During World War II, Mather Air Force Base served as a training facility for pilots and navigators, as well as observers and bombardiers. When its companion navigation schools at Harlingen Air Force Base and James Connally Air Force Base in Texas were deactivated in the 1960s, it became the U.S. Air Force's only aerial navigation school during the Cold War. It served as the home of the 320th Bombardment Wing of the United States Strategic Air Command for almost four decades, from 1958 to 1989.
Mather Air Force Base is one of at least 600 active and closed military facilities nationwide where military-affiliated operations and industrial sources have contaminated or are suspected of contaminating water on the base and in nearby communities with chemicals ranging from fuel and cleaning solvents to explosives and firefighting foam. The government decommissioned the facility in 1993, about ten years after the Environmental Protection Agency started examining contamination sites. Two years later, this base reopened as the Sacramento Mather Airport.
What kind of hazardous contaminants abound on Mather Air Force Base?
In 1979, toxic contamination was detected in water supply wells near Mather Air Force Base as a result of military activities, and training exercises. In the 1980s, more thorough testing was conducted, and 89 locations were identified as requiring additional investigation or remediation. Former landfills and locations with polluted soil, groundwater, or both were among them. The biggest problems were from:
PFAS are fluorine and carbon-based chemical substances. PFAS compounds are highly heat resistant and are particularly effective in extinguishing Class B fires caused by accelerants such as gasoline, cooking oils, paint, and kerosene, or other petroleum products. Furthermore, PFAS do not biodegrade and therefore accumulate in the bodies of exposed humans and animals. They are able of remaining in the body for prolonged periods of time.
Since the 1960s, chemical producers of various kinds of foam, such as DuPont and 3M, have been aware that AFFF also has severe side effects, including the following:
- it seeps into the ground where it is discharged and contaminates the groundwater
- contains PFASs, which are suspected carcinogens
Contamination with PFAS chemicals occurs gradually over time, however, due to the unusual durability of PFAS chemicals, the first rounds of leaks and contamination do not go away. Rather than that, it continues to accumulate, presenting a growing health risk.
What health issues can exposure to PFAS on Mather Air Force Base cause?
The health risks related to exposure to PFOA and PFOS levels over a certain amount have been demonstrated to include several health problems, such as developmental abnormalities during pregnancy or while breastfeeding (low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal differences, immune and thyroid dysfunction, liver disease, altered lipid and insulin balance, and unfavorable reproductive and developmental outcomes), cancers, and endocrine disruption.
Anyone who has a history of exposure to PFAS chemicals while serving in the military should take particular notice of any symptoms and seek medical attention promptly. An accurate and timely diagnosis not only improves your prognosis but also provides you the right to compensation.
The following are the diseases and medical conditions that exposure to PFAS may cause, as well as the diagnosis that qualifies you for compensation:
These health problems may have a significant effect on your life. Long-term PFAS exposure has the potential to alter your life permanently, with significant medical costs, time away from work rehabilitating, and mental anguish. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe it is the consequence of PFAS exposure, a legal claim can ease your money worries by helping you recover the costs of your ongoing medical treatment.