The following is a personal story submitted to Civilian Exposure and published as part of our new series: “Contamination Chronicles: Personal Stories of Exposure”. If you would like to submit your story, you may fill out our form here or send directly via email to share-@-civilianexposure.org.
In the late 1950’s, my father worked at APG. I’m not sure in what area or if it was when he was in the Army or while he was a civilian. In 1967, my father was killed at work in California and the autopsy showed he was in the beginning of cirrhosis of the liver. The electric company responsible for his death used that information to say that my father was an alcoholic, which he wasn’t.
In later years, my mother was diagnosed with cirrhosis. In even later years, my sister and I were also diagnosed with cirrhosis. None of us ever drank much at all. Since I was diagnosed, I have been tested for everything imaginable at such hospitals as Baylor in Houston, UTMB in Galveston, and Methodist Hospital Houston. I’ve seen numerous liver specialists who don’t have a clue why I have this liver disease.
My sister and I were talking one day. She being 10 years older than me, she has a lot more memory than I do. She was wondering if the rabbits and squirrels my dad would shoot at work and clean and then bring home to my mom for her to make rabbit or squirrel stew had in some way been contaminated since this was before OSHA and chemicals were just dumped out on the ground back then.
No one else in our extended family has liver issues. Are you aware of any chemicals that may have been dumped back then that could possibly cause this cirrhosis? I can’t ask any more questions of my mother or sisters because they have all died. I appreciate any information you may have regarding this.
Note from the Editor: The author currently resides in Texas. The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.
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