Fourth study of mortality and cancer incidence in aircraft maintenance personnel: a continuing study of F1-11 Deseal/Reseal personnel 2016

Summary

From 1974 to 2000, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) put in place formal Deseal/Reseal (DSRS) programs, in addition to informal repair methods, to correct fuel leaks in Australia’s F-111 fleet of aircraft. These programs were undertaken at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, and were suspended in early 2000 due to health concerns among DSRS personnel. A series of inquiries, investigations and scientific studies were commenced to determine the extent and impact of those health concerns.

As part of those investigations, the Mortality and Cancer Incidence Study (MCIS) was started to answer the following research question: did RAAF personnel involved either directly or indirectly in the F-111 DSRS maintenance programs (the DSRS-exposed Study Population) experience higher levels of mortality or cancer incidence compared with two groups of non-exposed RAAF personnel (the Comparison populations)—the RAAF Base Amberley (non-technical) Comparison Population and the RAAF Base Richmond (technical) Comparison Population?

Key findings

The results of the 4th MCIS show that involvement in the DSRS programs at RAAF Base Amberley was associated with a statistically significant 20–30% increase in the rate of cancer diagnosis, compared with both Comparison populations.

Involvement in the DSRS programs was also associated with a statistically significant 27% decrease in mortality compared with the Amberley Comparison Population.

Download the full study below.

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The key takeaway here is that a statistically significant 20-30% increase in cancer was turned into 27% lower mortality by awareness, vigilance and a coordinated medical response. 

  • Medical treatment for a range of conditions
  • Counselling through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling;
  • Participation in Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling coordinated programs, including the Lifestyle Management Course and Heart Health;
  • Eligibility to participate in the Better Health Program – a cancer screening and disease prevention program; and
  • approved travel to attend medical consultations and counselling sessions and healthy lifestyle programs through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling.

The policy of successive Taoisigh, Tánaistí, Ministers for Defence, Chiefs of Staff and Director Generals of the Department of Defence was, and appears still to be, to let personnel suffer and die unnecessarily without any targeted intervention whatsoever by the state. 

DELAY – DENY – DIE

 

 

‘Cancer cluster’ fury: The ‘red zone’ residents ‘being left to rot and die’

ALONG one stretch of road, 50 people have been diagnosed with cancer. The people of this Australian town had enough of being told there’s nothing wrong.

THE people of Williamtown know that 50 residents living on one stretch of rural road have been diagnosed with cancer.

They want the Government to admit it. And to fix the problem now.

The fury of those living in the “red zone” of toxic contamination near the RAAF base in the NSW township of Williamtown, near Newcastle, is palpable.

After years of drinking the water, washing in it, cooking in it, they were finally told in 2015 it was contaminated. They are out of patience, and want answers.

And their anger has only been further inflamed by a NSW Health report saying there’s no evidence of a cancer cluster caused by contamination which the Department of Defence allegedly hid from them for three years.

The report dismissing their concerns has left them devastated.

Read more on news.com.au

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This article may be of relevance to Air Corps fire fighting personnel who used AFFF in the past. The Air Corps as usual will not admit whether they used poly-fluoroalkyl substances. In well regulated workplace environments exposure should be minimal but in the Air Corps there was no regulation nor health & safety training for the handling of fire fighting foam.

However as with the Air Corps toxic chemical scandal the Australian DoD is trying to downplay the effects of dangerous chemicals just like Dr. Leo Varadkar did in the Dáil on the 7th of February.

Read information sheet on firefighting foam from the Australian Department of Defence

DELAY – DENY – DIE

Parliament of Australia – Committee Activities (Inquiries & Reports)

On Thursday 25 June 2009, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report on the inquiry into RAAF F-111 Deseal/Reseal workers and their families entitled Sealing a just outcome: Report from the Inquiry into RAAF F-111 Deseal/Reseal workers and their families.