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Friday, February 13, 2009

Broken trust

Bad news arrived in the mail for some Oregon National Guard troops recently. They had been on a mission escorting Dick Cheney's old company, KBR, which was inspecting oil facilities for the Pentagon in Iraq a while back. The soldiers are learning now that they were likely exposed to carcinogenic chemicals while the KBR guys, who reportedly knew about the hazards, wore protective gear.

Comments (6)

Sounds about as glorious as getting blown to bits while escorting a convoy of Red Bull and freedom fries to Camp Anaconda.

Here is the key statement in the article:

....a key to determining [hexavalent chromium] exposure would be concentrations of the chemical before “remediation,” which KBR may know but which the Army does not.

Why do I think that this is one of those news items where you can get a pretty good idea of how it's going to play out, just from the initial coverage?

I hope that the federal response to medical claims related to the exposure will be different from that of previous administrations to claims made by Vietnam Veterans for Agent Orange-related maladies and Gulf War Veterans for vaccine-related illnesses. You know, first deny it outright, then delay, delay, delay.

For a minute I thought their C rations contained Peanut products from American peanut corp.

"I hope that the federal response to medical claims related to the exposure will be different ..."

Well, go ahead, hope in one hand and pile up federal (VA) soldier-care in the other, and see which one fills up faster.

Searchers of help here might join networking groups and organizations formed in websites.

Iraq Radiation .COM -- perhaps the 'brand-name' website.

... creating an educational foundation in memory of those veterans who have lost their lives due to chemical/radiation exposure in Iraq and ensuing AML or other cancers. Updates to be posted ....

War’s Unintended Effects: Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons Lingers As Health Concern, By Larry Johnson
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
, Foreign Desk Editor, August 4, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The ideal legacy of the war in Iraq is a free and democratic society, but a sinister legacy of another kind is possible as well -- cancers and birth defects. ...

Cancer in Iraq Vets Raises Possibility of Toxic Exposure, by Carla McClain, Arizona Daily Star, 08.26.2007

None of these soldiers know for sure what's killing them. But they suspect it's a cascade of multiple toxic exposures, coupled with the intense stress of daily life in a war zone weakening their immune systems.
"There's so much pollution from so many sources, your body can't fight what's coming at it," Valentin said. "And you don't eat well or sleep well, ever. That weakens you, too. There's no chance to gather your strength. These are kids 19, 20 and 21 getting all kinds of cancers. The Walter Reed cancer ward is packed full with them."

And of course hexavalent chromium is what the movie and person Erin Brockovich is all about. And devastated the southern California town of Hinkley.

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