The United States Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen in underground launch control centres at a nuclear missile base in Montana where a striking number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses.
The discovery “is the first from an extensive sampling of active US intercontinental ballistic missile bases to address specific cancer concerns raised by missile community members,” the US Air Force Global Strike Command said in a statement on Monday.
In the samples, two launch facilities at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana showed PCB levels higher than the thresholds recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
PCBs are oily or waxy substances the EPA has identified as a likely carcinogen.
In response to the findings, General Thomas Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, has directed “immediate measures to begin the cleanup process for the affected facilities and mitigate exposure by our airmen and Guardians to potentially hazardous conditions”, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
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