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.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Department of Defense should investigate this hazard with the assistance of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH should also assess the potential for exposure to toxic substances in residual fuel oils at other Federal agencies and in private industries.

    Agency Affected:


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