Saturday, October 23, 2010

Senator Dorgan Call for Medical Evaluations for Those Exposed to Sodium Dichromate at Qarmat Ali Iraq

Senator Byron L. Dorgan has called for medical evaluation and monitoring of personnel who were exposure to toxic agents in Iraq including Sodium Dichromate. The Inspector General released the first of two reports calling for notification of those potentially exposed to the toxic substances.

"The Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should notify all current and former military personnel who were identified as having served at the Qarmat Ali facility in 2003 of their eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Registry and associated sodium dichromate exposure-related medical evaluation.

The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should:
  • • publicize the eligibility of active duty personnel who served at the Qarmat Ali facility in 2003 for the Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Registry
  • review policy and procedures for active duty personnel eligible to undergo the Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Registry medical evaluation
  • • develop and publicize a means to offer DoD civilians who served at Qarmat Ali in 2003 an exam and medical surveillance similar to what the Department of Veterans Affairs avails to military personnel and veterans.
"I am very concerned about the findings we now have, and I am disappointed in the delayed release of Part II of this report. The IG's investigation and its findings are very important to the lives of U.S. soldiers and workers who were at the site. Details and definitive findings will help us ensure accountability for this exposure and flawed follow up, but even more importantly, they will help ensure that all exposed soldiers receive appropriate notice and medical attention," Dorgan said.

Former soldiers and civilian employees have brought claims against military contractors for alleged negligence in deviating from purported military contract responsibilities that have been illegally caused illness and fatal disease to those exposed.