Report On Marines' Water Omitted Cancer Chemical

Recently disclosed studies reveal that hundreds of thousands of gallons of leaking fuel at Camp Lejeune tainted the base's water with a cancer-causing chemical.

Water quality tests in 1984 uncovered high levels of the carcinogen benzene in a well at the Marine base on the North Carolina coast. An Associated Press review of thousands of documents shows that an environmental contractor downplayed and eventually ignored the chemical in its official reports.

Marine spokesman Capt. Brian Block calls the different benzene levels in the reports an honest mistake.

Up to 1 million people may have been exposed to benzene and other solvents before the wells at Lejeune were closed 22 years ago.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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