The Slow Poisoning of Our Soldiers, Families on U.S. Bases
Why has the military waited this long to address water contamination?
While it is generally understood that the U.S. Armed Forces are among the world’s largest polluters, it is not generally recognized that some of the most significant pollution occurs here in the United States at military bases and facilities.
As most pollutants have the greatest effect on those whose immune systems are not fully developed, their impact on military dependent communities, whose populations are disproportionately young children and pregnant women, are of particular concern. Everyone living in communities which host military installations, however, is at great risk, as chronic toxicity—the exposure to and ingestion of toxins over an extended period—can be devastating even to those with fully developed immune systems.
According to an explosive report by the Center for Public Integrity in August, polluted water and soil have been found at approximately 400 active and closed military bases in the United States. Of these, 149 have been designated Superfund Sites by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).