Military, health agency in PR war over base's tainted water
"Telling people that everything is OK, there may be some problems but we're not sure, the PR ... really is very harmful to the people who have been exposed to that drinking water," Miller said.At issue in particular is a statement in the booklet that reads, "To date, the scientific community has not established an association between exposure to the contaminated water and health conditions reported by former residents of Camp Lejeune."
"That sentence is misleading," Sinks wrote.And without knowing the risks, Miller said, many former residents won't know to see a doctor at the first symptom of illness.
Among the ongoing studies are those that require surveys of former Lejeune residents about their health. Scientists, some lawmakers and advocates worry that the Marines' booklet will hurt responses.
"This booklet provides only the Marine Corps' view on our issue with no counterpoint," said Tallahassee, Fla., resident Mike Partain, a male breast cancer survivor who was born at Camp Lejeune, in an email to ATSDR in December.
"I fear that this biased information will serve to undermine participation in the upcoming health studies for Camp Lejeune."The booklet also cites a much disputed 2009 study by the National Research Council that, the booklet says, "concluded that adverse effects were unlikely, but could not be ruled out completely, and additional health studies are unlikely to provide more definitive results."