A 121-page document entitled Review of VA Clinical Guidance for the Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation was recently released by the Institutes of Medicine.
Unfortunately, this was by no means perfect or completely accurate. We’ve posted the full document below for you to download and review for yourself. (get the link by scrolling to the bottom of this story)
The document is lengthy but does not go far in improving the guidance for VA Clinics and practitioners, nor does it clear some of the confusion and miscommunication already circulating out there.
One CAP member, Jerry Ensminger, had this to say:
“I have found several errors in the description and the historical testing procedures for some of the contaminants involved at Lejeune. There was also once again no mention of the DON’s regulations dating back to 1963 which specifically state that no substance for which deleterious physiological effects are, or are not known, shall be introduced into the drinking water system which would permit them to reach the consumer. Also, the IOM downplayed the accuracy/credibility of the ATSDR water models because that was how it was presented to them by the VA.”
Gavin P. Smith, founder of Civilian Exposure, notes:
“I think it is unfortunate that this seemingly substantial effort by the IOM is marred by the continued use of input from questionable sources such as Dr. Terry Walters, relying yet again on the flawed 2009 NRC report and downplaying the recent research by the ATSDR. The recent studies released in 2014 by the ATSDR include the 2014 Birth Defects and Childhood Cancer Study, the 2014 Civilian Mortality Study, the 2014 Military and Naval Personnel Study and the 2014 Male Breast Cancer Study. All of these show elevated health risks for cancers and other significant illnesses as a result of contaminated drinking water exposure (either through ingestion, absorption through skin, or inhalation of vapors from soil vapor intrusion).
I lost my father to acute leukemia in 2008. He worked at Building 1202, near one of the biggest spots for contamination. His data was included as one of the subjects in the Civilian Mortality study. When this report was first presented to the Community Assistance Panel at the CDC in 2014, I sat there stunned. It was as if I was seeing a study on my father’s health issues alone.”
The latest ATSDR studies are almost summarily dismissed in the report and come across as insignificant. They are far from it. Yet, this is not by accident nor is it surprising. There are officials within the VA leadership, including one mentioned multiple times as a source in this report, that consistently aim to downplay new ATSDR health studies and research in media interviews. They have also been blatantly dismissive when concerns were raised over questionable training materials presenting an embarrassing and inaccurate portrayal of Camp Lejeune victims.”
With over 150 federal installations on the EPA Superfund site list, why does our government continue to expect our veterans to survive horrible wars and dangerous fighting only to subsequently come home and be slowly poisoned to death? Has this not gone on far too long already? Almost thirty years later and the truth is still blurred and skewed to promote more delay and more denial. Our veterans deserve better. Even spouses, children and our civilian DOD workers that support our country and our military deserve better. My father, a loyal civilian DOD worker for 25 years and a Korean veteran, deserved better.”
It’s time for the VA to simplify and clarify this process and time for the USMC and DON to provide accountability for what has become a generational health catastrophe at Camp Lejeune.”
Downloadable PDF of the full IOM Report: