Report: Michigan military base water may have caused cancer

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A federal health agency says contaminated drinking water might have caused cancer and other chronic disease among veterans and families who lived at a former northern Michigan military base.

MLive.com reports that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has released a draft report about Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan. The report says people who consumed or had skin contact with Wurtsmith water may be at an increased risk for cancer.

Extremely high levels of benzene and trichloroethylene were documented in the former B-52 bomber base’s water before its 1993 closure.

The conclusion could push Congress to consider requiring the Department of Veteran Affairs to extend health benefits to base veterans without having to prove their illness is linked to chemical exposure.

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