Are toxic chemicals at Air Force bases leading to cancer issues?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Toxic chemicals in drinking water near some Air Force bases might be to blame for some health problems.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Health problems stemming from tainted drinking water on Air Force bases around the country is getting national attention.

CBS This morning reported on the tainted water on today’s show, following a July report from WHIO and the Dayton Daily News titled “Wright-Patt treating tainted water in contaminated drinking wells.”

To see how tainted water at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was handled, read the report from WHIO and the Dayton Daily News.

Below is an excerpt from the CBS This Morning report from today.

For 25 years, Dan Cruz delivered mail at the Peterson Air Force Base and drank the water. Then came cancer – thyroid, prostate, testicular – he said never before seen in his family.

“I’m the only one that’s been diagnosed with cancer not once, not twice, but three times. People on my route… cancer has come upon them and sometimes stage 4,” Cruz told CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.

The cause could be firefighting foam used since the 1970s at Air Force bases and airports across the country, something meant to save lives that may have harmed them instead. The foam contains highly fluorinated chemicals, known as PFCs. It is suspected of causing some cancers and underweight births.

Peterson is one of 190 Air Force bases, including Wright-Patterson where PFCs may have leached in the ground and surrounding areas. One study based on EPA’s test results shows as many as six million people may be exposed nationwide to PFCs in their drinking water at higher levels than the EPA now deems safe.

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