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Lawmakers ask Centers for Disease Control about Camp Lejeune's toxic water

| Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

RALEIGH — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Centers for Disease Control to complete a new, comprehensive report on the health effects of toxic tap water at the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune.

The lawmakers want the agency to investigate whether people were exposed to airborne toxins inside buildings once contaminated wells at the North Carolina base were closed in 1985.

And they asked the agency to look into the feasibility of a “cancer incidence study” for Camp Lejeune.

The four senators and two representatives were reacting to news that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the CDC, intends to issue a less comprehensive report than the one it released in 1997. The original public health assessment was withdrawn four years ago because of incomplete data.

The lawmakers said they are concerned the agency will ignore “the potential for harmful exposures via inhalation” in the decade and a half since contaminated wells at the coastal North Carolina base were taken offline.

“Public Health Assessments are essential and critical to ensuring full and complete information about exposures to hazardous substances is available to the public,” the six legislators — Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, both of North Carolina; Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, both of Florida; and Reps. Dennis Ross of Florida and John Dingell of Michigan — wrote to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden on Aug. 9.

The lawmakers included the request for a cancer study in a follow-up letter on Friday.

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