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PFAS exposure at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Built in 1940 as Elmendorf Field and Fort Richardson, this military base is located in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It is still active today. Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base became one military base in 2010, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was created. The military base extends over 64,213 acres on coastal lowlands that are surrounded by high mountain chains. Like other 700 military installations throughout the country, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is heavily contaminated with PFAS, a group of harmful chemicals.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is a Superfund site on the list of the Environmental Protection Agency, as there are multiple toxic agents in addition to PFAS that are polluting the environment of the military base. In 1955, the agency began carrying out remedy construction, which is still ongoing today. The area is being addressed through state and federal actions under CERCLA.

What harmful agents are present on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson?

Stemming from the use of AFFF, a fire suppressant that can effectively put out petroleum and jet fuel fires, PFAS are a group of dangerous chemicals, exposure to which can result in awful diseases. Military firefighters and trainees have been employing AFFF since 1966 when the foam was invented by the U.S. Navy and the renowned 3M company. On Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the level of PFAS in the environment greatly exceeds the permissible limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. For this reason, the organization took action and has carried out the following activities on the site:

  • removal of contaminated soil and debris
  • institutional controls
  • monitoring of multiple active remediation systems
  • building a wetland treatment cell
  • in-situ bioventing
  • removal of liquid asphalt

The U.S. Air Force is the agency that takes care of the removal of toxic agents from the base in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. There are 6 areas on the military base, known as Operable Units, where the sources of contamination are present. The following are the other toxic agents lurking on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson besides PFAS:

  • lead
  • benzene
  • trichloroethylene
  • used oils
  • tetrachloroethylene
  • solvents
  • fuel
  • petroleum

The existence of more than one contaminant on the military base worsens the extent of toxic exposure, as most of the agents above also have a strong link to cancer if they are present in the body. Exposure to PFAS occurs through inhalation and ingestion, and military firefighters have the highest risk of developing a serious health problem due to their frequent use of AFFF. Alarmingly, the cancer death rate among firefighters is 14% increased than that of the general population.

What diseases can exposure to PFAS on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson cause?

While PFAS exposure can lead to the development of numerous diseases, the most harrowing is cancer, which can occur on various organs and tissues in the body, depending on where the highest concentration of chemicals is located. In order to become eligible to file a PFAS claim, you must have one of the following diagnoses as a result of PFAS exposure:

File your PFAS claim with the assistance of Atraxia Law

Victims of toxic exposure deserve financial compensation for the harrowing diseases they came to struggle with, and the mission of Atraxia Law is to offer quality assistance to everyone whose health was affected by hazardous agents. Our process is quick and easy and takes places over the phone.

If you meet the requirements, a PFAS lawyer will begin working on your toxic exposure claim, and you will eventually get the maximum compensation available for your diagnosis.

Free case evaluation

10 Minutes Over the Phone

*No fees unless compensation is obtained

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