This facility was originally constructed as a municipal airfield before being redesignated San Bernardino Army Air Field in 1942. During World War II, the site served primarily as a repair and maintenance facility. Following the war, the station became one of the country's primary jet engine repair facilities and was renamed Norton Air Force Base. Prior to its demise, the station supplied airlift and logistical support to combat forces located around the globe.
Norton Air Force Base is one of 203 facilities designated by the Air Force as possible release sites for aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a PFOS/PFOA-containing firefighting chemical designed to extinguish fuel fires swiftly and avoid catastrophic loss of life and property. The high persistence of these chemicals is due to a carbon-fluorine bond, which is the strongest in organic chemistry. These man-made synthetic compounds do not decompose, which explains their fast acceptance after their introduction in the mid-1900s.
What toxic agents are lurking on Norton Air Force Base?
Because of contamination found in the base's groundwater and soil, Norton Air Force Base was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) for cleaning in 1987. Contaminants of potential concern at this facility include:
- per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
- trichloroethylene (TCE)
- tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
- 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE)
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- various radionuclides
- heavy metals
The following are contaminated locations on the base:
- 2 landfills
- 6 discharge areas
- 4 chemical pits
- 1 fire training area
- 1 fuel spill area
- 1 chemical spill area
- 1 waste storage areas
- 1 underground storage tank area
As PFAS chemicals accumulate over time, their potential for severe health consequences increases dramatically. PFAS have been designated as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which indicates that they may cause cancer in humans. This conclusion was reached on the basis of epidemiological data connecting exposure to illnesses such as kidney cancer, testicular cancers, as well as other health problems such as hormone disruption, immune system dysfunction, and liver and kidney damage.
What illnesses can PFAS exposure on military bases result in?
Evidence suggests that individuals who are often exposed to PFAS chemicals, which are commonly found on military bases, are at risk of poor reproductive and developmental outcomes, as well as impaired liver, kidney, and immune system function. The following are the diseases and health issues associated with exposure to PFAS present at Norton Air Force Base that make you eligible to file a toxic exposure claim:
When exposed to hazardous substances, factors such as dosage, frequency of exposure, length of exposure, exposure pathway - the method through which a chemical enters the body - and the individual's unique biological susceptibility may all impact long-term consequences.
If you were harmed as a consequence of PFAS exposure at Norton Air Force Base, you should get legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that you file the proper claim and receive the compensation you deserve. Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. provides no-cost case evaluations to veterans who believe their medical condition is a consequence of hazardous chemical exposure while serving in the military.