In November of 2018, the concentration of PFAS in the environment of Holloman Air Force Base was more than extreme, namely 1,249,000 parts per trillion, whereas the permissible and supposedly safe limit found by the Environmental Protection Agency is only 70 parts per trillion. However, even this allowable concentration is considered dangerous by other health organizations, both from the United States and around the world.
New Mexico issued a notice against the military for violating the Water Quality Act, and, subsequently, the Department of Defense sued the state, challenging its authority. In turn, New Mexico filed a lawsuit, requesting a federal judge to prompt the military to take measures and solve the acute issue of PFAS contamination. Nevertheless, the judge denied the request. Today, Holloman Air Force Base is a Superfund site, and the Environmental Protection Agency is doing its best to clean up the polluted sites of the military base.
What contaminants of concern are lurking on Holloman Air Force Base?
Obviously, PFAS are the primary contaminants of concern that are present on the military base, endangering the health of everyone who spends more than a couple of months there. A high concentration of PFAS in the blood is associated with a considerably increased risk for cancer, among other serious diseases. If you wonder how contamination with PFAS occurred on Holloman Air Force Base, the answer relies on AFFF. This is a fire suppressant that has been used by military firefighters and trainees to put out petroleum and jet fuel fires since 1966 when it was developed by the U.S. Navy and the notorious 3M company. It contains a large amount of PFAS, and when in use, it unavoidably releases the chemicals in the environment.
Since PFAS are "forever chemicals", they cannot break down in the environment and therefore have to be removed using various techniques by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Likewise, when they are inside the human body, PFAS cannot be eliminated, which increases the person's chances of coming to struggle with terrible afflictions over the years. In addition to PFAS, the Environmental Working Group found the following toxic agents polluting the site of Holloman Air Force Base:
- dibromoacetic acid
- haloacetic acids
The presence of more than one dangerous agent on the premises of Holloman Air Force Base only exacerbates the degree of toxic exposure among people who are stationed there. For this reason, anyone who spent time at this military base after 1966 is advised to closely monitor their health by undergoing periodical examinations and by seeking medical assistance as soon as they experience unusual symptoms.
What health problems can PFAS exposure on military bases cause?
Unquestionably, the most harrowing disease exposure to PFAS can lead to is cancer, which can affect numerous parts of the body, depending on where the highest concentration of these chemicals has accumulated. Nonetheless, there are other serious health issues PFAS exposure can result in, which are usually chronic and require long-term treatment. The following is the complete list of health problems exposure to PFAS is responsible for, as well as the diagnoses that make one eligible to file a toxic exposure claim. Still, to become eligible, you must also have spent 1 cumulative year or longer at the military base.
If you had the misfortune of being diagnosed with one of these health issues, please contact our legal team, as toxic exposure is our main area of practice and thereby have the required experience, knowledge, and resources to help you recover financial compensation for your distress. The companies that failed to warn consumers of the health consequences of AFFF exposure must be held liable, so taking legal action is the best thing you can do both for your own wellbeing and to prevent such negligent practices in the future. Lastly, if you were pregnant during your stay at Holloman Air Force Base and your child was born with health problems, you should contact us too, as you can obtain compensation for your baby.