International Environment:

Kuwaiti Oil Fires--Chronic Health Risks Unknown but Assessments Are Under Way

RCED-92-80BR: Published: Jan 16, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the adequacy of a 1991 interagency report on the Kuwait oil fires, focusing on the report's findings that: (1) there was no significant acute health risk from the pollution levels to people with normal respiratory capacity; and (2) more data are needed to determine long-term health risks.

GAO found that: (1) the report's findings were reasonable, since the study's scope was limited, the study team qualified its findings and conclusions, and the team recognized the need for more data to determine long-term health risks; (2) additional monitoring indicated that Kuwait's air quality has been within standards except for high particulate levels; and (3) the Army and the Environmental Protection Agency have initiated GAO-endorsed actions to assess long-term health risks.

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