Community Members Can Discuss Kelly AFB Health Investigations With ATSDR Scientists Dec. 14

Friday, December 10, 2004
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Note to Correspondents: ATSDR staff members will be available for interviews 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Kennedy High School cafeteria, 1922 S. General McMullen Drive.

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2004

ATLANTA - 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.

Discussions with ATSDR representatives will be one-to-one and private. Handouts about ATSDR's activities will be available in English and Spanish. Representatives from the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services also will be present.

ATSDR believes that Kelly AFB is not now a health hazard.

The most recent report about Kelly from ATSDR is a health consultation concerning air quality before 1995. It was issued for public comment in October.

Three of the health consultation's conclusions are:

  • Air dispersion modeling indicates that aircraft emissions of JP-4 jet fuel were unlikely to have resulted in off-base exposures to individual chemicals at levels that would cause harmful health effects.
  • There was insufficient data available to determine the health hazard of exposure to hexavalent chromium air emissions before 1980. Off-base exposures to estimated individual contaminant levels of other chemicals emitted from stationary sources are unlikely to have caused adverse health effects.
  • Off-base exposure to chemical mixtures from stationary and aircraft sources is an indeterminate health hazard because of the scientific uncertainty of potential interactions from exposure to chemical mixtures and uncertainty with exposure reconstruction.

    The document also reported that data were not available for ATSDR to evaluate potential exposure to emissions from incineration of cyanide wastes or to unburned, airborne aircraft fuel emissions (misting).

    As announced in 2001, ATSDR reported elevations in liver cancer, birth defects and infants with low birth weight in several areas near the base. However, ATSDR does not believe the elevations are related to Kelly. Elevated levels of leukemia still are being studied.

    During its eight investigations to date, ATSDR found that most past exposures to Kelly contaminants on or off the base were too low to cause illness. In some cases, however, scientists were not able to make a determination because records about past exposure levels do not exist. In other instances, such as exposure to certain chemical mixtures, there is limited or inconclusive scientific information about the health implications of such exposures.

    ATSDR investigated contaminants or the possibility of contaminants on or near Kelly in air, soil, water and fish.

    Still to be released is the final version of the East Kelly public health assessment and two health outcome data reviews. All are expected to be completed in 2005.

    ATSDR activities for the Kelly AFB site include:

  • Public Health Consultation - DRMO Fire (final), 1997
  • Public Health Consultation - Tampa Street Spill (final), 1997
  • Health Education Workshops for Doctors, Nurses and Community Members, 1999
  • Public Health Consultation - Health Outcome Data (preliminary review), 2001
  • Public Health Consultation - Current On-Base Emissions, 2004
  • Public Health Consultation - On-Base Drinking Water (final), 2004
  • Public Health Consultation - Past Air Emissions (public comment), 2004
  • Public Health Assessment - Kelly AFB (final), 2004
  • Public Health Assessment - East Kelly (final), 2005
  • Health Outcome Data Review (two reports, final), 2005

    For more information, community members can contact Environmental Health Scientist Susan Moore or Health Communication Specialist Maria Teran-MacIver, toll-free, at 1-888-422-8737. Senior Regional Representative George Pettigrew also may be contacted at 214-665-8361. Callers should refer to the Kelly Air Force Base site in San Antonio, Texas.

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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.

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    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: December 10, 2004