George AFB’s Burn Pits and Incinerators

Danger Burn Pits

The Burn Pits and Incinerators at George Air Force Base provided a Completed Exposure Pathway (CEP).

Burn Pits and Incinerators → known carcinogens and respiratory sensitizers → air → civilians, military personnel and their family members

The Department of Defense (DOD) and Air Force failed to notify the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of this potential exposure pathway for the Health Assessment of George AFB.

George Air Force Base had over a dozen of open-air burn pits and two old style incinerators (without an air scrubber to remove toxic chemicals). The known carcinogens and respiratory sensitizers that were released into the atmosphere by the burn pits and incinerators present both acute and chronic health hazards to civilians, and military personnel and their family members.

A list of possible contaminants includes: acetaldehyde, acrolein, arsenic, benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, dichlorofluoromethane, dioxins, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, various heavy metals (lead, cadmium, and mercury), nitrogen dioxide, phosgene, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, toluene, trichloroethane, trichloropropane, and xylene. See: Burn Pit Health Hazards Memo

George AFB’s Open-air Burn Pits

On 20 December 2015, a search of the George Air Force Base Administrative Record produced a list of 180 documents that contain the term “burn pit”.

Old Incinerator Building

There are four references to an old incinerator building in the administrative record.

… Herbicides and other pesticides were stored in the old incinerator building near the sewage treatment plant until 1968…” and “… Pesticides were originally stored in the old incinerator building until 1968…

– Phase I, Records Search Report, Vol I of II
CH2M Hill – Jan 82
AR/IR File Number: 3

– RI/FS, Draft Work Plan Addendum, OU-3
James M Montgomery, Inc. – Jan 92
AR/IR File Number: 525

– Draft Final Work Plan Addendum, Vol I of II, OU-3
James M Montgomery, Inc. – Apr 92
AR/IR File Number: 572

– RI/FS, Final Work Plan Addendum, Vol I of II, OU-3
James M Montgomery, Inc. – Jun 92
AR/IR File Number: 613
Source accessed on: 14 July 2012

Hospital Incinerator

The hospital incinerator was active from 1963 to 1992; however, in 1989 the incinerator was inoperative and sharps were burned at the fire training area (IRP Site FT-i 9). In the past, hospital wastes were disposed of and burned at a waste burn pit at the fire training area. This area has been designated IRP Site FT-i9 and is currently undergoing an Rl/FS .” (see Section 3.3.2)

– Basewide Environmental Baseline Survey (EBS)
HQAFBDA/SP – Dec 93
AR/IR File Number: 817
Source accessed on: 14 July 2012

Definitions:

Complete Exposure Pathway

“A complete exposure pathway is how a chemical can be traced, or expected to travel, from a source to a plant or animal that can be affected by that chemical.” – EPA

General Information:

Burn Pits and Incinerators

Dioxins

I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

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