Likely Carcinogen Found At US Missile Base After Military Investigates Blood Cancer Cases In Base Personnel
In 2001 U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFAM) completed a review of Malmstrom cancer concerns showing no increased rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among missileers.
MONTANA - After the U.S. Military carried out an investigation as to what was causing blood cancer cases in officers who had previously worked at a nuclear missile base in Montana, a "likely carcinogen" was found above the recommended "safe" levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As of January this year, nine military officers who worked at the Malmstrong Air Force Base had developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at earlier ages than the median age for the disease, which has caused the military to launch an investigation probe into the incidents to see if there's a connection between the cancer development and exposure at the base.
Despite this, the Air Force Medical Service states on its website that "U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFAM) completed a review of Malmstrom cancer concerns in 2001 showing no increased rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among missileers.
The evaluation included record reviews encompassing 1991-2000, and it included site sampling. However, we acknowledge time has passed and have the responsibility to investigate any potential service-related risks to Airmen, Guardians, or their dependents’ health. We take this responsibility seriously".
One of the cases involved an officer who worked at the nuclear missile base decades back and all of the officers were assigned to the Malmstrom Air Force Base at least 25 years ago.
The base is where 150 Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are located. U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Daniel Sebeck was cited by AP news as saying during a briefing that the nine officers were all diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Missileers take a caged elevator to an underground bunker installation where the missiles are stored and stay there for days at times waiting to turn the nuclear launch keys if ordered by the U.S. President to do so.
When the investigation began, Sebeck was cited as saying, "There are indications of a possible association between cancer and missile combat crew service at Malmstrom AFB,” and said that there were a “disproportionate number of missileers presenting with cancer, specifically lymphoma," and added that it was of concern.
He said, "The information in this briefing has been shared with the Department of the Air Force surgeon general, and our medical professionals are working to gather data and understand more”.