are seeping into our waterways and causing health issues in people who are exposed to the chemical at elevated levels over time.
September 25, 2018 9:30 AM EDT
There was dead silence at a community meeting last week in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after Nancy Eaton spoke before a panel of top federal health officials planning a study of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base. She described how her husband David, who was healthy all his life, died quickly in 2012 at 63 from pancreatic cancer. Eaton’s sentiments were echoed by Andrea Amico, a co-founder of Testing for Pease, a group of parents whose children drank contaminated water at the site’s daycare center, and whose demands for a thorough investigation of PFAS harms have now resulted in establishing Pease as a key location in the first nationwide federal study of those harms. Read more >
November 8, 2017 10:35 AM EDT
Update (December 14, 2017): Michael Dourson has withdrawn his nomination to head the EPA’s division of chemical safety. Read the statement from UCS President Ken Kimmell, Dourson’s Withdrawal a Victory for Science, Health.
Dr. Michael Dourson, a toxicologist with a history of providing consultation to the chemical industry, could become the head of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dourson has consistently defended the use of several chemicals found to pose major adverse health effects, manipulating his research in favor of industry interests. This could spell trouble for public health and safety, particularly in low-income communities and communities where residents are predominately people of color—which often includes military bases. Read more >