Tuesday, March 05, 2002
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What: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today released its review of motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS) risk factors and mortality in Bexar County, Texas.

The report is titled "Motor Neuron Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Preliminary Review of Environmental Risk Factors and Mortality in Bexar County, Texas." The document should be considered as background information to the ALS investigations of former Kelly Air Force Base (AFB) workers currently being conducted by the U.S. Air Force, and state and local health organizations.

The ATSDR report discusses several environmental risk factors that have been investigated for an association with the risk of acquiring ALS. These previously investigated environmental risk factors include organic chemicals, heavy metals, and agricultural chemicals. However, the cumulative evidence for specific environmental factors is limited and inconsistent. More epidemiological research is required before strong causal linkages can be established.

The report begins with an overview of ALS, including its clinical and epidemiological characteristics. This description is followed by a review of the available literature on suspected environmental risk factors associated with the disease. The report concludes with a presentation of the ALS mortality experience for Bexar County in recent years.

Representatives from the South Texas Chapter of the ALS Association; the Air Force Institute for Environment, Safety and Occupational Risk Analysis (AFIERA); the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District; and the Texas Department of Health are conducting an evaluation of ALS cases with previous connections to Kelly AFB. AFIERA also is supporting a mortality study of former Kelly AFB civilian workers that will evaluate ALS among other endpoints. ATSDR continues to provide technical support for these activities, as requested. This ATSDR report was prepared in support of those research activities.

Where: The report will be available at the following repositories on March 5, 2002:

J. F. Kennedy High School Library
1922 S. General McMullen
San Antonio, Texas

Las Palmas Library
515 Castroville Rd.
San Antonio, Texas

Pan American Library
1122 W. Pyron
San Antonio, Texas

Memorial Library
3222 Culebra
San Antonio, Texas

For More Information: Community members who would like more information on the procedures or content of the report, should contact Epidemiologist Curtis Noonan, toll free, at 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737). Callers should refer to the "Kelly Air Force Base site in San Antonio, Texas." ATSDR Regional Representative Jennifer Lyke also may be called for information at (214) 665-8362 in Dallas.

Members of the news media are requested to make an appointment to interview ATSDR staff. Phone Mike Groutt or Kathy Skipper in the ATSDR Office of Policy and External Affairs at (404) 498-0070.

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Related News Releases For Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas

Release Date:  Thursday, March 01, 2007
The hazardous contaminants found in soil, private well water and soil gases from the East Kelly Air Force Base, TX occur at levels too low to cause health problems, says a report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The public health assessment is a follow up to a previous report and responds to community concerns about contamination moving from the east annex of the Air Force Base (also called the East Kelly AFB) to residential areas. ATSDR has determined the possible pathways for contaminant exposure from the East Kelly AFB are surface soil, private well water and soil gases.

Release Date:  Friday, December 10, 2004
People interested in health investigations about Kelly Air Force Base (Kelly AFB) completed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) can speak individually with agency scientists Dec. 14. Tuesday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., ATSDR staff members will be available at the Kennedy High School cafeteria, 1922 S. General McMullen Drive. There is no formal presentation. People may visit at their convenience.

Release Date:  Friday, October 22, 2004
The public comment period for the just released Kelly Air Force Base (AFB) public health consultation about off-base air emissions runs through Nov. 30, 2004. The report was issued by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency.

Release Date:  Wednesday, August 11, 2004
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) today released two reports concluding that chemical exposures from Kelly Air Force Base (AFB) are not expected to have made people sick. A third report finds that people are not expected to have become ill in the past from drinking on-base water. All three documents are final versions of reports released earlier for public review and comment.

Release Date:  Thursday, June 03, 1999
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), in conjunction with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, will present a Nursing and Environmental Health Workshop on June 4. The workshop will take place from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Southwest General Hospital Tenet Health System in San Antonio, Texas.

Release Date:  Monday, October 26, 1998
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced that publication of its Public Health Assessment of Kelly Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, has been postponed so that the document can undergo peer review. The peer review is being done by an independent panel of scientific experts to insure the scientific validity of the modeling methods the agency used to predict past exposures to hazardous substances.

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Page last reviewed: March 05, 2002