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NIOSH testimony on Kuwait by P. Seligman, September 16, 1992.
NIOSH 1992 Sep; :1-14
This testimony summarizes potential adverse health effects related to service in the Persian Gulf as presented by the Department of Health and Human Services. An estimated 9,000 workers from 43 different countries battled the burning oil wells in Kuwait from February 1991 through early November 1991 when the last was capped. Exposures and health effects in US military personnel, Kuwaiti citizens, and fire fighters were described. The hazards to the soldiers were largely dependent on the concentration of the pollutants in the air near the camps. Fortunately, the plume from the fires rose up to 10,000 and 12,000 feet, mixed with the air and then dispersed for several thousand miles downwind over a period of several weeks. The particles and gases contained in the plume were diluted as the plume traveled. Even so, some minor respiratory problems were present among the soldiers. Some of the hydrocarbons measured at low concentrations have been shown to produce cancer in laboratory animals only when present at higher levels of exposure. Based on the exposure information gathered, the author concludes that there will not likely be a detectable increase in lung cancer in Gulf War Veterans as a result of the oil well fires.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Seligman-P; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Pulmonary-function; Cancer-rates; Risk-analysis; Military-personnel; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure
NTIS Accession No.
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division