South Korea launched a health investigation this week to determine whether Agent Orange allegedly buried at Camp Carroll more than three decades ago has made residents of nearby villages sick.
The Ministry, along with the National Institute of Environmental Research, began the investigation on Wednesday following a request on Monday from Chilgok County officials.
About 6,500 people in 8 villages, all within one kilometer of the base, will be eligible to participate in the survey.A Ministry of Environment official said as many as 3,000 people are expected to participate in the survey’s initial phase, which will consist of voluntary interviews about their health and is expected to last through the end of the year.
Officials will then collect blood, hair and urine samples from residents with health problems that could be linked to chemical exposure, and if needed conduct more extensive health examinations in local public health centers and university hospitals, according to a Ministry of Environment news release. The ministry official said the entire process could last through June 2012.
The survey team will include approximately 10 health and environmental experts from South Korean universities and the National Institute of Environmental Research. Nursing students and local volunteers will conduct the initial health interviews, said Kim Geun Bae, a NIER senior researcher and team member.
He said officials will look for diseases including leukemia, kidney and esophageal cancer that may be connected to Agent Orange and other chemicals.The Source