Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is a Superfund site on the list of the Environmental Protection Agency, as there are multiple toxic agents in addition to PFAS that are polluting the environment of the military base. In 1955, the agency began carrying out remedy construction, which is still ongoing today. The area is being addressed through state and federal actions under CERCLA.
What harmful agents are present on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson?
Stemming from the use of AFFF, a fire suppressant that can effectively put out petroleum and jet fuel fires, PFAS are a group of dangerous chemicals, exposure to which can result in awful diseases. Military firefighters and trainees have been employing AFFF since 1966 when the foam was invented by the U.S. Navy and the renowned 3M company. On Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the level of PFAS in the environment greatly exceeds the permissible limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. For this reason, the organization took action and has carried out the following activities on the site:
- removal of contaminated soil and debris
- institutional controls
- monitoring of multiple active remediation systems
- building a wetland treatment cell
- in-situ bioventing
- removal of liquid asphalt
The U.S. Air Force is the agency that takes care of the removal of toxic agents from the base in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. There are 6 areas on the military base, known as Operable Units, where the sources of contamination are present. The following are the other toxic agents lurking on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson besides PFAS:
- used oils
The existence of more than one contaminant on the military base worsens the extent of toxic exposure, as most of the agents above also have a strong link to cancer if they are present in the body. Exposure to PFAS occurs through inhalation and ingestion, and military firefighters have the highest risk of developing a serious health problem due to their frequent use of AFFF. Alarmingly, the cancer death rate among firefighters is 14% increased than that of the general population.
What health problems can exposure to PFAS on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson cause?
While PFAS exposure can lead to the development of numerous diseases, the most harrowing is cancer, which can occur on various organs and tissues in the body, depending on where the highest concentration of chemicals is located. In order to become eligible to file a toxic exposure claim, you must have one of the following diagnoses as a result of PFAS exposure:
If you have one of these health issues, we advise you to contact our attorneys as soon as possible, as you are most likely entitled to compensation, which they will efficiently help you obtain. The legal process is easy and entails minimal involvement on your part, as we are aware that people who struggle with such terrible health problems are usually in a lot of pain and suffering. Lastly, if you were pregnant while you were staying at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and your child was born with a health issue, you can also file a claim on behalf of your baby.