2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: "Laura Olah" <cswab@merr.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 08:04:25 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] MEDIA RELEASE: Army Deer Study is Inconclusive
June 18, 2009
For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Laura Olah, CSWAB (608) 643-3124


A pivotal human health study evaluating the potential uptake of residual
explosives by deer has been found to be inconclusive.  An independent
technical review has determined that an oft-cited Army study is not able to
confirm or deny whether it is safe to eat the deer from the Badger Army
Ammunition Plant. 
In response to renewed pressure from the U.S. Army to weaken required soil
cleanup goals, rural neighbors of the Badger plant hired an independent
consultant to review a deer tissue study which the military says supports
their position.  Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) asked
Environmental Stewardship Concepts, a Virginia-based firm with expertise in
environmental health issues, to review the Army report.

?We want to make sure that environmental cleanup at military bases like
Badger is protective of human health,? said Laura Olah, Executive Director
of CSWAB.  ?Our goal is to ensure that regulators, future owners, and
community members are aware of any potential shortcomings in the Army's

The Army study was designed to determine whether the deer at the Badger site
contained two common forms of the explosive Dinitrotoluene (DNT) in their
tissues at concentrations that would be unsuitable for human consumption.
The study focused on examining the presence of DNT in the liver, muscle and
heart tissues of the deer.

?As a former army ammunition plant, the Badger site was exposed to 2,4 and
2,6-DNT however other forms of DNT are also present on the site but were not
considered in this study,? said Dr. Peter deFur, president of Environmental
Stewardship Concepts. ?The problem is that the design provides results of
limited use and applicability.?

DeFur is not the only one critical of the deer study.  Army officials with
the Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine have also
described the Badger study as having analytical detection limits that were
?not sufficiently low to allow an accurate estimation of the levels of
explosives that had bioaccumulated.? 

In addition to Badger, the 1991 study has been cited in risk assessments for
military facilities across the U.S. including Sunflower Army Ammunition
Plant in Kansas, Weldon Spring Ordnance Works in Missouri, Fort McClellan in
Alabama, and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. 

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) was organized in 1990 when
rural families near Wisconsin?s Badger Army Ammunition Plant learned that
private drinking water wells were polluted with high levels of
cancer-causing solvents.  The group continues to serve as a local watchdog
and national leader on military cleanups.

Dr. Peter L. deFur serves as a technical advisor to citizen organizations
and government agencies. He is an Affiliate Associate Professor in the
Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where
he conducts research on environmental health and ecological risk assessment.

DeFur?s complete report and the Army?s deer study are available online at

*  *  *


U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (Provisional),
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, Study No. 75-23-YS50-94, Final Report
Health Risk Assessment of Consuming Deer from Aberdeen Proving Ground, May

Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant,
Desoto, Kansas, February 1996. 

Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry, Public Health Assessment, Weldon Spring Ordnance Works,
Weldon Spring, St. Charles County, Missouri, March 1995.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Final Baseline Ecological
Risk Assessment Study Design for Iron Mountain Road Ranges, Fort McClellan,
Calhoun County, Alabama, November 2002. 

Laura Olah, Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
E12629 Weigand's Bay South
Merrimac, WI  53561
(608) 643-3124

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