OSAGWI followed a five-step process in its investigation of the possible health risks related to the use of CARC. We limited our investigation to the major spray paint operations that were conducted in the Kuwait theater of operations.
A. Determine Chronology of Events
This investigation used the following methods to determine the chronology of events:
B. Determine Proper Standards and Procedures
To compare actual CARC painting practices to established policies and procedures, investigators conducted interviews with health and safety personnel and reviewed technical guides, field manuals, training videocassettes, and Gulf War message traffic.
C. Review Technical Specifications
Investigators, in coordination with the Army Research Laboratory, the Armys lead agency on all paints and coatings, conducted a thorough review of technical specifications of CARC. Investigators placed emphasis on identifying any CARC compounds that could cause or contribute to adverse health effects.
D. Determine Possible Health Effects of Compounds of Concern
We reviewed medical literature to determine what health effectsacute and/or chronicmay be associated with CARCs chemical components.
E. Review Medical Follow-up
To obtain a clearer picture of the types and levels of care provided to soldiers involved in painting operations, investigators contacted military physicians and specialists working with the Department of Defense Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program (CCEP). These physicians and specialists conducted follow-up medical examinations on a number of soldiers involved with the painting operations. The Department of Veterans Affairs shared summarized information about the symptoms and diagnoses as reported for the 325th Maintenance Company.
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