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5/10/2009 - Wilmington Star news Letter to the editor! EVERYBODY needs to read this!

Letters to the Editor May 10, 2009 Published: Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 9:30 p.m. Last Modified: Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 9:30 p.m. EDITOR: Recently the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry advised our Camp Lejeune Community Assistance Panel of plans to remove a 1997 Public Health Assessment from our Web site. In the 12 years since ..., information in the report has been misinterpreted. For example, we recently wrote to the Veteran's Administration after learning it may have been used to justify denial of benefits. The availability of new data influenced our decision. New information that will affect our water modeling shows that some communities were exposed to contaminated water for longer than we knew in 1997. Also, we knew that one supply well had been shut down because benzene was detected, but did not reference this ... We should have stated that there was insufficient data to rule out exposures to benzene. Much of what we now know about potential health effects related to exposures at Camp Lejeune is owed to the 1997 (report). It spurred ongoing public health research, including extensive water modeling, exposure reconstruction, and epidemiological studies. Once this research is complete, we will update the (report's) drinking water section. In the meantime, it contains valuable, accurate, historical information about nine other exposure pathways. Exposures to volatile organics in the drinking water occurred at Camp Lejeune. ATSDR declared those past exposures a public health hazard in 1997 and we maintain that position today. William Cibulas Atlanta, Ga. EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is director of the Division of Health Assessment and Consultation for the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


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