MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD FROM: USAFSAM/CC 2510 Fifth Street, Bldg 840 Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433 SUBJECT: Results of PCB environmental air and surface swipe samples, Malmstrom AFB,
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen at underground launch control centers at a Montana nuclear missile base where a striking number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses.
A new cleanup effort has been ordered.
According to the Torchlight Initiative, at least 268 troops who served at nuclear missile sites, or their surviving family members, have self-reported being diagnosed with cancer, blood diseases or other illnesses over the past several decades.
At least 217 of those reported cases are cancers, at least 33 of them non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
What's notable about those reported numbers is that the missileer community is very small. Only a few hundred airmen serve as missileers at each of the country's three silo-launched Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile bases any given year. There have been only about 21,000 missileers in total since the Minuteman operations began in the early 1960s, according to the Torchlight Initiative.
At Malmstrom, of the 300 surface swipe samples, 21 detected PCBs. Of those, 19 were below levels set by the EPA requiring mitigation and two were above. No PCBs were detected in any of the 30 air samples. The Air Force is still waiting for test results from F.E. Warren and Minot for surface and air samples, and for all bases for the water and soil samples.
Torchlight Summary August 2023:
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