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. The reports are
- a public health assessment focusing on the possibility of exposure to contaminants from Kelly AFB in neighborhoods north and southeast of Kelly,
- a public health consultation examining air emissions exposure of on-base personnel from 1995-2001, and
- a public health consultation investigating past exposure to drinking water from on-base wells 313 and 314.
The public health assessment evaluates possible ways that community members in neighborhoods north and southeast of Kelly could come into contact with contaminants from the base that might be in the air, groundwater, surface water and soil.
ATSDR concludes that noncancer illnesses (such as liver or kidney injury) were unlikely because of exposure to contaminants from Kelly. The amounts of contaminants were too low to cause residents to get sick.
In the health assessment, ATSDR also looked at the projection of cancer cases in areas surrounding Kelly AFB and concluded that a significant increase in the risk of developing cancer is unlikely from exposure to air emissions from Kelly from 1995-2001. The locations of highest estimated cumulative risk for cancer from air emissions were either on base or in unpopulated areas off base.
According to the public health assessment, exposure through the other environmental pathways - groundwater, surface water and soil - do not appear to have played a role in making residents sick.
There was not enough information about levels of contamination before 1995 to make conclusions about past levels of exposure. The public health assessment calls for additional evaluation of air emissions because of the potential for higher levels of chemical exposure before 1995.
Using computer modeling, ATSDR is reconstructing and evaluating pre-1995 air emissions. This fall, the agency expects to release the public review and comment version of the health consultation addressing pre-1995 air emissions.
Although unlikely that exposure to lead is linked to Kelly AFB contamination, the public health assessment recommends health education for community members about lead exposures and blood lead testing. It also recommends an environmental investigation under local programs to address potential lead exposures.
The public health consultation on exposure of on-base personnel to air emissions concludes that exposure to air emissions from 1995-2001 was not at levels that would make people sick.
In the final version of the public health consultation on past exposure to drinking water from on-base wells 313 and 314, ATSDR's estimates of flow rates and chemical concentrations indicate that exposure to chemicals in the wells were not likely to result in sickness.
Each document includes the comments made during the public comment period, comments from external peer reviewers and ATSDR's responses to the comments. The documents are available in San Antonio at
Pan American Library
1122 W. Pyron
J.F. Kennedy High School Library
1922 South Central McMullen
Las Palmas Library
515 Castroville Road
For more information, community members can contact Community Involvement 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.