Leukemia and defective fetus
Environmental time bombs threaten Clark and Subic
Subic – Serious environmental crisis is waiting to happen once refueling and transshipment of materiel and personnel of US military forces start in Clark and Subic, according to the People’s Task Force for Bases Clean Up.
“More damage could result because of heightened activities for two years which will be aggravated by the fact that these infrastructures have never been checked since they were installed and were completely forgotten for the past ten years.”
Massive soil and groundwater contamination would result in the use of any of the hundreds of underground storage tanks (USTs) which don’t have leak detection equipment according to the United States General Accounting Office report dated January 22, 1992.
“Toxic chemicals are likely to spread in areas surrounding leaks or breaks in the USTs and the more than 40-kilometer long fuel pipeline from Subic to Clark. The pipeline traverses rugged mountainous areas, farms and heavily populated towns and cities. The Environmental Baseline Study of the Subic Freeport by Woodward-Clyde noted that the USTs and the pipelines are ‘potential sources of leaks and spills.’ ”
“At risk from exposures to several poisons are residents in the affected areas and consumers of contaminated crops and water,” the PTFBC warned.
Benzene, toluene and xylene are only some of the chemical pollutants which would pose threats with increased activities from the US war in Afghanistan. These are all found in gasoline especially jet fuel. Benzene causes leukemia, aplastic anemia, chromosomal aberrations and bone marrow defects. Benzene is also found in industrial solvents, adhesives, explosives, asphalt, pesticides, dyes and vehicle emissions.
Toluene damages the kidney and liver and destroys the fetus. Toluene is also found in industrial solvents, paints, resins and adhesives.
Xylene destroys the kidney and causes central nervous system disorder. It is likewise found in solvents, degreasers, glues, pesticides, paint and paint remover.
“Environmental damage from military activities in this war could replicate the destruction in former live firing ranges, armaments disposal sites and jet engine maintenance areas in Clark and Subic. We know that Americans always test ammunition, materiel and fighter jets to achieve the highest level of preparedness.”
The Woodward-Clyde study concluded that the nature and levels of contamination place a serious restriction on land use planning especially in Camayan Point designated by the US Navy as the Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) area. The disposal / burning area is now part of the pricey resort estate development in Subic.
The same study recommended extensive remediation in Boton Area in Subic which was designated the Jet Engine Maintenance and Testing Facility.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002