2001 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 18 May 2001 23:49:16 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] "What the military left behind"

What the military left behind

US News

ANGELES CITY, PHILIPPINES–When the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo buried the
region in volcanic ash and hastened the departure of United States forces from
Clark Air Base, some 20,000 homeless Filipino families were relocated onto the
sprawling installation. The new residents dug wells, planted crops, and settled
in–unaware that the ground water they drank and bathed in, the soil their rice
and sweet potatoes grew in, and the creeks and ponds they fished in were
contaminated by toxic substances dumped during a half century of U.S. tenure. 

Within a few years, health workers began tracking a rise in spontaneous
abortions, stillbirths, and birth defects; kidney, skin, and nervous system
disorders; cancers, and other conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by
exposure to chemical toxicants. Between May and July of 1995, for example, five
infants were born suffering from the same central-nervous-system disorder. From
that congenital birth defect cluster, only Abraham Taruc survives today, a
stunted, 4-year-old human rag doll unable to speak or walk, barely able to move
or swallow. 


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