The operations conducted on Naval Station Newport are carried out by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Army Reserve. There are multiple sources of contamination on the military base, including a fire training area, one landfill, a former shipyard, and five tank farms. However, the Environmental Protection Agency is now striving to clean the contaminated areas. Furthermore, Naval Station Newport is also home to the Newport Naval Education and Training Center, which is a Superfund site that was active between 1900 and 1975.
What toxic agents are contaminating Naval Station Newport?
At the moment, PFAS are the main contaminant on Naval Station Newport, and the source of these hazardous chemicals is AFFF, a flame-suppressing foam used by military firefighters and trainees to put out jet fuel and petroleum fires. Surprisingly, it was created by the U.S. Navy in 1966, together with the notorious 3M company. Exposure to PFAS occurs via inhalation and ingestion. Military firefighters have the highest risk of developing a disease as a result of prolonged exposure to AFFF. In fact, the cancer death rate among firefighters is 14% greater than that of the general population, which is a cause for concern.
In addition to PFAS, petroleum hydrocarbons were also present in the soil of Naval Station Newport, but in 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency carried out a thorough cleanup process, which included the following:
- the removal of what Tanks 53 and 56 contained
- the building of a landfill cap over the McAllister Point Landfill
- the excavation of contaminated soils at Tank Farm 4
- the installation of a soil cover at Tank Farm 5
- the installation of a groundwater pump and treat system at the Tank Farm
The good news is that the unstoppable efforts of the agency have greatly mitigated the issue of petroleum hydrocarbons contamination, yet the problem of PFAS exposure remains. Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency is working to remediate this problem as well. Because the extent of contamination is tremendous, it will take a while until Naval Station Newport becomes safe once again.
What diseases can you develop if you were exposed to PFAS?
There is a certain level of PFAS in the blood of every American, as these toxic chemicals are also present in food containers, cleaning products, and nonstick cookware. Nonetheless, when there is a very high concentration of PFAS in your blood, your susceptibility to developing cancer increases considerably. Because PFAS are also known as "forever chemicals", once they enter the body, they remain there, and you are unable to eliminate them. Depending on the organ or tissue they reach, you may come to struggle with one of the following diseases if you have been heavily exposed to PFAS:
It is worthy of note that these are also the diagnoses for which you can file a toxic exposure claim if you were exposed to PFAS on Naval Station Newport. We encourage you to contact our lawyers as soon as you find out about your disease, as you are most likely eligible to file a toxic exposure claim and recover significant financial compensation for your suffering. If you were pregnant during your stay at the military base and gave birth to a baby with health issues, you are also entitled to compensation on behalf of your child.