Exposure of Naval Regional Medical Center Personnel to Toxic Substances

HRD-77-117: Published: Jul 5, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 1977.

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The deaths from leukemia of two employees who worked in the powerhouse of the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, could have been work-induced.

The powerhouse uses "number 6" fuel oil containing benzene and other contaminants. While a cause and effect relationship was not posited, benzene has been known to cause leukemia. Number 6 fuel is used by several Federal agencies, and probably by private industry, in power generation and steam-heating plants. Use of this fuel could cause dangerous exposure of employees if appropriate safeguards are not taken.

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