Nine new lawsuits filed against KBR WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — Nine new lawsuits allege that KBR, Inc. jeopardized the health and safety of American soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open-air burn pits with no safety controls.
IRAQ POSTWAR ILLNESSES Toxins take a toll on troops Guard members' claims against KBR raise questions about war zone contractors.
By Sharon Cohen ASSOCIATED PRESS Sunday, July 12, 2009
Larry Roberta's every breath is a painful reminder of his time in Iraq. He can't walk a block without gasping for air. His chest hurts, his migraines sometimes persist for days and he needs pills to help him sleep.
James Gentry came home with rashes, ear troubles and a shortness of breath. Later, he developed lung cancer.
David Moore's postwar life turned into a harrowing medical mystery: nosebleeds and labored breathing that made it impossible to work, much less speak. His search for answers ended last year when he died of lung disease at age 42.
What these three men — one sick, one dying, one dead — had in common is they were National Guard soldiers on the same stretch of wind-swept desert in Iraq during the early months of the war in 2003. They and hundreds of other Guard members from Indiana, Oregon and West Virginia were protecting workers hired by a subsidiary of the giant contractor, KBR Inc., to rebuild an Iraqi water treatment plant.
The area, as it turned out, was contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a potent, sometimes deadly chemical linked to cancer and other devastating diseases. No one disputes that, but that's where the agreement ends. Among the issues now rippling from the courthouse to Capitol Hill are whether the chemical made people sick, when KBR knew it was there and how the company responded. read full story
X File Vet May be link to Burn Pit Truth Yesterday, Edward Adams was an X-File, but tomorrow he might be the critical link between the toxic plumes rising recklessly from U.S. Army installations in the war zone and the growing number of veterans crippled by unexplained nerve, heart, and respiratory damage back home. That’s because unlike any other known case, according to advocates, Adams was recently told by a board of military doctors at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii that his health anomalies – including the appearance of countless holes or "cysts" riddling the tissue around his lungs and an aorta that has shrunk to half its normal size in three months – "probably is related to the exposure to burn pits in Iraq."
A Sickening SItuation Josh Eller, a military contractor stationed in Iraq in 2006, was driving through Balad Air Base when he spotted the wild dog. He wasn't sure what was in its mouth—but when Eller saw two bones, he knew he was looking at a human arm. The dog had pulled the limb from an open-air "burn pit" on the base used to incinerate waste. Eller says it's "one of the worst things I have seen."
Bayh pushing registry for Iraq Vets INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana National Guard soldiers who were exposed to a cancer-causing chemical early in the Iraq war would have easier access to medical care under legislation Sen. Evan Bayh is spearheading. Bayh, D-Ind., seeks to create a medical registry that would guarantee care at Veterans Affairs medical facilities for troops — including 139 from Indiana — exposed to hazards while deployed. Pentagon knowingly exposed troops to cancer-causing chemicals, document shows A newly leaked military document appears to show the Pentagon knowingly exposed US troops to toxic chemicals that cause cancer, while publicly downplaying the risks exposure might cause.
Safe Water may have been contraminated Huntington, WV (HNN) - A water plant in Iraq, maintained by a defense contractor, may have contained toxic levels of the same chemical about which Hollywood's Julia Roberts played impassioned legal investigator Erin Brockovich. Hexavalent chromium, which is used in the removal of pipe corrosion, has been linked to lung cancer.
By Farah Stockman Globe Staff / February 28, 2009 The West Virginia National Guard is trying to track down 130 reservists who were probably exposed to a cancer-causing chemical in 2003 while guarding a water facility in southern Iraq.
Senators seek answers on troops' chemical exposure INDIANAPOLIS — Two U.S. senators say more American soldiers than previously reported may have been exposed to a toxic chemical while protecting an Iraqi water pumping plant in 2003. Democratic Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota say there are many unanswered questions about troops' exposure to hexavalent chromium at the plant in Basra, Iraq. In a letter dated Tuesday to the Army and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the senators say Houston-based contractor KBR Inc. allowed soldiers to be exposed to the chemical for more than two months even though KBR knew the site was contaminated. Bayh and Dorgan also say Indiana National Guard troops didn't learn of their possible exposure until they saw KBR workers wearing special clothing. They also say some Guard troops from Oregon, South Carolina and West Virginia haven't been told they may have been exposed.
At least 48 Oregon soldiers assigned to protect contractors rebuilding a water treatment plant near Iraqi oil fields in 2003 were exposed to hexavalent chromium. The industrial compound, if inhaled, greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.
Last month, 16 Indiana National Guard soldiers sued Houston-based KBR, claiming the nation's largest war contractor "disregarded and downplayed the extreme danger of wholesale site contamination." The suit claims KBR hid its civilian workers' elevated chromium levels and dismissed widespread symptoms -- including constant nosebleeds that toxicologists call "chrome nose" -- as sand allergies
Toxic Hangers: Veterans told to Take a HIke This is the second report in the continuing investigation of the contamination at former MCAS El Toro. A prior report addressed issues related to the possible contamination of El Toro’s base wells (see: salem-news.com/tgsearch.php?tag=marine_corps).
The focus of this report is the government’s response of January 2, 2009, to requests from Marines to evaluate the risk of their possible exposure to trichlorothylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) vapors in the hangars and buildings of the Marine Wing Support Group 37, the most industrialized portion of the base.
A number of El Toro veterans reported cancer and other serious illnesses to my blog and Salem- News.com possibly linked to TCE and PCE exposure. (see: mwsg37.com/ and salem-news. com/articles/august082008/tce_interview_7-8-08.php)
As a former El Toro Marine and bladder cancer survivor, I asked Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director, the Agency for Toxic Substances Abuse Registry (ATSDR), for a health consultation in May 2008 and recommended that other veterans and dependents do likewise. Based on their website an ATSDR Health Consultation “provides advice on a specific public health issue related to real or possible human exposure to toxic material. Anyone can request a Health Consultation. At the time, this seemed like a perfectly logical choice. Boy was I wrong! (see: atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/consult.html)