* NOTE: UNEDITED *
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESSES
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JULY 9, 1996
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The meeting convened at the Ambassador
West Hotel, 1300 North State Parkway, at the hour of
9:00 o'clock a.m.
Sylvia Copeland and Rich McNally 3
Brian Martin 42
Colonel Edward Koenigsburg 77
Holly Gwin 139
Mark Brown 144
Kelley Brix 187
Michael Kowalok 219
Lois Joellenbeck 228
2 (9:30 a.m.)
3 DR. LASHOF: We are ready to resume our
5 This morning we are going to begin with a
6 presentation by CIA on the chemical, biological, and
7 radiological weapons from the Gulf War. I want to
8 thank the CIA for its diligence in this effort and for
9 catalyzing the investigation into the Kamisiyah
10 incident and we're very pleased to have you here this
12 Ms. Copeland, do you want to start off?
13 MS. COPELAND: Thanks. Dr. Lashof,
14 members of the Committee, we are pleased to appear
15 before you this morning to discuss our on-going
16 efforts related to reports of possible exposure of our
17 troops to chemical or biological agents in the Persian
19 Our Director strongly supports CIA's work
20 on this important issue and continues to encourage us
21 to bring forth important results of our study. Today
22 we will provide our key findings and some new
1 information regarding the presence of chemical agents
2 at Kamisiyah, Muhammadiyat, and Al-Muthanna.
3 First our key findings. We conclude that
4 Iraq did not use chemical agents, nor were chemical
5 agents located in Kuwait. In addition, on the basis
6 of intelligence information available, and modeling to
7 date, we assess that U.S. troops were not exposed to
8 chemical agents released by aerial bombing of Iraqi
10 However, we have identified, and will
11 discuss, potential fallout concerns in the case of a
12 rear area chemical weapons storage bunker in southern
13 Iraq that was destroyed by U.S. ground troops shortly
14 after the end of the war.
15 Chemical weapons in the Kuwaiti Theater of
16 Operations. We conclude that Iraq had chemical
17 weapons at two sites in Iraq within the Iraqi, within
18 the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations, or the KTO.
19 Chemical weapons were destroyed by U.S. forces at one
20 of these facilities, Kamisiyah, also called Tall Al
21 Lahm. It's an ammunitions storage area.
22 Both Kamisiyah and the second site, An
1 Nasiriyah ammunition storage depot southwest, were
2 rear areas depots near the northern boundary of the
3 KTO in Iraq and stored mostly conventional munitions.
4 UNSCOM inspected chemical munitions at or
5 near Kamisiyah in October 1991 and identified 122
6 millimeter cycloserine, also called GB/GF, nerve
7 agent-filled rockets, and one 55 millimeter mustard
8 rounds. At the time, it was not clear whether the
9 chemical weapons identified had been present during
10 the war or whether, as was suspected at other
11 locations, the Iraqis had moved the munitions after
12 the war and just prior to the 1991 UNSCOM inspection.
13 This uncertainty was only cleared up
14 through the recent comprehensive review of all
15 intelligence information and the UNSCOM inspection in
16 May 1996. The following information was obtained by
17 UNSCOM during its October 1991 inspection:
18 At a pit area, about 1 kilometer south of
19 the Kamisiyah storage area, UNSCOM found several
20 hundred, mostly intact, 122 millimeter rockets
21 containing nerve agent. Detected by sampling and with
22 a chemical agent monitor CAMs.
1 In an open area, about 5 kilometers west
2 of Kamisiyah, inspectors found approximately 6,000
3 intact 155 millimeter rounds containing mustard agent,
4 as indicated by CAMs.
5 At a third location, a single bunker,
6 among 100 bunkers, called bunker 73 by Iraq, remnants
7 of 122 millimeter rockets were identified.
8 The 1991 inspection and also a 1992
9 inspection, in which UNSCOM destroyed rockets in the
10 pit, left uncertainty as to whether the munitions in
11 bunker 73 were chemical, because there was no sampling
12 or positive CAM readings and inspectors did not
13 document characteristic features of chemical munitions
14 in that bunker.
15 The Iraqis claim during the October 1991
16 inspection, that coalition troops had destroyed bunker
17 73 earlier that year. These Iraqi statements were
18 viewed at the time with skepticism because of the
19 broad and continuous use of deception by the Iraqis
20 against UNSCOM. In conjunction with DOD
21 investigators, in March 1996, we determined that the
22 U.S. 37th Engineering Battalion had destroyed that
1 bunker, along with a number of other bunkers on March
2 4th, 1991. However, it was not until UNSCOM's May
3 1996 inspection at Kamisiyah, that it was determined
4 that bunker 73 contained remnants of 122 millimeter
5 chemical rockets. Again, this was a fact that earlier
6 inspections left uncertain.
7 UNSCOM in May 1996 documents the presence
8 of high density polyethylene inserts burster tubes,
9 fill plugs, and other characteristics of Iraqi
10 chemical munitions. The rockets had been filled with
11 a combination of the agent sarin and cycloserine, or
12 GB/GF, based on analysis of the contents of the
13 rockets UNSCOM found in 1991 in the pit area just
14 outside Kamisiyah storage area. Iraq now claims to
15 have moved 2,160 unmarked 122 millimeter nerve agent
16 rockets to bunker 73 from the Al-Muthanna CW
17 production storage facility just before the start of
18 the air war.
19 According to Iraq, rockets started leaking
20 immediately, motivating the Iraqis to move 1,100
21 rockets, one-by-one, out of the bunker to a pit area
22 2 kilometers away where they were buried.
1 During the May 1996 inspection, Iraq also
2 told UNSCOM that the 6,000 155 millimeter mustard
3 rounds UNSCOM found in the open area at Kamisiyah in
4 October 1991 had been stored at one bunker at An
5 Nasiriyah until 15 February 1991, just before the
6 ground war. Iraq claims that fear of coalition
7 bombing motivated An Nasiriyah depot personnel to move
8 the intact mustard rounds to the open area 5
9 kilometers from the Kamisiyah depot, where the rounds
10 were camouflaged with canvas.
11 Modeling of the potential hazard caused by
12 the destruction of bunker 73, indicates that an area
13 around the bunker, at least 2 kilometers in all
14 directions, and 4 kilometers downwind, could have been
15 contaminated at or above the level for causing acute
16 symptoms, including runny nose, headache, and miosis,
17 as you see in this figure. An area upwind, up to 25,
18 excuse me, up to 25 kilometers downwind, could have
19 been contaminated at the much lower general population
20 dosage limit.
21 This dosage, from army manuals, is for
22 protection of the general population and is a 72-hour
1 exposure at 0.000003, five zeros and a three,
2 milligram per cubic meter. Significantly lower than
3 the .0001 milligram per cubic meter occupational limit
4 defined for 8 hours. Based on wind models and
5 observations of a video of destruction activity at
6 Kamisiyah, we determined that the downwind direction
7 was northeast to east.
8 Some of the following modeling assumptions
9 were based on data from U.S. testing in 1966 that
10 involved destruction of a bunker filled with 1,850 GB
11 rockets of similar maximum range to the Iraqi rockets
12 found in bunker 73. U.S. rockets had a range of about
13 15 to 20 kilometers and the Iraqi rockets had a range
14 of 18 kilometers.
15 Our assumptions on the model were: We
16 used 1,060 rockets, as was indicated by Iraq that were
17 in the bunker, the rockets were filled with 8
18 kilograms of a 2:1 ratio of GB to GF. We assumed the
19 contents to be 100 percent pure agent, so therefore,
20 we didn't take into account any impurities or
21 degradation products, making a conservative estimate.
22 10 percent of the rockets we modeled
1 ejected from the bunker, half of which falling
2 randomly within a 200-meter circle, the other half
3 falling within a 2-kilometer circle, based on U.S.
4 test data.
5 All but 2.5 percent of the agent in the
6 bunker degraded by heat from explosion and motor crate
7 burning, based on U.S. tests, and the Iraqis also had
8 crates that the rockets were in.
9 The winds were slow to the northeast, then
10 to the east, based on modeling and again, analysis of
11 the videotape of destruction activity at Kamisiyah.
12 Our models, however, do not include
13 affects of the reported 32 to 37 conventional
14 ordinance bunkers detonating and simultaneously with
15 the chemical bunker. The added thermal energy created
16 by explosions and fires in the other bunkers and solar
17 heating, caused by the increased amounts of smoke,
18 would tend to degrade agent, as well as more quickly
19 fill the column of air near the bunker, to an altitude
20 of 800 to 1,200 meters.
21 This more rapid vertical spreading would
22 tend to lower ground contamination area and actually
1 shorten the footprint of the model.
2 Chemical fallout from aerial bombing in
3 Iraq. On the basis of all available information, we
4 conclude that coalition aerial bombing resulted in
5 damage to filled chemical munitions at two facilities,
6 Muhammadiyat and Al-Muthanna. Both locations, both
7 are located in remote areas west of Baghdad. Our
8 modeling indicates that fallout from these facilities
9 did not reach troops in Saudi Arabia. According to
10 the most recent Iraqi declarations, less than 5
11 percent of Iraq's approximately 700 metric tons of
12 chemical agents stockpile was destroyed by chemical,
13 by a coalition bombing.
14 In most cases, the Iraqis did not store CW
15 munitions in bunkers they believed the coalition would
16 target. The Iraqis stored many of the CW munitions in
17 the open to protect them from coalition detection and
18 bombing. In addition, all known CW and precursor
19 production lines were either inactive or had been
20 dismantled by the start of the air campaign.
21 Bombing of An Nasiriyah storage area
22 southwest on 17 January 1991 did not produce any
1 chemical agent fallout. In May 1996, UNSCOM
2 inspectors inspected the bunkers at the site and were
3 able to discover that with one exception, the bunkers
4 had only contained conventional weapons.
5 According to Iraq, the one bunker that did
6 contain chemical agent, contained 6,000 mustard rounds
7 on 17 January. It was identified as bunker 8 by Iraq.
8 But this bunker was untouched throughout the war by
9 aerial bombing. And as I discussed earlier, these
10 mustard rounds began to be moved to an open area near
11 Kamisiyah on 15 February 1991.
12 Therefore, the bunker that was bombed on
13 17 January did not contain chemical agent and could
14 not have produced any fallout.
15 At Muhammadiyat, also called Qubaysah
16 storage area, Iraq declared that 200 mustard filled
17 and 12 sarin filled aerial bombs were destroyed by
18 coalition bombing.
19 We have modeled the contaminated area,
20 resulting from bombing of Muhammadiyat, a site at
21 least 410 kilometers from U.S. troops stationed at
22 Rafa and even further from the bulk of U.S. troops.
1 Bombing of this facility started on
2 19 January and continued throughout the air war. We
3 have been unable to determine exactly when the
4 chemical bombs were destroyed. Based on recent Iraqi
5 declarations, we have modeled release of 2.9 metric
6 tons of sarin and 15 metric tons of mustard, for all
7 possible bombing dates.
8 For these days, as for the whole time
9 period of the bombing, southerly winds occur only a
10 few days. The following figures show that for general
11 population limit dosages above 0.013 milligram minutes
12 per cubic meter, maximum downward dispersions in the
13 general southerly direction for sarin is about 300
14 kilometers. And then for mustard, is 130 kilometers.
15 Neither the first effects, nor the general
16 population limit levels reached U.S. troops that were
17 stationed in Saudi Arabia.
18 When predicting very low concentration
19 levels far down range of the source, large dispersions
20 are created that are difficult to model. However, we
21 assess that all results are conservative, because
22 optimal times and dates to produce the maximum
1 dispersions toward Saudi Arabia were chosen.
2 In addition, the models do not account for
3 phenomena such as deposition onto the ground, and rain
4 removal of agent, that would greatly diminish
5 potential downwind exposure.
6 At Al-Muthanna, also called Samarra, the
7 primary Iraqi CW production and storage facility, Iraq
8 declared that 2,500 chemical rockets containing about
9 17 metric tons of sarin nerve agent, had been
10 destroyed by coalition bombing. UNSCOM's inspectors
11 were unable to verify the exact number because of
12 damage to the rockets.
13 We have modeled the possible for this
14 single bunker as well and determined that for the
15 general population limit dosage, the most southerly
16 dispersion is 160 kilometers. Again, well short of
17 U.S. troops.
18 Finally, we have found no information to
19 suggest that casualties occurred inside Iraq as a
20 result of CW agents released from the bombing of these
21 sites. This is probably because these two facilities
22 are in remote locations, far from any population
1 centers. The Muhammadiyat and Al-Muthanna sites are
2 both over 30 kilometers from the nearest Iraqi towns.
3 We have completed the main part of our
4 review of intelligence and will be submitting a final
5 report to you in the next couple of weeks that will
6 also go on GulfLINK.
7 We will continue to be diligent in
8 tracking any leads that surface in the future. If we
9 find any information pointing to chemical or
10 biological agent exposures, or impacting significantly
11 on the issue of Gulf War veterans' illnesses, we will
12 again work with the Department of Defense to announce
13 those findings.
14 DR. LASHOF: Thank you very much,
15 Ms. Copeland.
16 Let me ask a couple of questions first to
17 start this off and then I'll turn it to the whole
19 I want to be completely clear on the time
20 frame at which we knew what we knew, when did we know
21 it, and what we knew.
22 From what we heard from UNSCOM yesterday,
1 both in '91 and '92, they did inspect the Kamisiyah
2 area and reported and stated that it was a public
3 report that there were chemical weapons, rockets
4 containing chemical weapons at those sites.
5 You stated in your testimony that there
6 was uncertainty as to whether the munitions in bunker
7 73 were chemical and you state that because there were
8 no sampling of positive CAM readings. Now, does that
9 mean that no sampling was done and no CAM readings
10 were taken, and so they were negative, and so there
11 were no positive because you didn't do any readings,
12 or CAM readings were done and they were negative,
13 therefore, you had no positive. Can you enlighten?
14 MS. COPELAND: Yeah. I know what you
15 mean. The focus at that time was on identifying the
16 chemical munitions in order for destruction. And to
17 our knowledge at that time, there was no positive CAM
18 readings. I'm not sure whether or not they actually
19 took CAM readings, they did take, okay, they did take
20 CAM readings.
21 DR. LASHOF: They took CAM readings?
22 MS. COPELAND: There were no positive CAM
2 DR. LASHOF: That's prior to our
3 destroying, you're talking about now?
4 MS. COPELAND: No, no, that's after.
5 DR. LASHOF: After our destruction?
6 MS. COPELAND: After destruction.
7 DR. LASHOF: Okay.
8 MS. COPELAND: UNSCOM went there after
10 DR. LASHOF: Right. That's what I
12 MS. COPELAND: Right.
13 DR. LASHOF: I thought, when you said you
14 were, they were looking to destroy.
15 MS. COPELAND: Well, they were looking to
16 destroy the, right, that was UNSCOM mission.
17 DR. LASHOF: Right.
18 MS. COPELAND: And so when they found the
19 other munitions there, their goal and their job was to
20 destroy those munitions.
21 DR. LASHOF: Right. Right.
22 MS. COPELAND: That was the focus.
1 DR. LASHOF: So you're saying that UNSCOM
2 was not sure that there were chemicals in those at
3 that time? That's not what I got from yesterday's
5 MS. COPELAND: In bunker 73.
6 DR. LASHOF: Yeah.
7 MS. COPELAND: There was no documentation
8 on the types of rockets in that bunker. And so
9 therefore, there was, there was not a positive
10 conclusion, that's why the last time I testified, I
11 couldn't say that those were chemical rockets. I
12 could say that those were 122 millimeter rockets,
13 there was suspicion that there were chemicals. The
14 Iraqis claimed that they were chemical rockets. But
15 since they hadn't characterized and documented the
16 characteristics of those rockets, we couldn't be for
18 MS. NISHIMI: But you knew that there were
19 chemical shells in the open pit?
20 MS. COPELAND: In the open pit, correct.
21 In the open pit adjacent to it and that's what I think
22 they were answering yesterday.
1 In Kamisiyah, we were sure there were
2 chemical weapons. In the open pit and in the area
3 that contained the 6,000 mustard rounds.
4 MS. NISHIMI: And when were you sure there
5 were chemical weapons present there?
6 MS. COPELAND: We were sure there were
7 chemical weapons present at Kamisiyah in '91, what we
8 were unsure of was whether or not those rockets were
9 brought in just prior to the inspection, or were there
10 during the war. But the presence was known.
11 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Are there, does the
12 Committee have other questions?
13 DR. TAYLOR: I guess I have one question
14 about the documentation.
15 Was that throughout Iraq that they didn't
16 document which rockets were chemical versus those that
18 MS. COPELAND: If they found rounds that
19 were intact, they documented it and then they went
20 through and described that yesterday.
21 In this particular bunker, they didn't
22 document what they had found in that bunker.
1 Therefore, others looking at it and trying to
2 determine whether or not there were actual chemical
3 munitions, have no hard evidence to go forward with.
4 I mean, now we can say they've documented the liners,
5 they've documented the burster tubes, and feel very
6 confident that in fact those were chemical munitions.
7 DR. TAYLOR: But prior to that, they could
8 not do that.
9 MS. COPELAND: But prior to that they had
10 not done that.
11 MS. NISHIMI: In bunker 73?
12 MS. COPELAND: In bunker 73.
13 MS. NISHIMI: But in the open pit adjacent
14 to the bunker. In 1991 and in 1992 UNSCOM did
16 MS. COPELAND: Did document those chemical
17 munitions --
18 MS. NISHIMI: Those munitions.
19 MS. COPELAND: And did document the type
20 of agent in those munitions.
21 MS. NISHIMI: But your position is that
22 CIA did not know when those munitions were brought in
1 1991 and 1992, is that a fair assessment?
2 MS. COPELAND: That's, that's correct.
3 MS. NISHIMI: What makes you believe that
4 here in 1996, you know whether Iraq brought those
5 munitions in or not?
6 MS. COPELAND: Now that we've gone through
7 and done a thorough assessment, first of all, let me
8 go back a bit and just kind of give you some of the
9 atmospherics in the focus at the time.
10 MS. NISHIMI: Well, no.
11 MS. COPELAND: Okay.
12 MS. NISHIMI: I'd like to, to focus on
13 that question. What changed between 1992 and 1996?
14 MS. COPELAND: But that sites --
15 MS. NISHIMI: The atmospherics, I
17 MS. COPELAND: Right.
18 MS. NISHIMI: But UNSCOM's material
19 findings apparently did not differ between 1991, 1992,
20 and 1996. You didn't believe the Iraqis in 1991 and
21 1992, what's changed now in 1996?
22 MS. COPELAND: In 1991, when the Iraqis
1 were deceiving us at every single one of the locations
2 and not being forthcoming with their chemical agent
3 stockpile, we did not investigate when those munitions
4 were brought in there because at that time our focus
5 was on identifying chemical munitions, identifying the
6 residual Iraqi capability, in order for it to be
7 destroyed so it wouldn't be there in the future.
8 So in March '95 when our focus changed,
9 when CIA then changed the focus from identifying
10 stockpile and capability, to looking at whether or not
11 there is possibility for exposure or use, that we
12 start looking at this information in a different light
13 and then did a comprehensive intelligence review
14 looking at it in a different light and started
15 investigating it.
16 So it's that thorough investigation,
17 thorough review, in combination with the recent Iraqi,
18 I mean UNSCOM inspection.
19 DR. LASHOF: Can you explain why we waited
20 from '92 to '95 to go back and do that thorough
21 investigation. I understand what you just said about
22 the fact that initially you were there to try to
1 document what they had, to decide what had to be
2 destroyed, to understand everything that was going on
3 and that you didn't go back to this documentation in
5 But in view of the fact that concerns
6 about Gulf War illness, concerns among the veterans of
7 having been exposed came up a lot before '95. What
8 participated our deciding in '95 and not in '93, not
9 in '92, not in '94, to go back and look?
10 MS. COPELAND: CIA was asked in '95 to do
11 an in-depth, comprehensive intelligence review and to
12 look at that. Up until that time, our focus was
13 identifying threat, which include capabilities of
14 other countries. And in fact, in Iraq, it was the
15 capability, the residual stockpile of Iraq.
16 When we were tasked in '95, then we
17 started looking at it and put a lot of resources on
18 this issue.
19 DR. LASHOF: So basically the mission that
20 CIA was given by the government was what changed?
21 MS. COPELAND: Right.
22 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? Yes, Art.
1 DR. CAPLAN: Yesterday one of the things
2 we were told is Iraqis were not particularly picky
3 about marking their munitions, that they didn't have
4 a system or a coding system and so on.
5 And I guess I'd like you to comment, our
6 certainty that they didn't put any of these weapons
7 into the battlefield theaters based upon, knowing that
8 they weren't all that careful and cautious about what
9 was what, either accidental or intentional use, you're
10 certain that they weren't in the Kuwaiti theater or
11 not used against our troops under any circumstances
13 MS. COPELAND: The Iraqis didn't mark
14 their munitions, that's correct. But what they did do
15 is they had units that traveled from cradle till, till
16 they were used. They had units that were with those
17 munitions, stationed with those munitions, that took
18 them from the production facility to the storage
19 facility, and then to the firing lines.
20 So therefore, even though they weren't
21 marked, and even the people who were firing them
22 didn't know what they were firing, there was a unit
1 that did know. And so they were under security.
2 So the chance of inadvertent use, we think
3 is quite minimal. From all information that we've
4 looked at, there's no information that would lead us
5 to conclude that Iraq used chemical weapons, or that
6 they were located in Kuwait.
7 DR. TAYLOR: And that's based on the fact
8 that the units were able to identify and, what are the
10 MS. COPELAND: The, the special unit that
11 guarded these munitions. From the time that they were
12 produced, actually went with the convoy to the storage
13 area and stayed there at the storage area until they
14 would move up front, would take them there and would
15 give them then to the individuals that would fire
16 them. So there was control, but there was no
18 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? David?
19 DR. HAMBURG: As I understand it, it's
20 been a very difficult task to know whether to believe
21 the rocky statements about these matters and it's
22 further my understanding that it continues up to the
1 present time to be a very difficult task, or at any
2 rate there's a high level of skepticism within UNSCOM
3 about that matter. And I'm not quite clear on whether
4 you're saying that you've come to accept Iraqi
5 statements more fully in recent times or what is your,
6 what criteria do you use to, whether to accept the
7 Iraqi statements or not?
8 MS. COPELAND: Some of them we're
9 accepting because we've done this in-depth
10 intelligence review, looking at this information from
11 a different perspective. And from looking at all the
12 information, looking at what they said, we've been
13 able to conclude that yes, we believe this part of it.
14 We certainly don't believe everything they say even
16 But this particular part, as far as those
17 munitions being present and now that the munitions in
18 bunker 73 have been documented, we believe that in
19 fact they were there, and that there were chemical
20 munitions in bunker 73.
21 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? Jim?
22 MR. TURNER: Yeah, I'd like to turn to
1 Kamisiyah specifically if we could for a minute. You
2 have reviewed a videotape that was provided to the
3 Committee by Brian Martin, a soldier who served with
4 the 37th Engineers at Kamisiyah. Are you satisfied
5 that that videotape portrays events that occurred on
6 March 4th, 1991?
7 MS. COPELAND: That videotape, it does
8 portray events. It is not a complete videotape.
9 MR. TURNER: Correct. You've matched it
10 up with meteorological indicators.
11 MS. COPELAND: We haven't matched it up,
12 we haven't matched it up with meteorological. There
13 are gaps.
14 MR. TURNER: But you are satisfied that
15 that is a tape of that event, correct?
16 MS. COPELAND: Yeah, right. Correct.
17 MR. TURNER: Now, the modeling that you've
18 done of Kamisiyah indicates that traces of sarin could
19 be spread as far as 25 kilometers downwind. As I
20 understand it, none of our chemical detectors could
21 pick up those traces, they're not that sensitive. Is
22 that your understanding?
1 MS. COPELAND: You want a go on that?
2 MR. MC NALLY: The, if, if you look back
3 at footprint, Larry, could you put up the footprint?
4 The, the general answer is, for most of the region of
5 that low level footprint, our detectors would not have
6 picked up presence, if they were on. If you look
7 towards the area between the green and, and light
9 MS. COPELAND: Put on the other one.
10 SPEAKER: The larger one?
11 MR. MC NALLY: Between the green and the
12 light blue. That area inside of that boundary is
13 about the furtherest extent that a detector that was
14 turned on would have detected.
15 DR. HAMBURG: So for those very low
16 traces, it's, our detectors were not sensitive enough
17 for the darker blue and the predominant, call it
19 MR. MC NALLY: That's correct.
20 DR. HAMBURG: I'd like to also just talk
21 for a minute about some of the assumptions that went
22 into the modeling, if we could, so that people
1 understand what the basis of it is.
2 Wind direction and wind speed are both
3 critical parameters, is that correct in modeling?
4 MS. COPELAND: That's correct.
5 DR. HAMBURG: And you base that on 3 mile,
6 3 to 5 miles-an-hour wind speed and the direction that
7 you modeled was towards the northeast?
8 MR. MC NALLY: That's right. The
9 direction was towards 26 degrees. And what we had
10 found in matching the observations in the global
11 optimized interpellation results that were put
12 together by the National Center for Atmospheric
13 Research, as well as our own modeling, shows that at
14 the surface, the winds start blowing to the northeast,
15 over the next three hours, they rotate more towards
16 the east. And as you go up in altitude, the winds
17 start, as I said, going to the northeast, and with
18 growing altitude up to the height of the, the top of
19 where the cloud is, there's also a rotation towards
20 the east.
21 MR. TURNER: Now, at those levels of
22 winds, there's a greater degree of uncertainty in the
1 data that you're relying on, isn't there? When you've
2 got 3 to 5 mile-an-hour winds, there can be periods
3 when they aren't blowing that hard, there can also be
4 some variation in direction that again, limit the
5 conclusiveness that you can draw from your atmospheric
6 modeling, is that a fair statement?
7 MR. MC NALLY: It is a fair statement. As
8 the winds get calmer, they can become more variable.
9 It is also true that this was during, during the mid-
10 afternoon, starting at 2 in the afternoon with strong
11 sunlight. That tends to make the wind direction a
12 little bit more stable.
13 And we looked at the wind direction
14 essentially over the, over the 2 10-minute time
15 windows that we had in the videotape. And during,
16 which covered from the initiation to about 30 minutes
17 after the release. And during that time period, we
18 did see a slight wind shift in the patterns.
19 And we also saw, and one of the events
20 that happens with a very high thermal environment like
21 this, it tends, in sucking the smoke and debris
22 vertically, it will start taking the wind at its base
1 and sucking it towards the ground from all directions.
2 So what we see in the second 10 minutes of
3 the videotape for instance, is where the plumes are
4 leaving the bunkers, they're tilting in towards
5 center. And as you look higher in the, higher up into
6 the cloud, they're, the movement is still in the
7 general direction. And we see a slight shift between
8 the two tapes, but not, not very much.
9 MR. TURNER: Yesterday, UNSCOM told us,
10 what I believe is new information, that the Iraqis
11 have now made a representation that they believe
12 sarin-filled rockets in the pit area were also
13 destroyed by U.S. forces in this March time frame.
14 You did not model that, did you? In this model that
15 you presented to the Committee?
16 MS. COPELAND: No, we didn't model that
17 for several reasons. Because it is new information.
18 MR. TURNER: Right.
19 MS. COPELAND: We haven't really
20 investigated it, and as I mentioned in the testimony,
21 when they took those munitions out of bunker 73, they
22 buried them. So how many were still buried, how many
1 would've been present when U.S. troops were there,
2 unburied or on top, is questionable. Because when
3 UNSCOM went in there the first time, it appeared that
4 some of the munitions had literally been bulldozed out
5 of the bunker, so how many of those were destroyed by
6 somebody blowing them up and how many destroyed by
7 bulldozing or smashing, is something that we haven't
8 been able to determine.
9 MR. TURNER: Is it fair to say that the
10 CIA's modeling to date of the Kamisiyah incident
11 represents that Agency's best assessment, given the
12 limitations of the data that's available about the
13 events that we've been reconstruct?
14 MS. COPELAND: That's correct.
15 MR. TURNER: Another feature that was
16 modeled in your modeling, and this is the last
17 question on model, I promise.
18 DR. LASHOF: That's all right. I should
19 apologize for not introducing Mr. McNally, who I
20 understand did the modeling, and that's why he is
21 responding to these questions, but for the panel
1 MR. TURNER: U.S. tests at dugway, in the
2 dugway area indicated that when a bunker is burned
3 like this, you not only have rockets inside the bunker
4 that emit or, or expel sarin, but also that there are
5 secondary explosions, sometimes rockets ignited that
6 fly out.
7 Now, your modeling took account of that
8 and that went how far, was it 2 kilometers?
9 MS. COPELAND: 2 kilometers.
10 MR. TURNER: Are there, are you aware of
11 indications that there were debris falling at further
12 distances, and would you comment on that?
13 MS. COPELAND: We are aware of that. But
14 again, we couldn't figure out quite how to model it
15 because there were so many ambiguities. How many flew
16 out? When I mentioned that the tape didn't go far
17 enough, we saw no fly-outs. If we could've seen fly-
18 outs and their general direction, that would have been
19 more helpful.
20 Also, what types of munitions flew out?
21 There were more than one bunker that blew up, 30-some.
22 So was it, what type of rocket flew out? We don't
1 know. Also, was that particular rocket that flew out,
2 how many of them were chemical, if any that flew that
4 So there were so many questions, so, so
5 many ambiguities, that we modeled data that we knew
6 was, was a real test with GB rounds that were of the
7 same type as the Iraqis.
8 MR. TURNER: On the other two sites that
9 you modeled, just quickly. If I understood correctly,
10 at Muhammadiyat, your modeling indicates that the
11 furthest southerly exposure was 300 kilometers?
12 Again, at this very trace level, which if my rough
13 math is right, is 186, 190, that kind of framework of
15 And at Al-Muthanna, it's 160 kilometers,
16 which is again about roughly 100 miles downwind.
17 If I understood again what you said
18 correctly, there is some greater level of uncertainty
19 about modeling at that great distance, of dispersal
20 and there are greater limitations when you're modeling
21 an event that large. Is that a fair summary, Mr.
1 MR. MC NALLY: That, that's a very fair
2 assumption. One, one of the things that happens is
3 the models we're using to do this have a very large
4 validation experience, within essentially the first 20
5 to 30 kilometers downwind travel.
6 There is comparisons with these classes of
7 models for some of the biological tests that bring
8 those very low concentration levels out to hundreds of
9 kilometers, similar to what we're looking at here, but
10 the validation database is much, much smaller.
11 There are reasons to have some qualms
12 about exact predictions going out that length of time.
13 Some of them that are based on modeling methodology
14 itself, some of them based on the weather
15 representation itself.
16 Essentially what we did was we took an
17 atmospheric stability, or a measure of the turbulence
18 in the atmosphere that was very conservative for the
19 length of time that this would be traveling. For
20 instance, we didn't use the kind of turbulence that
21 would be associated with daylight, which would very
22 much shorten the curves. We kept the stability
1 category that would allow the, the hazard to go out as
2 far as we possibly could for the various wind speeds
3 that we were looking at.
4 We, we also, in this modeling, weren't
5 able to represent what would happen with rain
6 occurring during the transmit time. Rain would, would
7 take and collect the agent and bring it down to the
8 ground, therefore shortening the downwind distance
9 that it would go.
10 We know in several of the dates that we
11 were looking at that there was rain, later from the,
12 from the point, but again, we didn't represent that
13 forced shortening of the downwind distance.
14 We also didn't, didn't represent
15 essentially the scavaging from the ground that occurs
16 when an agent cloud will pass by. Some of the agent
17 will become entrained in the soil and we didn't reduce
18 the amount of agent by that.
19 So we took a series of assumptions in
20 implementing this modeling to try to be as
21 conservative in estimating the downwind extent as we
22 could possibly be with these tools.
1 MR. TURNER: And this is kind of my, the
2 final thing that I would like to ask. Based on that
3 conservative modeling, as to Muhammadiyat and Al-
4 Muthanna, the closest U.S. troops were 400 kilometers,
5 or thereabouts, away, and your assessment is that
6 agent would've only traveled with 60 miles, 100
7 kilometers of those troops, is that correct?
8 MS. COPELAND: That's correct.
9 MR. TURNER: But as to Kamisiyah, there's
10 a 25-kilometer downwind footprint.
11 MS. COPELAND: Right.
12 MR. TURNER: And it depends upon where the
13 troops were.
14 MS. COPELAND: Right. That's correct.
15 MR. TURNER: Is that correct?
16 MS. COPELAND: That's correct.
17 MS. COPELAND: Thank you.
18 DR. LASHOF: Thank you, Jim. Tom?
19 MAJOR CROSS: Yeah. Have you taken this
20 downwind footprint and put it on an overlay of known
21 troop locations to see where troops were?
22 MS. COPELAND: We've given to the DOD team
1 for them to do that.
2 MAJOR CROSS: Okay.
3 DR. TAYLOR: Do we have that information
4 yet, or will DOD be able to address that?
5 DR. LASHOF: We'll be asking DOD that
7 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
8 DR. LASHOF: Who will be following very
9 shortly. I guess the only other question, oh, go
10 ahead, John, I'm sorry.
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Just a brief question
12 on the assumption as to the 15-meter height, average
13 height of, of the cloud. That seems low to me. Can
14 you justify that?
15 MR. MC NALLY: Justify it basically two
16 ways. Going back to the M55 rocket tests, the U.S.
17 tests of similar rocket. They actually had a downwind
18 grid, a vertical grid to measure the central height of
19 the cloud. From that test, it looked like 15 meters
20 was the height of the cloud, mean height of the cloud
21 for all of those tests.
22 The higher the cloud goes, and the second
1 reason is, the higher the cloud goes, the lower the
2 ground contamination level. So by taking a
3 conservative low height of release, we were --
4 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: The, the lower the
5 contamination level, but the, the longer the
6 footprint, presumably.
7 MR. MC NALLY: Well, not necessarily. It
8 will get there quicker certainly because the wind
9 speeds at altitude are higher. But that doesn't
10 necessarily guaranty that the cloud, clouds go
11 further. In fact, we have looked in our, in our
12 modeling at not only the 15-meter heights that you saw
13 here, but we did 150 meters and 1,500 meters. And
14 what we found in the cases are that the levels were
15 lower for the higher altitude releases. And the
16 actual downwind hazard was the highest for the 15-
17 meter release.
18 DR. LASHOF: All right.
19 MAJOR KNOX: I'd like to ask, are you
20 going to be doing modeling on the new information that
21 UNSCOM gave us yesterday?
22 MS. COPELAND: On, on the munitions in, in
1 the bunker?
2 MAJOR KNOX: Right.
3 MS. COPELAND: Yes. If we get some more
4 information on how many and DOD is looking into that.
5 So when we get more information that we can actually
6 model, because it's, there's 300-and-some munitions
7 that are not accounted for. And so we like to have
8 some sort of handle on the amount to model. But when
9 we get that information, we will.
10 MAJOR KNOX: So at this time, we're, we
11 still have an incomplete report?
12 MS. COPELAND: We have a complete report
13 for now, but we may be adding to it.
14 MAJOR KNOX: Based on the data that you
15 have. You have a complete report.
16 MS. COPELAND: Yeah.
17 MAJOR KNOX: Okay.
18 DR. LASHOF: Which does bring me to the
19 final question, I think, I don't think there are
21 This was a special task force set up to,
22 with this charge, to reinvestigate all this. What is
1 the life of the task force, I was under the impression
2 you were going to wrap it soon?
3 MS. COPELAND: Right.
4 DR. LASHOF: And wondering if you'll have
5 the time to do all of this?
6 MS. COPELAND: Well, we had two missions.
7 One, we had a special task force put together to
8 review all the intelligence documents and declassify
9 those documents which have pertinence to the issue.
10 That part of it we have wrapped up and we have closed
11 down the task force.
12 However, the analytic effort, the second
13 part, we are continuing and I will still be the focal
14 point on that, along with the analyst doing it. And
15 they weren't in the task force, they were doing their
16 work at their desk. And they will continue that part
17 as this information comes.
18 We will provide that final report, though,
19 as we have it now, to get that information out, and
20 then add to it as we get more information. As I said,
21 we'll continue looking at it as information becomes
22 available and continue to provide the information to
1 DOD and have the analysts available to do the work.
2 DR. LASHOF: Very good. Thank you very
3 much. Any more questions? Thank you again.
4 At this point, Mr. Brian Martin will come
5 forward and as I understand, you are formerly with the
6 37th Engineering Battalion and have the videotape that
7 we've just discussed a little bit and has been
8 verified to be a tape of our destroying the munitions
9 at 37th.
10 Mr. Martin.
11 MR. MARTIN: Thank you, members, is this
13 DR. LASHOF: Should be. Go on, yeah, it's
15 MR. MARTIN: Thank you, members of the
16 Committee for giving me the opportunity, opportunity
17 to tell you the whole truth and the real facts of what
18 really happened in March 1991 before, during, and
19 after the detonation and destruction of the Iraqi
20 bunkers at the Kamisiyah depot by the 37th Engineer
21 Battalion by someone who was actually there.
22 Before I begin my comments, I would like
1 to say, in the last few weeks, I have talked with the
2 battalion's former commander, the Battalion Command
3 Sergeant Major, and the Battalion former executive
4 officer, the three highest ranking members of our
5 battalion, to fine tune any facts that I needed for my
6 statement today.
7 Attachment A includes the battalion's
8 operation log from just before H hour to the
9 destruction of the bunkers. Nowhere in these logs
10 will you read in these logs that NBC precautions were
11 taken or chemical detectors were employed. Or for
12 that matter, notation for teams searching for
14 Attachment B is part of my personal diary
15 describing the events that took place from March 3rd,
16 1991 to March 8th, 1991. I am not here to embarrass
17 any government agency or department. I am here to set
18 a terribly distorted record straight.
19 My name is Brian Martin, I'm a 33-year-
20 old, I am 33 years old and permanently disabled by VA
21 standards. I was a soldier assigned to the 37th
22 Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg from May 1988 to
1 December 1991.
2 In October 1990, our Battalion deployed to
3 Saudi Arabia. It returned April 7th, 1991.
4 I am also one of the essentials that moved
5 into northern Iraq during the cease fire to destroy
6 the ammunitions and bunkers near An Nasiriyah, known
7 as the Kamisiyah depot.
8 One more very important item I would like
9 to add for anyone questioning my knowledge of these
10 incidents and how I know what I know, is that I was
11 also the Battalion Commander's driver and aid during
12 Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, giving me
13 the security clearance to know what the Commander knew
14 at all times, ie: orders, missions, passwords,
15 frequencies, et cetera. We were together 24 hours a
16 day, 7 days a week.
17 On March 3rd, 1991, during the cease fire,
18 the Commander received orders to take an attachment of
19 12 Bravo combat engineers and other needed troops from
20 the battalion to the Kamisiyah depot and send the
21 nonessentials to the rear and Rafa. Approximately 150
22 soldiers entered the bunker area to place the
1 explosive and charges. Our battalion ran low on C-4
2 explosives to accomplish this mission, but thanks to
3 pure dumb luck, a tractor-trailer was nearby filled
4 with Russian C-3 explosives. We confiscated the C-3
5 and used it to destroy the 100 bunkers in the depot
6 and 43 warehouses nearby filled with ammunition.
7 Some members of the units returned to the
8 3-mile safe zones during the preparations of the
9 bunkers. Several member of our battalion entered the
10 bunkers with a video camera, taking turns filming
11 different things. We found Jordanian, Russian,
12 Italian, Netherlands, and more, but most surprising
13 was tons of American ammunition in these bunkers.
14 From 155 millimeter rounds to individually vacuum
15 packed shotgun shells made by Winchester.
16 To my knowledge, where I saw it, at no
17 time whatsoever were any of our M-8 chemical alarms
18 deployed for use to search for chemicals. There were
19 no chemical teams that searched the bunkers at any
20 time that we, before or after we exploded them. There
21 was never an order given or carried out to deploy our
1 I have heard from a few other members of
2 the battalion who did hear an alarm go off and did go
3 to MOP 4 for just a few minutes, but again, they were
4 not in the same area of the 3-mile safe zone, as I
6 There is, this is by no fault of the
7 commanders. He had no clue to the existence of
8 chemicals either. Our safety was first, foremost, and
9 always to him. Had we known, things would've been
10 much different then and today for many of us. This I
11 testify to you in good conscious about these facts.
12 This videotape has many surprising
13 important pieces to it. There are so many different
14 incidents that can dispute what the Assistant
15 Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Steven
16 Joseph, who has briefed the press about most recently,
17 his sworn statement to Congressman Shay's Human
18 Resource Committee.
19 Upon reviewing this videotape, you will
20 see how large and how many bunkers there are. You
21 will see the American soldiers from the 37th Engineer
22 Battalion entered, on top of, around, and inside a few
1 of these bunkers. You will see all the different
2 types of ammunition that we saw and how many different
3 countries had exported ammunition to Iraq, to include
4 the United States.
5 You will see some of the Russian C-3 and
6 our C-4 used to detonate the bunkers. You will see
7 the way we moved back three miles in anticipation of
8 the explosion. You will see the actual explosion and
9 then witness the rockets and live rounds raining down
10 on us from the explosions.
11 You will also see soldiers jumping and
12 running for cover when we began getting rained on by
13 the ammunition from the bunkers. You will hear near
14 the end of the tape, Charlie Company's Commander tell
15 his first sergeant and one of the platoon leaders,
16 this never happened, we're at peace, we're not even
18 You can also see the large black and gray
19 clouds blowing over our heads, covering the sky in
20 this videotape. The one bunker that the Air Force,
21 you will also see the one bunker that the Air Force
22 did hit from the air, only caved in the roof, not
1 destroying the ammunition inside.
2 What you won't see in this tape, is not
3 one soldier was carrying a chemical alarm, much less
4 an M256 kit when entering the bunkers. You won't see
5 any chemical teams of any nature searching the bunkers
6 or looking for chemicals. You won't see at any time
7 that any of us have on our chemical gear, MOP 4 level.
8 You will not see a clear blue sky 20
9 minutes into the detonation because of the clouds of
10 smoke raising into the air over our heads. At that
11 point, the Lieutenant that's holding the camera, he
12 even makes the comment, the wind is blowing the wrong
13 way, as it blows in a southwest direction towards us.
14 This videotape clearly shows the
15 destruction of 33 or so bunkers at one time. What was
16 supposed to be a simple one-day destruction mission
17 had turned into a lengthy task because of the hot
18 rounds flying up all over the area.
19 Members of the 307th 82nd Airborne was
20 about 10 miles away and reported incoming in their
21 area, causing them to move back from their mission at
22 Toleo Airfield. This is in the operation log that
1 I've included.
2 The Commander was in a helicopter overhead
3 looking for damage assessment when we ourselves were
4 ordered back 10 miles after our battalion XO found a
5 safe area for us to move to.
6 Ladies and gentlemen, this turned into an
7 extremely dangerous mission. We chased hundreds of
8 Iraqis out of the bunkers to keep them from stealing
9 ammo to fight Saddam's Republican Guard, just minutes
10 before the detonation. PSYOPS was screaming from the
11 helicopter in Arabic, warning of the upcoming
12 explosions also.
13 I'd like to compare it throwing a lit
14 match into a box of Roman candles and bottle rockets.
15 It took five more days before it was safe enough for
16 our battalion to enter into the Kamisiyah depot again
17 to blow the remaining 70 or so bunkers.
18 Since I have returned Stateside after that
19 mission, I have long suffered from illnesses. Acute
20 or chronic, call it what you want. I still suffer and
21 still do today. Or I have suffered and still do
22 today. I was medically diagnosed by the Persian Gulf
1 Referral Center in Washington D.C. by Dr. Frances
2 Murphy in December of 1993 with multiple chemical
3 sensitivity; decreased uptake in the fusion of the
4 temple lobe with scarring due to chemical exposure;
5 inflammatory bowel disease with scarring of the colon
6 and stomach, also due to chemical exposure; Reiter's
7 syndrome; chronic fatigue syndrome, but yet I'm an
8 insomniac; and since that time, I have been diagnosed
9 with abnormal semen with high PH alkaline levels and
10 abnormally high platelets around my blood cells. I
11 have just recently begun testing for Lupus and they
12 think that I'm in the early stages of Alzheimer's. I
13 have a lower back condition now and will soon be
14 fitted for a hearing aid to use at night to drown out
15 the ringing in my ears from tinnitus.
16 I would like to add for the record that at
17 no time did anyone from the 37th Engineering Battalion
18 know what was in those bunkers. We were combat
19 engineers. I was just a motor transport operator, not
20 a chemical expert. We were good soldiers that went
21 into an area to do a mission that was ordered by pay-
22 grades higher than ours. We knew nothing and we are
1 innocent victims of circumstances.
2 In light of the surprisingly newfound
3 honesty from the Pentagon, my hope is that they will
4 also come forward, admitting the many other Desert
5 Storm veterans' experiences that may be attributing to
6 their's and their families health problems.
7 This was not the only area of bunkers in
8 the theater. The Pentagon has said that there was ten
9 more bunker areas. This is a gross underestimate of
10 the truth once again. There were hundreds of bunker
11 areas, both in Iraq and Kuwait. Ask any of us that
12 were there.
13 In conclusion, I would like to say the
14 Pentagon admitted that they new about this information
15 in October of '91. The United Nations told them of it
16 again in 1995. Since that time they have continuously
17 lied and denied the truth about our exposures and in
18 fact lied and denied about chemicals even being
19 present on the battlefield.
20 Now I ask all information be declassified
21 and brought to the table and those who have perjured
22 themselves and are responsible for hiding information
1 from you, me, the press, and the American people,
2 should be dealt with accordingly with the harshest
3 criminal punishment allowed by the laws of this land.
4 Too many Persian Gulf veterans have died
5 and are still dying. Too many family members are
6 suffering their own unrecognized hell and way too many
7 babies have been born deformed to take this evidence
8 in proof of a continuous cover-up by the DOD lightly.
9 All I ask is that for once, since we
10 Desert Storm veterans have come home, since any
11 veterans have come home, please do what's right by us.
12 Thank you.
13 DR. LASHOF: Do you want to show the
14 videotape at this point?
15 MR. MARTIN: Yes, ma'am. Right now what
16 you're seeing is just before the detonation, there's
17 a few of our vehicles, that's Charlie Company right
18 there. There's one of the lieutenants from the LE, or
19 light equipment platoon walking by. What you see on
20 top of the trucks are soldiers.
21 As soon as the detonation starts, I think
22 we have to go a little bit further, but as soon as the
1 detonation starts, you'll see a hand point into the
2 air and that's when the rockets started coming in on
3 us. You will see those, those little figures on top
4 of those trucks jumping down and running for cover.
5 I got to apologize for the quality of the
6 tape. The person that has the original, the only way
7 we were allowed to make a copy was to set up a camera
8 in front of the T.V.
9 At one point during the cook-offs,
10 Sergeant First Class Hollister, who was the operation
11 sergeant for Charlie Company, was sitting in his
12 humvee and a rocket came underneath his humvee, spun
13 around and shot back out across the canal, landing in
14 the bank of the canal and exploding.
15 Okay. There, he's pointing at a rocket.
16 If there was a much more clearer view, you'd see, you
17 can see dogs running, you would see a, an orange glare
18 shoot across the screen and that was a rocket that
19 shot right across the front of us.
20 These people will start, will start
21 running, I guaranty it.
22 There, you would've seen that if this was
1 a clear image, but there was a rocket shooting that
2 way up over our head.
3 You can see a man hunkered over in the
4 front of the vehicle to the left right there. Okay,
5 see him getting down from the truck? That's because
6 they're coming in on us. They're coming behind us,
7 they're coming under our vehicles, they're landing in
8 front of us. They're shooting in front of us, they're
9 shooting to the right side and to the left side of us.
10 That was when Major Randy Reggins, the
11 Battalion Executive Officer, him and his driver,
12 decided to go look for a safe area for us to go to
13 because the Commander was in a helicopter flying
15 You won't see anybody in MOP 4, you won't
16 see any, any chemical precautions whatsoever. There's
17 a few running to their truck.
18 I personally climbed under my own, my own
19 humvee. I was reading a letter that my wife wrote me
20 and when the rounds started coming in, I climbed
21 underneath my humvee.
22 If we watched this whole videotape, those
1 clouds right there that you see will come over the top
2 of us. And if the battery wouldn't have gone dead,
3 you would've seen that the whole area that we were in
4 was engulfed in smoke.
5 DR. TAYLOR: The winds there again, Brian,
6 are which direction? Southwest did you say?
7 MR. MARTIN: Yeah. Southwest. We came
8 into this area from the south. We moved back to the
10 Now, this is actual footage, this is not
11 a model. This is not a, this is not a project by a,
12 by a government entity. This is live footage from the
13 cease fire on March 4th, 1991. This is the truth
14 right here. Actual real evidence. That, that wind is
15 not blowing to the north.
16 We were spread out, oh, it's hard to say,
17 but the 150, there wasn't 3 or 400 of us up there in
18 this area at this time, there was only about 150 to
19 160 of us. And our vehicles, you can see how they
20 were spread out around the whole area.
21 To the left is when, to the left is where
22 most of the troops were engulfed by the smoke.
1 You can still see people hunkered down.
2 But we moved back, we moved back 12 miles. Because if
3 you look on, if you go to attachment A, page 4/5, down
4 in March '91, let's see, 041550, the fourth from the,
5 one, two, three, four, five from the bottom. It says
6 that we moved out of bivouac site due to the danger of
8 On the next page, the second from the top,
9 discussion with the ASP was put on hold until the 82nd
10 Airborne Division clears area due to collateral
11 damage. They were in Toleo Airfield with a tox set-
12 up. They asked us to not detonate anymore until they
13 could get the hell out of the area because incoming
14 was coming in on them, 10 to 12 miles away.
15 And those are the operation logs from,
16 like I said, the time that started the ground war
17 until the end of the bunker detonations.
18 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Thank you very much.
19 Are there questions of Mr. Martin?
20 DR. TAYLOR: The others that served with
21 you in your battalion, how many of them have come down
22 with illnesses similar to what you're experiencing?
1 MR. MARTIN: The Battalion Commander
2 himself is experiencing lung difficulties, he has to
3 breath with an inhaler now. There's Sergeant Tullius
4 and another sergeant down in Texas who bleed from the,
5 from the, I don't know if, I don't want to embarrass
6 them, but they bleed from the penis and the rectum.
7 They are very ill.
8 There's, the individuals that I have
9 talked to since the, the June 21st press release have
10 had a lot of problems. I mean, it's well documented
11 that they were receiving disability also.
12 And, no, I have chemical injuries. But
13 they're not compensable under the VA standards because
14 there's no diagnostic codes for chemical injury. And,
15 you know, I don't think I would have these diagnosis,
16 diagnoses if it wasn't for some sort of chemical
18 I have testified in front of congressional
19 committee and senate committees, house committees,
20 NIH, everyone of my testimonies, if anybody wanted to
21 go back through them. I say when I was in the Gulf I
22 was sick, I showed, I had the runny eyes, the burning
1 eyes, the runny nose, the diarrhea, the stomach
2 problems. I came home with those problems. On April
3 8th I was rushed to Wilmette Community Hospital on
4 Fort Bragg with two I.V.s in my arms. This was a
5 every-day occurrence. Every time I would try to do a
6 company run for PT, I was constantly being taken to
7 the hospital. And all they could tell me was I had
8 some sort of stomach viral infection that they knew
9 nothing about. And that's when I decided it's time
10 for me to get out of the Army.
11 DR. TAYLOR: You also mentioned that there
12 were, there was a troop 12 miles away from where you
13 were, do you know or are you aware of any other troops
15 MR. MARTIN: Well, I've been trying to
16 find out before this hearing. I was trying to find
17 out as many units in the area as I can. I know that
18 the 307th was there, from the 82nd, and I know that
19 there was a transportation unit, the 6-something, I
20 just don't remember all of it.
21 Mr. Albruck yesterday, his, his account of
22 what happened wasn't quite accurate. There was, there
1 was no trailers brought in of explosives and he was
2 clear out of the area during the detonation. Him and
3 a few people came in to shoo the Shiites out of the
4 area before we came in. So I don't know if Troy
5 Albruck was still there or not. I just know that by
6 the time we got there, his nine-man unit was way gone.
7 MS. NISHIMI: That's something that staff
8 was looking for.
9 Brian, if I could, I just, I believe you
10 said that there were no detectors used during the pre-
11 demolition and, and during the demolition, is that
13 MR. MARTIN: Yes, ma'am.
14 MS. NISHIMI: Then can you comment on
15 DOD's assertion that in fact during the demolition,
16 alarms, detectors were used and that in fact, on one
17 occasion alarm went off but then was judged to be
18 false because it wasn't confirmed?
19 MR. MARTIN: My personal opinion of why
20 they said that or what I know about the actual war?
21 MS. NISHIMI: What, just comment on that.
22 MR. MARTIN: I, I don't know. I, there
1 was none.
2 MS. NISHIMI: Could there have been
3 detectors used and not to your knowledge, by other
5 MR. MARTIN: We didn't use any of them,
6 even during the ground war. It went so fast that we
7 never pulled out an MA chemical alarm. Not at all.
8 And then when we were set up there, Sergeant Tullius
9 down in Texas, he told me personally that when he was
10 about a mile and-a-half away, driving to the 3-mile
11 zone, he held a MA chemical detector out the window,
12 out of the window, and it started sounding, and he put
13 his mask on. He said but as soon as he got to the 3-
14 mile zone and saw that nobody else had it on, he took
15 it off. Now, that was his word, I don't know, I have
16 no knowledge of that. If anybody heard an alarm, I
17 didn't. And I was right there in the middle of
18 everything. So, you know, I don't know why they would
19 say that. I have no clue. Because it didn't happen.
20 In the videotape, you will see a few
21 bunkers that we went into. The reason that we did not
22 go in to all 100 bunkers is because most of them had
1 live mines in the doorways. And we just wasn't even
2 going to deal with just blowing those to go in the
3 bunkers, we decided to blow them all and not even go
4 through that many of them. I mean, we got a pretty
5 good assessment of what was in them from the few that
6 we went through.
7 And so therefore, no chemical teams went
8 through there. There was no chemical teams attached
9 to us. There was two men from EOD that didn't even
10 look like soldiers, they had their shirts unbuttoned,
11 their shirts were untucked. They came driving through
12 in a Chevy pick-up truck, and they looked around, came
13 back to the Commander, and said blow it. I mean, that
14 was it. That was the extent of any kind of
15 precautions that was taken.
16 DR. LASHOF: Pardon me. When you said you
17 became ill while you were in the Gulf.
18 MR. MARTIN: Yes, ma'am.
19 DR. LASHOF: When did, how long after the
20 episode and did you have any acute symptoms while you
21 were watching?
22 MR. MARTIN: Ma'am, I'm on record as
1 saying that I got sick after I started taking the
2 pills. I started having a lot of problems after I
3 started taking the pill.
4 I'm not saying that I was, that these
5 clouds made me ill. I'm not saying that by far. The
6 whole six months was a bad idea. I mean, everything
7 was wrong about that deployment. The diesel fuel in
8 our kerosene heaters because there was no kerosene.
9 I mean, the whole thing was just, was just backwards.
10 And, you know, it could've added on to it.
11 I don't know. I don't know. I'm not a medical person
12 so I can't tell. I just know that I was sick after I
13 started taking those pills. I remain sick through
14 this mission right here and then when I came home I
15 was still sick. And in 1993 when Dr. Murphy examined
16 me, this is what, this is her diagnosis of my
18 DR. LASHOF: Okay. But at the actual time
19 of the fumes and the blowing up of the bunker, you had
20 no specific, no acute symptoms at that moment?
21 MR. MARTIN: Just, no, not that I can
22 think of.
1 DR. LASHOF: Okay.
2 MR. MARTIN: No, honestly I don't.
3 DR. LASHOF: Do you know whether any of
4 the group, of your group of the troops that were
5 there, did any of them complain of very acute
6 symptoms? Immediate symptoms.
7 MR. MARTIN: There was some slight
8 vomiting going on, but we didn't know if it was
9 because it was, you know, the nasty food, or, you
10 know, the area was just filthy. Our biggest danger at
11 that time that we thought was the animals. Because
12 they were trying to attack us, they were so hungry.
13 And I thought my first casualty is going to be a dog
14 or something.
15 And, so I, you know, I don't know. There
16 was a few people that were getting sick, but right now
17 at that point we were doing different things. You
18 know, some were eating, some were doing this or
19 whatever, until our attention was gotten by the cook-
21 DR. LASHOF: All right. Thank you.
22 MR. TURNER: If I could just do two kind
1 of housekeeping things. Where did you get the
3 MR. MARTIN: I, I got it from the
4 battalion. There was several of us that held the
5 camera making the tapes. The one with the original,
6 Captain Huber, he was the Company Commander for
7 Charlie Company. The only reason that quality is that
8 poor is he was scared to death that something would
9 happen to that tape because he was trying to make a
10 history for the battalion, of what, what we did.
11 MR. TURNER: So it's Captain Huber's?
12 MR. MARTIN: Well, it's Major Huber now,
13 he is an instructor at West Point, soon to be at
15 MR. TURNER: And you made reference to two
16 documents that you attached to your statement that
17 related to cook-offs and a log. Where, where did you
18 get those from?
19 MR. MARTIN: I got these from the
20 Battalion Executive Officer, Major Randy Reggins, who
21 now resides in Phoenix, Arizona, he's retired. There
22 was supposed to be a statement attached to it saying
1 that, you know, yeah, though I was not in the chain of
2 command, I was in the circle of command and knew what
3 was going on at all times. He just didn't get it to
4 me in time.
5 But he did get me these logs, he faxed me
6 these. You can see the date on it. And the Kinkos in
7 Mesa, Arizona where he faxed them to me from.
8 DR. LASHOF: John?
9 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Your report seems
10 inconsistent with the CIA modeling in two crucial
11 respects. One, the direction of the wind and the
12 other is the apparent height of the plume. Can I ask
13 Rich, if he's still here in the back, to comment on
14 that? Because you claimed, in fact, your modeling was
15 consistent with the video.
16 DR. LASHOF: Richard, if you could come
17 forward, I think we'd like to clarify the differences.
18 MR. MC NALLY: Well, I'm not quite sure
19 about the inconsistency with the height of the clouds.
20 But I can talk about the wind direction.
21 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It looks a lot higher
22 than 15 meters to me.
1 MR. MC NALLY: Oh, absolutely. And that's
2 what we said. We said the cloud went all the way up
3 to 800, 1,200 meters.
4 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Yes.
5 MR. MC NALLY: We used the 15-meter height
6 because that was the worse case height for ground
7 contamination pattern. And was the same for that
8 case. We looked at 150 meters and 1,500 meter heights
9 of cloud, mean cloud height. So we covered that
10 entire period.
11 From the weather, from modeling of cloud
12 rods, we know that that cloud probably rose to the top
13 of the convective boundary layer, which on that day
14 was between 800 and 1,200 meters. So that's how we
15 understand the height of the cloud to be. And from
16 our ability to extract metrics from the video, it
17 looks to us as if the cloud gets to 800 to 1,200
18 meters by the 30-minute point. Which again is
19 consistent with what we know from modeling and from
20 the physics.
21 Wind direction, our examination of that
22 video is consistent with winds blowing to the
1 northwest with, excuse me, blowing to the northeast to
2 east, with camera position northeast of the location
3 of the bunkers. And based on sun angles, very
4 detailed analysis of the video, we believe that that's
5 what we see in the video.
6 DR. CAPLAN: What about the rounds landing
7 10 miles away?
8 MR. MC NALLY: Even in the portrayal of
9 the video today, I didn't see missiles flying off. It
10 is entirely possible, these rockets have a range of 18
11 kilometers. It depends on exactly what their angle is
12 when the rocket motor gets ignited and it very, is
13 possible that there could be an explosion which tilts
14 it up and goes out.
15 What we know from the detailed
16 examinations of the M55s, the U.S. trials, the
17 furthest that the rockets went were two kilometers.
18 In the modeling, one of the things that we
19 did do was look at what would happen if we increased
20 the radius at which the rockets could fly out. What
21 we found out was if we increased that radius beyond
22 two kilometers, that solid pattern that we see with
1 few perturbations starts to have separate individual
2 rocket footprints that show up and that central area
3 starts to shrink.
4 So for the central area of hazard, we
5 chose, we chose that in addition to that being the
6 maximal range observed in the M55 trials, where 1,850
7 rockets were set off.
8 DR. CAPLAN: But it's consistent that a
9 rocket could have had that --
10 MR. MC NALLY: It is entirely possible
11 that it could have been a rocket or it could have been
12 some other piece of ordinance that was ejected. We
13 can't, I wouldn't begin to argue that it didn't happen
14 and things weren't flying out. I just don't know what
15 it was and I don't know what the pattern was. It is
16 possible and we have modeled individual rocket
17 footprints and certainly if we knew where the impact
18 pattern was of those rockets, we could add to our
19 current footprint with the rocket patterns for the
20 individual rockets. Which are, which are much smaller
21 than the hazards from the bunker and the 106 rockets
22 that we did let fly out. Essentially the level to the
1 general population limit that we see for an individual
2 rocket is, in on the order of, just under a kilometer
4 DR. TAYLOR: How is your modeling
5 conducted? Because oftentimes in a workplace setting,
6 we do modeling versus the actual workplace on looking
7 at hazards and how they're dispersed or how employees
8 are exposed. It's a lot different from being in the,
9 in a sort of, a modeled environment that's more
11 So can you explain the difference in your
12 modeling versus what, he has actually on videotape?
13 I'm just curious, how is your modeling done? Is it in
14 the lab?
15 MR. MC NALLY: Well, we do our computer
17 DR. TAYLOR: It's computer modeling.
18 MR. MC NALLY: On, on computers. We use
19 essentially several different models. We use a model
20 called Omega, which was developed for Defense Nuclear
21 Agency to do wind field projections, that ingest the
22 global optimization, interpellation, gridded data,
1 produced by the National Center for Atmospheric
2 Research, as well as the local observations from all
3 the reporting stations.
4 DR. TAYLOR: What is accuracy, is there
5 any comparison on how accurate your modeling is to the
6 actual setting? Or do you know if there is a 50
7 percent accuracy, 60 percent, 70 percent?
8 MR. MC NALLY: We're, we're in the
9 processing of validating.
10 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
11 MR. MC NALLY: Okay? Results today show
12 us that, in validating a weather model is a very
13 interesting phenomena. I won't go into all the
14 details, but essentially one of the key things, the
15 two key techniques that we use. One is comparing to
16 known situations, for instance, a tracer release
17 somewhere on a particular day.
18 And the other thing that we do oftentimes,
19 is run continuously predictions at a site, for which
20 there are observations coming in.
21 We are doing both with the atmospheric
22 modeling. What we found in our site trials, both in
1 Florida and White Sands, New Mexico, is we have very
2 good ability to predict wind directions.
3 DR. TAYLOR: What's that? What's the --
4 MR. MC NALLY: We are within the standard
5 deviation of the variation of the wind directions that
6 we'd expect in a situation. The wind is always,
7 always changing with time. And essentially one of the
8 standard measures that I often quote is in some
9 detailed analysis of wind variation at Porten Down in
10 the United Kingdom, where a lot of chemical tests are
11 done, is they've found that you reach standard
12 deviation in measuring the wind direction, if you
13 measure simultaneously 50 meters apart, or at the same
14 location 15 seconds apart.
15 So while the wind is varying a lot,
16 there's normally an average direction that the wind
17 keeps varying around. And it's the kind of thing that
18 you'll see if you look at a flag on a flagpole, for
19 instance. It will rotate around a little but during
20 time and you can actually take statistics of that
22 So when we go and look at our predictions
1 at a particular place and time, we look to see whether
2 or not we are predicting within, within that kind of
3 variation, is one of the measures of the accuracy.
4 And we've been able to do that on a
5 repeated basis. Both in time duration changes and in
6 different tests.
7 We predicted the transport in Florida of
8 tracer release on Orlando and in the summertime where
9 there was land/sea breeze changes and a big vertical
10 movement in the atmosphere, to within one kilometer at
11 20, 20 miles off shore. Which was released in
12 Orlando. So that was where we ended our tracking and
13 that was the largest area, error that we had in that
14 particular case.
15 MR. TURNER: But so, so the Committee
16 understands, this is not the kind of a model that is
17 statistically validated, where you can say to a 99
18 percent degree statistically rigorous. This is
19 probablistically born out. This is the state of the
20 art, but it is not that kind of a probablistic, yes,
21 we can say to a 99.9 percent level of certainty that
22 this is what happened. It's not that kind of model,
1 is it?
2 MR. MC NALLY: That's correct. Okay. The
3 other, the other recent, we have been using Omega to
4 predict the wind fields for the dipole orbit tests
5 conducted out at White Sands by DNA. These are tests
6 of different ways to impact bunkers. And looking at
7 the release from a collateral effects problem.
8 They've been concentrating on biological stimulants.
9 Essentially in those tests, where a number
10 of different models were used, the Omega results are
11 the only ones that track cloud off, off, off of White
13 MR. MARTIN: Can I, can I ask him a
14 question real fast?
15 DR. LASHOF: Sure.
16 MR. MARTIN: Where were you March 4th,
18 MR. MC NALLY: March 4th, 1991, I was in
19 the basement of a defense nuclear agency doing clean
20 up on the --
21 MR. MARTIN: I was standing there watching
22 the clouds come over my head. I don't know what you
1 were doing in Florida and all that, but I was there.
2 I watched it.
3 MR. MC NALLY: Defense Nuclear Agency
4 isn't in Florida, sir.
5 MR. MARTIN: I lived through it.
6 DR. LASHOF: Let us agree that you
7 disagree somewhat on the wind direction at this point
8 and what the videotape, your interpretation of the
9 wind in the videotape and your interpretation of the
10 wind in the videotape.
11 The difference between the two of you on
12 the wind direction, how significant is that in
13 relation to what number of troops or what the
14 footprint would've been?
15 MR. MC NALLY: Well, I, the footprint is
16 going to go with the wind direction.
17 DR. LASHOF: Right.
18 MR. MC NALLY: I can't assess, I don't
19 know where the troops were. Obviously, if it were
20 true that the, that the ground level cloud was passing
21 over Mr. Martin's position, then he would be in the
22 likely hazard zone for that particular release.
1 MS. NISHIMI: Let me just clarify, the
2 footprint that was 25 kilometers, correct?
3 MR. MC NALLY: That's correct.
4 MS. NISHIMI: Is that 25 kilometers
6 MR. MC NALLY: No. It was very
8 MS. NISHIMI: It was asymmetric.
9 MR. MC NALLY: It was 25 kilometers
11 MS. NISHIMI: What was the narrowest
13 MR. MC NALLY: It was roughly 4
15 MS. NISHIMI: 4 kilometers?
16 MR. MC NALLY: 4 to 6 kilometers wide at
17 its widest point.
18 DR. LASHOF: The issue of the quality of
19 this video, Brian, you indicated that it's not
20 completely clear and certainly for my eyes, I wouldn't
21 be able to tell much about directions and so on from
1 Is the original a clearer one and --
2 MR. MARTIN: Ma'am, if I can find Major
3 Huber before the DOD does, I will get you a crystal
4 clear copy.
5 DR. LASHOF: No, what I want to know is,
6 the DOD, has DOD been in touch with him and seen the
7 original tape, do you know?
8 MS. NISHIMI: Well, that's a question that
9 we should ask DOD, not Mr. Martin or Mr. McNally.
10 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. Okay. We will be
11 asking DOD what efforts they've made to see the
12 original tape.
13 Are there any other questions? None.
14 Thank you very much and thank you, Mr. Martin.
15 MR. MARTIN: Ma'am, I'd like to say one
16 thing, as a doctor yourself, the Pentagon knew about
17 this in 1991, if they would be in this condition now?
18 Would my family be hurting like this?
19 DR. LASHOF: I can't answer that, I
20 haven't examined you.
21 MR. MARTIN: Okay.
22 DR. LASHOF: We are not going in to the
1 personal medical records, that's a privacy issue
2 between you and your physician.
3 MR. MARTIN: I don't understand why they
4 let a human being suffer for this long if they knew
5 the truth. Thank you.
6 DR. LASHOF: Colonel Koenigsburg, Lt. Col.
7 Martin, welcome back. Glad to have you here again.
8 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I am Colonel
9 Koenigsburg, I'm the Director of the Persian Gulf
10 Illness Investigation Team for the Department of
11 Defense. Is that coming through?
12 DR. LASHOF: It doesn't seem to be. Bring
13 it closer to you. Can you bring his mic up? Okay.
14 We'd like you to summarize in five
15 minutes. We've got lots of questions for you.
16 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: We turned in a
17 report to you that was written and you asked that we
18 summarize this and that's what we intend to do.
19 The international community, through the
20 United Nations, has established protocol for
21 determination of chemical weapons used. These
22 criteria contain a detailed written record of the
1 conditions at this site, physical evidence from this
2 site, such as weapon fragments, soil, water,
3 vegetation, or human/animal tissue samples. A record
4 of the chain of custody during transportation of
5 evidence and multiple analysis to include examination
6 of neutral third parties.
7 Our approach to examining the chemical
8 agent detections reported during the war basically
9 followed the same process. We have found no evidence
10 that would allow us to assess the validity of any of
11 the reported detections. That is not to say the
12 detections are not valid. It's just simply to say
13 that we've not been able to find corroborating
14 evidence such as physical samples.
15 Lt. Col. Martin will address several
16 specific aspects that you requested.
17 LT. COL. MARTIN: Your Committee has asked
18 that we provide our evaluation of reported chemical
19 agent detections by U.S. forces using the 256 kit and
20 our review of fox reconnaissance vehicle, chemical
21 agent rejections during the Gulf War.
22 The M256 kit is used primarily to identify
1 whether chemical agent is present, after a chemical
2 alarm is sounded or a chemical attack is suspected and
3 to determine the type of chemical agent present. It
4 is used after troops have already taken appropriate
5 protection measures by going to MOP4. The kit is used
6 by unit commanders to assist in determining whether
7 and when it's safe to use chemical protective posture.
8 Since there are a number of substances in
9 addition to chemical agents that can cause positive
10 responses, there is no way to determine the validity
11 of a particular M256 kit by itself. The kit creates
12 no permanent record and the only records available are
13 unit log entries resulting from reports of tests
15 The evaluation of reports, of individual
16 256 kits detections that we have carried out thus far,
17 there's been no physical evidence, no weapons
18 fragments, no sample tests, et cetera, that would
19 allow us to corroborate reported M256 kit detections.
20 We plan to look at the totality of
21 reported 256 kit results to see whether any patterns
1 I will now discuss our review of fox
2 vehicle detections. Primary detection in the fox
3 vehicle is the MM1 mass spectrometer, which is unique
4 to the fox vehicle. It is designed to detect the
5 presence of liquid contamination on the ground. When
6 the MM1 detects contamination, it alerts the crew, and
7 if prompted, will provide a spectral analysis record
8 of the contamination, if enough of the contaminate is
10 This record of tape can later be analyzed
11 by experts to validate the detection. Because the fox
12 vehicle was introduced to the services just prior to
13 the ground offensive, there were no standardized
14 procedures in place to allow for the chain of custody
15 and forwarding of the MM1 tapes produced by the fox
16 vehicle computer.
17 Consequently, even though several
18 witnesses have stated that tapes were generated after
19 a detection, only a relatively few tapes were actually
20 received for further analysis.
21 In 1993, at the request of the Office of
22 the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, a panel of chemical
1 experts were convened, including participants from the
2 United States Army Chemical School, the Chemical and
3 Biological Defense Command, and other U.S. Army and
4 industry mass spectrometry experts to review the
5 surviving fox tapes.
6 The tapes were incomplete and the panel
7 was unable to perform a comprehensive evaluation. The
8 Board's findings were published in a memo to the
9 Office of the Deputy Chief of Staffs for Operations
10 and Plans. To quote the memo, "Based on this
11 evaluation, we cannot confirm any of the reported
12 chemical warfare agent detections from the information
13 supplied, nor can we deny with 100 percent certainty,
14 that chemical warfare agents was detected by the MM1.
15 We firmly believe that all the reported detections are
16 false alarms caused by interference from air
17 contaminations, from air contaminated by oil well
18 fires and burning vehicles instructors."
19 Since 1993, since the 1993 review, no new
20 MM1 tapes have been provided to CBD Com for analysis.
21 Most of the tapes originally sent lacked crucial
22 information, such as precise location, identification
1 of the crew and operator, vehicle, and vehicle
2 identification number, which would assist us in
3 matching a specific incident with a specific tape.
4 I would now like to report to you the
5 results of our investigation to this point of
6 Kamisiyah bunker demolition operations, where a
7 bunker, bunker number 73, containing chemical
8 munitions, was destroyed in early March of 1991.
9 Although Kamisiyah was never designated as
10 a chemical production or storage facility target by
11 coalition forces, a small number of bunkers were
12 destroyed during the air war, but not bunker 73. In
13 early March, 1991, after the Gulf War cease fire, the
14 37th Engineer Battalion, as well as the company from
15 the 307th Engineer Battalion, both supporting the 82nd
16 Airborne Division, moved in the vicinity of Kamisiyah
17 with a mission to destroy the bunkers and their
18 contents prior to moving back to Saudi Arabia for
20 Officers of the 37th Engineer Battalion
21 reported that there were approximately 150 troops
22 involved in the actual demolition. During the period
1 3-10 March 1991, a systematic destruction of the
2 Kamisiyah bunkers was conducted.
3 Explosive Ordinance Disposal, EOD unit
4 personnel supporting the, supported the engineers
5 during this operation. In interviews, the EOD
6 personnel stated that they were aware that they might
7 encounter chemical munitions in any of the demolition
8 missions and were looking for them. The EOD personnel
9 accompanying the engineer teams examining each bunker
10 prior to setting the demolition charges did not
11 identify any chemical munitions.
12 This does not preclude the possibility
13 that chemical munitions were present. Operational
14 records, intelligence information, personal interviews
15 indicate that about 3 p.m. on 4 March 1991,
16 approximately 38 bunkers were destroyed, one of which
17 was bunker 73, now identified as containing chemical
19 According to the Company Commander, the
20 destruction of these 38 bunkers is the same explosion
21 portrayed in the videotape recently obtained from a
22 37th Engineer Battalion soldier. During the short
1 time portrayed on the videotape, the cloud appeared to
2 be traveling in an easterly or a northeasterly
3 direction, away from the troops observing the
5 Personal log kept by one of the company
6 commanders, as well as interviews with several army
7 personnel involved in the mission, indicate that one
8 chemical agent alarm alerted some time during this
9 demolition process and the unit increased their MOP
10 level. None of the other MA alarms in the area
11 alerted. Subsequent 256 kit tests conducted by each
12 of the battalion subordinate units were negative for
13 chemical agents. The units subsequently went back to
14 MOP level 0.
15 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: We have no evidence
16 at this time of low level exposure to chemical agents.
17 The next step is to evaluate whether there is some
18 unique pattern of illness in the personnel located in
19 the area around Kamisiyah during the time this mission
20 was performed.
21 An initial review of medical reports and
22 interviews with medical officers responsible for the
1 care of troops in this area has revealed no immediate
2 health problems were associated with the mission.
3 To determine if service members in
4 proximity to the site have presented with long-term
5 clinical findings distinct from other Gulf War
6 veterans, a very preliminary examination of the
7 comprehensive clinical evaluation program results were
8 initiated. An initial review of the data by the CCP
9 staff does not show either a significantly increased
10 rate of those seeking evaluation through the CCP, or
11 significant difference in the symptoms for diagnosis
12 of these individuals when compared to the overall CCP
13 participants. Let me stress, these are initial
14 preliminary results.
15 The DOD will continue to refine troop
16 locations and examine the clinical data in more
17 detail. We are working with the Department of
18 Veteran's Affairs to obtain more comprehensive and
19 complete assessments of the clinical results in the
20 troops who were located in the area of the ammunition
21 storage site.
22 A program is also being initiated to
1 contact all personnel in this population to determine
2 their health status and to encourage participation in
3 the health assessment program of either the DOD or the
5 In addition, as was mentioned yesterday,
6 Dr. Josephs asked that $3-5 million of research money
7 is being allocated to further explore the possible
8 effects of low level chemical agent exposure.
9 That's our summary.
10 DR. LASHOF: Thank you very much. Are
11 there questions from the panel?
12 MS. NISHIMI: Maybe I can just start off
13 then. Colonel Koenigsburg, at the October 19, '95
14 meeting that the Committee had, we followed-up in
15 writing with you to ask you about some of the
16 incidents you had under investigation and in your
17 response to us, Kamisiyah was one of those incidents
18 that PGIT had started to investigate.
19 At that time, had PGIT interviewed any of
20 the parties who were involved?
21 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: No.
22 MS. NISHIMI: When did PGIT first contact
1 the Commander of the, Mr. Martin's unit, Lt. Col.
2 Robert Holcombe?
3 LT. COL. MARTIN: That was a week ago.
4 MS. NISHIMI: So that would be after the
5 Pentagon held its press briefing.
6 Could you explain to me why this sort of
7 basic, it seems to me, investigatory thread,
8 interviewing the person in charge, wasn't conducted
9 until after the Pentagon's --
10 LT. COL. MARTIN: Well, we tried to get in
11 touch with him before the announcement, but had a lot
12 of difficulty finding him. He was in South America.
13 MS. NISHIMI: How, I mean, you tried to
14 get in touch with you before. But this was on your
15 radar screen in October 1995, why hadn't you begun
16 down that path back then?
17 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: In October '95 when
18 the CIA first alerted us to the fact that the U.N.
19 findings at Kamisiyah, there was a lot of question
20 about how, what the problem really was here. As you
21 heard from the U.N. and you heard from the CIA, most
22 of the initial reporting was that this was not, there
1 was not a lot of credence put in what the Iraqis were
3 So we opened a case file on this, we
4 discussed this with the people in CIA, we did go out
5 and find out from the ESG database what units were in
6 the general area and started to get some background
7 material for this.
8 We went to the Intel community, discussed
9 this rather thoroughly, not only with CIA, but within
10 the Department of Defense, and the feeling was that
11 unless there was more evidence, there sure, it did not
12 appear to be, a good legitimate reason to believe what
13 the Iraqis were saying.
14 MS. NISHIMI: But my interpretation --
15 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: It was not put on
16 the, it was not put on the front burner at that point.
17 It was, we had opened a case file, we did not know at
18 that time which unit had actually done the
19 destruction, we didn't know much of that until March.
20 In the March time frame, and I think Colonel Martin
21 can talk more to that.
22 DR. LASHOF: That's in '95 you're talking
1 about now.
2 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: '96. March of '96.
3 DR. LASHOF: '96. I'd like to go back to
4 '92. If UNSCOM said in '92 that it was, that there
5 were likely chemical weapons in the pit area and then
6 later in bunker 73, but in --
7 MS. NISHIMI: In '91.
8 DR. LASHOF: In '91 rather, and in '92
9 they both said that there were chemical weapons in
10 those areas and that was reported and it was on the
11 public record.
12 In view of everything that was happening,
13 you know the veterans and the complaints about low
14 level, why at that point weren't you alerted to go
15 back and look and try to figure out what had happened
16 when they had detonated bunker 73?
17 MS. NISHIMI: This is regardless of the
18 fact that you believed Iraq was lying or not. UNSCOM
19 said there were chemical munitions there.
20 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: UNSCOM said in '91
21 that there were chemical weapons in the pit.
22 DR. LASHOF: Right.
1 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: They did not
2 determine that there were chemical weapons in the
3 bunker. And the statement at that time, I assume, and
4 obviously we weren't in existence at that time, but I
5 would assume that some of the thinking was along the
6 lines, that the Iraqis were saying that the bunker was
7 what destroyed by U.S. troops, not the pit. And that
8 still wasn't very clear until very recently that
9 maybe, you know, we did destroy some weapons in the
11 But as UNSCOM told you, the only thing
12 they said was we destroyed the bunker, they thought we
13 had maybe destroyed the bunker. When they came back
14 the bunker was destroyed. The chemical weapons were
15 not determined at that point to be in the bunker,
16 either in '91 or '92. So I don't think that it made
17 anybody alert too much.
18 Plus, in the fact of the '92/'92 time
19 frame, the emphasis as was mentioned by CIA, was on
20 finding weapons and had nothing to do with looking for
21 Gulf War illnesses at that point. It was all looking
22 for, are we able to find everything that they say that
1 they had.
2 DR. LASHOF: Yeah, that certainly was the
3 charge to CIA and would not have expected CIA to
4 worry. But by then I would have thought that DOD was
5 more alert to trying to figure out what chemical
6 weapons might have gone off unintentionally and so on.
7 I mean, we've all agreed that the Iraqis didn't use
8 chemical weapons, but, but that they had them, we all
9 knew and certainly knew then. And a question of low
10 level release.
11 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Right. And if you
12 look at the time frame of that, we also had reports
13 all through that period of time, that no one had been,
14 had shown any signs or symptoms of chemical exposure.
15 So there was nothing to really give them a hint at
16 that time. I would imagine, to go looking too deeply
17 into that particular report.
18 MS. NISHIMI: Who in October and November
19 in DOD knew about the possible chemical agents,
20 exposures, based on UNSCOM's --
21 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Our whole focus has
22 been to look for and see if we can help in some way to
1 find the causes of illness in these veterans. We have
2 not looked into who knew what, that is something that
3 is within the Department of Defense and it's something
4 that's not been within our task to look at.
5 MS. NISHIMI: Is the Department looking at
6 that question?
7 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Yes, they are.
8 MS. NISHIMI: Would it be reasonable to
9 assume that the Defense Intelligence Agency knew of
10 this information?
11 MR. WALLNER: I think I can answer that
12 better than Colonel Koenigsburg. I'm Paul Wallner,
13 Staff Director of the Senior Level Oversight Panel for
14 Dr. White.
15 Officials in DIA and the Atomic Energy
16 Directorate of the Department of Defense were aware of
17 the report as far back as '94, perhaps even earlier
18 than that. They were certainly aware of the report by
19 the time it was made public this past June.
20 Again, to reemphasize, in the early years,
21 there was only that one report and I must add
22 furthermore that the intelligence community did not
1 identify Kamisiyah as a suspected chemical target or
2 for bombing. It was not on any list.
3 MS. NISHIMI: So, no one in DOD knew that
4 UNSCOM reported both, not a single report, in 1991 and
5 in 1992, that they found chemical munitions at
7 MR. WALLNER: We, we knew that they found
8 chemical weapons at Kamisiyah. Yes, that was known.
9 That report was known by those officials. But that
10 was not at the bunker. They didn't, as Colonel
11 Koenigsburg had said, they didn't identify the
12 chemical weapons at the bunker, confirm them, until
13 May of 1996.
14 MR. TURNER: There's a big difference
15 between confirming and identifying, Mr. Wallner.
16 MR. WALLNER: That's correct.
17 MR. TURNER: This is a February 19th, 1992
18 Royder's Newswire Report that I'm reading from.
19 MR. WALLNER: Um-hm.
20 MR. TURNER: "U.N. officials in Bahrain
21 said the chemical destruction team would visit a
22 damaged bunker used to store rockets filled with the
1 nerve agent sarin at Kamisiyah."
2 Now that is in February of 1992, Royder's
3 is publishing this fact. And you're saying the DIA
4 didn't know it?
5 MR. WALLNER: DI, DIA did know the report,
6 they didn't have confirmation thereof. They were
7 aware of the UNSCOM report, they were probably aware
8 of the Royder's report.
9 MR. TURNER: Did they do anything to
10 investigate it? To pursue it further?
11 MR. WALLNER: They did not do anything at
12 that point in time to refer to it because it was not
13 on the target list, there was no other reporting
14 suggesting that Kamisiyah was a chemical weapons
15 facility at that time.
16 DR. TAYLOR: But given the information you
17 had, you just think that because you didn't have
18 anything to confirm, that there were any reports of
19 chemical weapons in the bunker?
20 MR. WALLNER: That's right.
21 DR. TAYLOR: And that you didn't
22 investigate further. Period.
1 MR. WALLNER: We didn't investigate
2 further. And because of the long history of the
3 Iraqis using deception to hide what they were really
4 doing with their weapons to mask destruction from not
5 only the United States, but the U.N. as well.
6 DR. TAYLOR: But you knew that they were
7 in the pit?
8 MR. WALLNER: Pardon me?
9 DR. TAYLOR: You knew that they were
10 reported in the pit?
11 MR. WALLNER: That's right. They were
12 confirmed to be in the pit and that was substantiated
13 by the U.N. We had no reason to disbelieve that.
14 DR. LASHOF: Oh, Art.
15 DR. CAPLAN: One of the things that's come
16 up is the claim that we're focusing here on this
17 bunker, and what was there and who knew when to try
18 and investigate it, but it's also been said that there
19 were many, many other bunkers all around. Do we have
20 any reason to think that there may have been other
21 storage areas not on lists or anywhere else that could
22 have been destroyed or cleaned up by our troops that
1 we haven't heard about yet? I mean, Mr. Martin said
2 that he thought there were hundreds of smaller storage
3 places and facilities. Any comment on what else might
4 have been there that we might now know about?
5 LT. COL. MARTIN: There could have
6 possibly been hundreds of isolated bunkers throughout.
7 We know of, I'm aware of four large ammunition
8 complexes. One in Kuwait and three in Iraq in the
9 same vicinity of Kamisiyah. And as far as we know, we
10 have no evidence that there was any chemical munitions
11 in those large ammunition complexes. Or we haven't
12 heard of anything in an isolated bunker.
13 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think one of the
14 keys to this is yes, there were bunkers out there.
15 When they went through, they found bunkers, a lot of
16 them were exploded, nothing was ever done to check and
17 see what was in the bunkers at the time when they were
18 exploded. And there would be no way to go back, they
19 were on the run. What we've heard is, is that a lot
20 of times, they'd go by a bunker, somebody would say
21 that's it, the commander would say blow that thing up,
22 they'd blow it and keep on going. And that's the
1 extent of it.
2 DR. CAPLAN: Do we have any intelligence
3 basis to know about storage deployment? You know, we
4 heard earlier that special groups would come down to
5 man chemical weapons. Were they deployed, do we know?
6 From the Iraqi side, aside from what they tell us or
7 say? Do we know that some of the units were out in
8 the field?
9 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: They never, they've
10 never found any, either U.N. or anybody has ever found
11 anything to confirm that those rockets ever got any
12 further than these storage depots, during the time
13 that we were there. There was some deployment before,
14 I think was mentioned by CIA, there was indications
15 that they might have been deployed and pulled back,
16 but nobody's ever seen a chemical mine, chemical
17 weapon, outside of these particular bunkers.
18 And as far as the CIA has said, as they
19 told you, there were only a couple of them that they
20 can confirm where there chemical weapons in it.
21 Now, there were a lot of these, the
22 bunkers and other places that were found in Kuwait
1 were not even destroyed by our troops. They were
2 destroyed by a private company that was called in
3 after the war to destroy them. And we've spoken to
4 the people that were part of that demolition process
5 and they say that they never found anything in the,
6 the weapons that they destroyed in Kuwait that would
7 indicate to them that there were chemicals, mines,
8 rockets, bombs, anything.
9 So, you know, it's a question, we don't
10 have an answer. Could there have been something out
11 there? If you look at the way they deployed these
12 things, they were very specific with them and I think,
13 you know, what the CIA told you this morning is
14 exactly what our knowledge of it has been. Is they
15 had a team that took those munitions. And actually to
16 go even one step further, they were probably the ones
17 that shot it off. The people who normally would work
18 the rocket launchers would step back, these people
19 would arm the weapon, shoot it off, and then go back
20 to where they were.
21 So they, even though they didn't mark
22 them, they had a pretty good idea where all their
1 chemical weapons were. They had a good system for
3 DR. LARSON: So you now had an opportunity
4 to speak with, is it Major Reggins?
5 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Yes, ma'am.
6 DR. LARSON: Okay. And also, did you
7 speak with CSM David Andrews?
8 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Yes, we have.
9 DR. LARSON: And with Lt. Col. Commander
10 Holgrum? And have you spoken with Mr. Martin?
11 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Yes.
12 DR. LARSON: And you've had opportunity to
13 review a good, the videotape?
14 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Yes.
15 DR. TAYLOR: I think there's some
16 confusion with Jimmy Martin and the other Martin.
17 DR. LASHOF: You mean Brian Martin.
18 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: We know who she's
19 talking about.
20 DR. TAYLOR: Okay. So you have spoken
21 with him?
22 DR. LARSON: Yeah, Mr. Martin.
1 MR. MARTIN: Ma'am, if I can say, Jimmy
2 Martin approached me at SHAYS hearings in civilian
3 clothes and asked me for the videotape. I requested
4 that Colonel Koenigsburg file a FOYA with me for the
5 videotape. At the time of the FOYA request, I
6 couldn't find it, it was in my mother's, I had forgot
7 it was in her security box in the bank.
8 But Jimmy Martin has talked with me, but
9 not in depth about these bunkers or about that
10 videotape. There basically was, we want those tapes.
11 And, you know, maybe if they would've said please,
12 they would've got them, I don't know.
13 DR. LARSON: My question is, what is your
14 interpretation of those tapes and your interviews?
15 LT. COL. MARTIN: Do you have a specific
16 question about any part of it?
17 DR. LARSON: Well, for example, the wind?
18 And some of the things that we've heard that are
20 LT. COL. MARTIN: I think if you closely
21 review the videotape, you can see that the shadows
22 that the people are casting as they're facing the
1 explosion, are falling to their front left. And it
2 happened at 2 in the afternoon; therefore they had to
3 have been standing north, northwest of the site.
4 We've confirmed that with several of the
5 company commanders who were there, who actually
6 pointed out on a map where their location was where
7 they observed the explosions. So that, that fact
8 we're pretty firm about.
9 DR. LARSON: Okay. And the other question
10 is, as I understood what you said, they, they were
11 informed that there was a possibility of chemical
12 agents there and, no? What did you say about the use
13 of protective gear?
14 LT. COL. MARTIN: The EOD personnel who
15 were there were aware that they could encounter
16 chemical munitions as they were going through because
18 DR. LARSON: I believe that's what you
20 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Anywhere, anywhere.
21 It was not for this site.
22 DR. LARSON: Okay.
1 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: They were told that
2 there were no chemical weapons at that site, as
3 Mr. Martin has said.
4 DR. LARSON: Okay.
5 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: But they were told
6 that in all their destruction procedures, be careful,
7 because we don't know where chemical weapons are
8 located. So this was a general statement in terms of
9 being aware of it.
10 But every information that was given to
11 the troops and everything they knew, there was nothing
13 MS. NISHIMI: Who told them that there
14 weren't any chemical weapons at the site?
15 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: That was an
16 intelligence assessment, I assume.
17 DR. TAYLOR: The other question I had was
18 about the M256 kits. You mentioned that they were
19 using those kits and there's a discrepancy here on
20 whether the kits were actually used at this particular
21 site or not.
22 LT. COL. MARTIN: When they moved back
1 after they set the charges and you saw, at the time of
2 the explosion in the videotape, all the company
3 commanders that we talked to said they basically moved
4 back in their area and got in a, they had different,
5 they occupied different sectors of a, like a circle.
6 And then each, each company commander said they had an
7 operational MA alarm mounted on their, their vehicles.
8 One of the company commander's alarms alerted at that
9 time. And they did a 256 kit, you know, they
10 increased their protective posture, did a 256 kit,
11 found out it was negative, and then reduced their
12 posture. That occurred, that occurred at the
13 observation site.
14 DR. TAYLOR: At the observation site?
15 LT. COL. MARTIN: Yes.
16 MR. TURNER: How far away was that?
17 LT. COL. MARTIN: Anywhere from 3 to 4
19 MR. TURNER: Thank you.
20 MAJOR CROSS: And which unit was that that
21 donned protective gear?
22 LT. COL. MARTIN: That was the elements
1 that were there with the 37th Engineers.
2 MS. NISHIMI: And how long between the
3 alarm going off and the confirmatory test?
4 LT. COL. MARTIN: It takes about 20
5 minutes to do the test.
6 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: They start the test
7 immediately, what he's saying is. But it takes time
8 to do it.
9 I think the thing we need to point out is,
10 we've talked to over 30 people that were there at that
11 site when this went off. Out of that group, about two
12 dozen confirmed the fact that an alarm did go off.
13 Some of them went into full MOP gear, some of them
14 said they got their masks on and started doing the 256
15 kits immediately. There were a number of 256 kits
16 done at that site because each platoon has their own
17 256 kits and they, everyone that we've talked to so
18 far says, that heard the alarm, said that somebody did
19 a 256 kit and that it came up negative and they went
20 back to their normal MOP status.
21 DR. CAPLAN: Just a point of information
22 on the videotape.
1 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Right.
2 DR. CAPLAN: My guesstimate is we're
3 looking at, I don't know, 40 men maybe around 4 or 5
4 vehicles and so on and there's deployed out here about
5 150 total. So how far away are all these guys all
6 dressed up in MOP gear from the people we saw on the
7 tape who didn't have anything? I mean, I got this
8 impression of a bunch people in MOP gear two yards
9 away from 40 guys who aren't.
10 LT. COL. MARTIN: Since the videotape
11 didn't cover the entire time, it may not have occurred
12 at that point. I think if we were to see the whole
13 thing, we might have been able to.
14 DR. LASHOF: In terms of following up and
15 looking at the people that might've been in that area,
16 at our main meeting, you mentioned 3 to 4,000 troops
17 in that area.
18 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Depends how big a
19 circle that you draw around this. What we've tried to
20 do now, one of the big problems we have in finding out
21 who was actually there is that we know what units were
22 there, but we don't know which people were there. And
1 if you take the 37th as an example, the 37th may have
2 500, 600 people in it. They didn't take everyone up
3 to the site with them. And then when they got to the
4 site, even of the people they took up with them, we've
5 been told by the sergeant that a lot of these folks
6 were sent back because they were deemed not to be
7 necessary. They figured they've got, they're going to
8 be blowing up this dump, they don't want to have any
9 more people than they have to to be there. And so it
10 cut down to the 150.
11 Now, determining which 150 were really
12 there becomes a big problem. Because in like our
13 initial studies that we did with the CCP data, that
14 was a broad net coverage. I mean, we threw it out
15 over all of the 82nd Airborne, because they were all
16 over that area. We don't know which ones were close
17 enough to have really been involved in this. And it
18 presents a problem now. How do you go out and how far
19 do you go out to get the people?
20 I think the initial sweep that they're
21 trying to do right now is to take the 37th, the 307th,
22 the 2 EOD units that were up there. There's also a
1 fire unit, there's one firetruck that was with them,
2 that came from, from a, either a National Guard or a
3 Reserve unit. We're still trying to track these
4 people down. And there's about eight people in there.
5 If, if they can go out and cast the net to
6 all of the particular units that were right there at
7 the site and ask who was actually there at the time
8 the explosion occurred. Not when they did the initial
9 look-see at the site, when they first rolled in, but
10 who was there on the 4th of, when this occurred and on
11 the subsequent explosion, I guess, on the 10th, which
12 had nothing to do with this particular bunker, but
13 mainly it will be geared to the 4th.
14 And what they're hoping is that they can
15 get to these folks and say, all right, how many of you
16 are sick and if you are sick, have you been into, to
17 the CCP or the VA, and if you hadn't, here's a place
18 to call, here's how to get into it. And they would
19 like to put a few questions in there.
20 They've been trying to decide whether this
21 would be done telephonically or would it be done
22 through some type of communication, written
1 communication. I think the decision has been made to
2 go with a written communication.
3 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Thank you very much.
5 MS. NISHIMI: Just, can I just follow-up
6 on the numbers thing, I'm sorry, John.
7 DR. LASHOF: Oh, sure. Go ahead.
8 MS. NISHIMI: It strikes me that the most
9 reasonable thing for DOD to do right now, or certainly
10 in the long run, is to address the issue of 3,000 to
11 4,000 troops, assume that you want to inform the
12 maximum number of people, who may have possible been
14 And can you assure the members of this
15 Committee that in fact DOD intends to follow-up with
16 the 82nd Airborne and the largest number of
18 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Well, I've told you
19 what they decided to do so far. I don't know whether
20 they have any other plans to go, through the net
21 further out. I think their initial look was to do
22 this. Because if, if these people were there, they
1 should be the ones that would be the most effected.
2 Some of this, some, a lot of the things in
3 this does not make a lot of sense. Because if you
4 talk about the wind direction coming back on the
5 troops, then they should've been in a circle, or zone,
6 where they would've been very sick. And yet they
8 So if you look at this, where do you throw
9 the net? And if you look at the fact that the wind
10 could've gone in a bunch of different directions. I
11 think right now their thought was to hit these people
12 that were the closest to it and say, all right, we
13 need to look and see if there's a difference in these
14 people from everybody else in the Persian Gulf that,
15 that had illnesses. If it's the same illnesses then,
16 you know --
17 MS. NISHIMI: I understand that the
18 initial cast is properly smaller.
19 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Right.
20 MS. NISHIMI: But it would seem to me that
21 it is a reasonable thing for the DOD to inform the
22 maximum number of individuals within the potential
1 footprint. And that would include the 3,000 to 4,000
2 individuals that Colonel Martin initially discussed at
3 our May meeting. And I would like some assurance that
4 DOD is going to consider that.
5 DR. LASHOF: How many are in the group
6 that you are setting --
7 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: There's probably
8 around 1,100 people. If you take, because we have to
9 go to the entire 307th and the 37th. Although they
10 may be able to cut some of this down because the
11 307th, as far as we know, there was only one company
12 that went, Alpha Company.
13 So what they may be able to do is cut out
14 some of the other 307th because they were not in that
15 area. So they may be able to get it down to a smaller
16 group than that 1,100.
17 DR. LASHOF: As far as you know, at the
18 time of the detonation, there were no reports of acute
19 illness among any of the group?
20 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: We, we looked at the
21 logs of the medical unit that covered these folks. We
22 also talked to the corpsmen that were taking care of
1 these people and we talked to the doctor that was
2 responsible for that area. We talked to the battalion
3 surgeon, the company surgeon, et cetera. They have
4 all assured us, and what we saw in the logs, which was
5 interesting looking at the logs, because prior to the
6 ground war there were a lot of people coming in the
7 clinic for things. Once the ground war started, the
8 number of visits to the clinic, everybody was too busy
9 to worry about coming in the clinic and there were
10 very few visits, it suddenly dropped off and what
11 you're talking about is anywhere from like five to
12 eight clinic visits a day of anybody going in there
13 and they were just for standard things, there was
14 nothing that even would be suspicious of chemical-type
16 If people had problems and didn't, did not
17 come to the clinic, then obviously there would be no
18 way that we'd know about it.
19 DR. LASHOF: Yeah, sure. But if there
20 were acute massive things, they would've been in.
21 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: One would assume.
22 DR. LASHOF: All right. Thanks. John?
1 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It's the
2 responsibility, or the mission of the U.N. team to do
3 a, essentially an audit, isn't it? On all the
4 chemical agent that was produced?
5 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: That's correct.
6 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: And then the number
7 of actual munitions that were filled and distributed.
8 Do you have any idea how, how that audit
9 is going? Does anyone have a fair sense of, of where
10 everything must have been? Or is it completely open-
11 ended at this point?
12 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think that the
13 comments that you got yesterday were extremely
14 interesting from the U.N. team. And I, I was very
15 interested in Igor Mitrohkin's assessment. But I
16 think his, to me, his closing comment in some of this
17 is that he's still not convinced, either about this
18 particular site or in general of what's going on.
19 There's, there's a lot, there's been a lot
20 of game-playing with this. And --
21 MS. NISHIMI: No, he didn't say he wasn't
22 convinced. He said he could not make an assessment
1 one way or the other.
2 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: No, he said, he made
3 a comment, I think you have to go back over your
4 thing, at least if I heard it correctly, there was one
5 short statement that he made that may have gone by, if
6 you, if we look at the transcript, maybe it will show
7 up there. But it was along the lines that he
8 personally it not totally convinced about what the
9 Iraqis are telling you on this particular site.
10 MS. NISHIMI: So then you're saying, you
11 still question whether or not that --
12 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: No. I'm not saying
13 that. We're just saying, I think DOD's position at
14 this point is that there is enough, there's enough
15 here to start taking action. And it isn't a matter,
16 we may never know 100 percent for sure what really
17 happened at this particular site.
18 But for the purposes of trying to get to
19 the bottom of it, the assumption has to be made that
20 we need to go into this further, we need to go ahead
21 and take a look at these individuals and see if there
22 is something we can show that's different about the
1 people who were located in this area and if we can tie
2 together anything that would show this could, that
3 their problems are coming from a low level chemical
5 MS. NISHIMI: I'm sorry, but I find there
6 to be a huge difference between DOD assuming something
7 happened and DOD acknowledging that something
8 happened. So does DOD assume that there were chemical
9 munitions in bunker 73? Or do they acknowledge that
10 there were.
11 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think the only
12 thing we can acknowledge at this point is that there
13 were weapons in bunker 73. The question is, the same
14 thing the U.N. told you, is can they, can they
15 acknowledge that the weapons were there at the time
16 that the U.S. troops were there and I don't think
17 anybody can acknowledge or do that, we don't know that
18 for sure.
19 But I don't think that's, I don't think
20 that's a key point here anymore. I think the key
21 point is, are we going to do something about it? And
22 as we've shown you, we are going to do something about
2 DR. LASHOF: John?
3 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Let me follow-up once
4 more on the audit question. I'm curious as to whether
5 one can tell anything by, by difference. That is, if
6 you, if you knew the total amount of agent that was
7 produced and had counted the number of rounds in
8 various sites, you might be able to say that sets, for
9 example, in upper bound, on the number of rounds that
10 might be unaccounted for. Is, is that possible? Are
11 we anywhere near that?
12 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: My understanding is
13 no and I think one of the things you heard yesterday
14 contributes to it. When they went to the pit area and
15 did not find all the weapons that were there, they
16 told the Iraqis to dig them out of the rest of that
17 mound, and then they left. And the Iraqis brought
18 these out.
19 The other thing is that there were a lot
20 of these rounds that the Iraqis said that either they
21 destroyed personally, or somebody else destroyed,
22 that's where some of the question has come in from the
1 Intel community. Because it would be very nice to
2 say, we had 1,000 rockets here, but you all blew them
3 up. Then you take the 1,000 rockets and bury them
4 somewhere else and the U.N. doesn't know and they
5 think the 1,000 rockets were destroyed. That's,
6 that's been some of the question with the U.N. from
7 the very beginning. Which is why they were not very
8 firm in their report, either in '91 or '92, about the
9 bunker. Because they couldn't be sure.
10 And plus, if you looked at the pictures
11 they had of the bunker, they couldn't really go in
12 there, they were afraid, as he mentioned to you, to go
13 down in the pit, count weapons, or to actually do a
14 lot of testing. And to see if there were, there were
15 plastic parts. Because they were afraid that there
16 was still live ammunition and that it was, it had only
17 been four or five months after the war ended and they
18 were somewhat concerned. And rightfully so.
19 In fact, they didn't take the whole team
20 up there. They took two people from the team, the
21 rest of the team stayed away from it and two people
22 went up and took a look at it, came back, and said,
1 you know, what they did, as they reported.
2 DR. LASHOF: Can you clarify for me, the
3 basis on which the decisions were made to tell the
4 troops, or not just to tell the troops, obviously the
5 commanding officers believed at the time that they
6 went into to blow up bunker 73 that there were no
7 chemical weapons there.
8 What was the basis? I mean, how did one
9 decide to blow up something on the assumption that
10 there were no chemical weapons there. What was, what
11 kind of investigation was done beforehand?
12 LT. COL. MARTIN: Before they actually
13 went in? The 37th went in?
14 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. I mean, you said, you
15 know, that basically the commanders were told there
16 weren't any chemical weapons, go on ahead and blow it
17 up. And I just want to know no what basis they came
18 to that conclusion?
19 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Assessments were
21 DR. LASHOF: Assessment.
22 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Assessments are made
1 in the field, preliminary by the Intel community on
2 where they think things are located. The information
3 we had on Iraq and where they stored a lot of their
4 munitions and how they did it was not as extensive as
5 one would like and, and Intel is not a precise
6 science. It has never been purported to be a precise
8 So if you're asking about what happened
9 before, we had some indicators that were being used by
10 the intelligence community to pick out sites that we
11 thought might contain chemical weapons. And that's
12 where some of the difference in numbers of sites
13 becomes a little bit hairy in here because of the fact
14 that some of this is, is based on the just the fact,
15 could there have been something there? And so they
16 identified, if there was the slightest hint in the
17 Intel world that there was munitions at a site, it was
18 identified as a target and that was what was used for
19 bombing purposes.
20 This particular site, we never had any
21 indications from the Intel community before the war,
22 or during the war, that this was a chemical site.
1 Now, as far as what happened when they
2 went in there, I think Colonel Martin can address that
3 better than I.
4 LT. COL. MARTIN: No, I would just, I
5 would just add that there were groups that went in
6 there prior to their, first it was occupied by a
7 force. And then, you know, recon teams went in the
8 area. And they did not notice anything or showed any
9 symptoms of any leakage or anything like that. So
10 that further added to the fact that they didn't --
11 DR. LASHOF: What did they go in with?
12 What degree of effort are made to determine what's in
13 a pit or a bunker before you decide to blow it up,
14 other than Intel information?
15 LT. COL. MARTIN: The only thing that we
16 know that they had with them, EOD personnel either
17 went through before or accompanied the teams as they
18 went through the site.
19 MAJOR CROSS: Colonel Martin, let me ask
20 you this. You're a member of the chemical corp, do
21 you know if there were any members of chemical corp
22 personnel that went with the 37th that may have been
1 there, who may have seen chemical weapons?
2 LT. COL. MARTIN: Well, let me answer the
3 first part first. Yes, there was a, there were
4 chemical specialists who were there at the site.
5 MAJOR CROSS: Okay.
6 LT. COL. MARTIN: None of them identified
7 any chemical munitions there.
8 DR. TAYLOR: And that goes back to what we
9 heard earlier, you can identify them if they're in
11 LT. COL. MARTIN: That's correct.
12 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: That's correct.
13 DR. TAYLOR: There's nothing to determine
14 which ones aren't and which ones are.
15 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: That's why as I
16 said, it doesn't rule, the fact that they didn't see
17 anything doesn't rule it out.
18 DR. TAYLOR: Right.
19 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. I was going to say,
20 what did a chemical specialist look for?
21 DR. TAYLOR: Right. In that kind of
1 DR. LASHOF: Unidentified --
2 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: They were told, they
3 were told to look for certain things on the weapons.
4 As it turns out, most of the weapons did not have what
5 we thought they might have to, in the way of mark --
6 on them.
7 MAJOR CROSS: In your, in your
8 information, do they go into each bunker with a
9 chemical agent monitor, or do they just drive through
10 the compound with a vehicle that had a chemical agent
11 monitor? An M8A1 on it.
12 LT. COL. MARTIN: The only thing that we
13 can confirm is that there were actually, they had a
14 chemical alarm mounted on a vehicle in the area of the
15 bunkers. At the time they were rigging the --
16 MR. TURNER: But your current information
17 is they did not go through and do a chem sweep of each
18 bunker before they blew it?
19 LT. COL. MARTIN: We have one account of
20 that happening, but we haven't been able to, that
21 hasn't been corroborated by any other witness.
22 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: And that was from
1 the person that should have been doing it and told us
2 that he, that they did do some of these things, but
3 we, in going back, we haven't found anyone else that
4 can come up and corroborate what he said.
5 But there were, to back-up what Colonel
6 Martin said, the commanders, two of the three company
7 commanders said that when they went into the area,
8 they took vehicles that had an M8A1 alarm on the front
9 of their, their humvee, that they were turned on.
10 The other commander could not be sure that
11 his was turned on when he went into the site, but he
12 says it was definitely turned on during the time when
13 the detonations went off because it was his alarm that
14 went off, during the detonations.
15 MR. TURNER: But, just so the relevance on
16 the limitations of that are understood, you're not
17 going to detect anything with an alarm unless you got
18 a leaker or some other agent out there on the site?
19 Is that correct?
20 LT. COL. MARTIN: Yes.
21 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: But the thing that
22 hasn't been mentioned and it's interesting because
1 it's not been really gone into much, there were better
2 ones all over the site. From the minute they got
3 there, there were people going into the bunkers, in
4 and out of the bunkers, because they were stealing
6 So there were people walking around this
7 site the entire time while they were doing it and one
8 of the problems they had, as was mentioned with the
9 PSYOPS teams and the other, was running these people
10 off so they could do the demolition.
11 DR. LASHOF: Now, as I understood from
12 UNSCOM's testimony, that when you looked at the
13 rocket, you couldn't tell from the outside, it was
14 only after it was blown up and you could see what was
15 inside, what the shells were inside.
16 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Correct.
17 DR. LASHOF: Is there any other way, I
18 mean, if you faced this in the future, if you're going
19 to go in and blow up weapons that aren't marked, and
20 you don't know whether there are chemicals in there or
21 not, is there any way to detect before you blow up?
22 So we learn something for the future?
1 LT. COL. MARTIN: I don't know if, you
2 know, if there's a way, unless you have sophisticated
3 equipment out there to, to look at it. Although I'm
4 sure that after this event, there's an awareness,
5 that's a possibility.
6 DR. LASHOF: We're going to try to figure
7 out some way.
8 MR. WALLNER: And try to make some
9 improvements in the, in the detection devices as well,
10 Dr. Lashof. That's on the agenda to do.
11 DR. LASHOF: Art?
12 DR. CAPLAN: We've been done the road in
13 an earlier hearing about what DOD and you gentlemen
14 are trying to do in terms of confirming and
15 acknowledging what was there and I actually understand
16 the need for taking a tough attitude and a hard stance
17 about the presence of weapons in the bunker and what
18 really can be known, as opposed to presume and so on.
19 But I do want to reiterate, I think it would be
20 important, this group, our Committee, what Ms. Nishimi
21 said, and that is, to also know, assuming some dispute
22 about wind patterns, some dispute about where
1 ordinance might have flown and so on. To have a
2 footprint that was at least a, ran a spectrum from the
3 conservative to the most general assumption. Because
4 what you need to show in terms of finding out
5 factually what was there and who knew and could
6 anybody ever know, whether it was, what was in bunker
7 73 and who blew it up, may not be the same as what the
8 veterans need in terms of presumptions or assumptions
9 about their illnesses.
10 And so, again, it would be very important
11 for us to at least see who was where, overlapping
12 that, obviously the medical correlations will be
13 important and so on, but I would urge you to give that
14 strong attention because in some sense some of the
15 dispute here is, I fear for purposes of different
16 standards. What you want to establish what could be
17 known and what the veterans want to establish in terms
18 of trying to appeal or presume that maybe they were
19 exposed to something could be two different things.
20 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think what you're
21 saying is exactly true and I think this is one of the
22 problems and why the veterans in many cases have not
1 understand, have not understood what we're trying to
2 do as well. We're not connected in any way to the
3 compensation, to the treatment, to any of the rest of
5 And I think the philosophy in what's done
6 there should be addressed in these channels. Our role
7 has been to try and see if we can definitely nail down
8 anything that would help these people to do their job
9 better. It shouldn't preclude them from doing their
11 DR. CAPLAN: And I'm slowly being educated
12 as to what --
13 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Right. And I think
14 that's a lot of people --
15 DR. CAPLAN: What leads you on, but I just
16 appeal to you to give us the, even though it may be
17 disputed and even though it may not establish who was
18 what where when something blew up and how far
19 ordinance might have flown and so on. If you give us
20 at least the generous estimates and acknowledge them
21 as such, that much being acknowledged.
22 That may then carry us forward to a point
1 where we can say, well, if Mr. Martin thinks that he
2 is was in an area where there might've been chemical
3 weapons and maybe that's enough for the VA to go
4 forward and finally say, all right, he's got the
5 illnesses, he's got presence in a place where there's
6 a lot of stuff leaking and stuff was blown up and we
7 can't establish what really happened there, maybe we
8 never will, but at least we've got presumptive
9 evidence that may carry him forward.
10 It seems to me, pounding back and forth
11 between what the military needs to show in terms of
12 being sure that this happened on this date in a
13 standard of evidence there versus what a veteran may
14 need to be able to show to the VA.
15 I was much taken yesterday when somebody
16 said, if your ulcer starts during service, it's going
17 to be service related later and yet we are treating
18 with this less, in some sense generosity or tolerance,
19 the exposure to chemical, low level chemical things,
20 we might have, if you just said, God, I had a stomach
21 ache before I, when I was active, and hell, a year
22 later I've got an ulcer, it's service related. I
1 mean, really?
2 But if we're going to that little evidence
3 then all that may be needed here is to be able to set
4 up a presumption of who might have been exposed or
5 then maybe the compensation and benefits area can be
6 hashed out using different standards than you would
7 use to say what we know on the battlefield on that
8 date in July when the bunker was blown.
9 DR. TAYLOR: I, I have, I just have one
10 other question, too. Getting back to some of the
11 missiles or the ammunition that's not accounted for.
12 I guess the question that I have, given that we have
13 not, we're not certain the Iraqis tell us the whole
14 truth and I doubt if they would, do we have any idea
15 of where these other chemical weapons are located or
16 where they are, since they're unaccounted for at all?
17 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: Are you talking
18 about Kamisiyah or in general?
19 DR. TAYLOR: In general.
20 MR. WALLNER: We had identified a number
21 of suspected chemical weapon storage sites prior to
22 the war. They were bombed. Most of them were bombed,
1 with varying degrees of success. The U.N. has visited
2 some of those and had found, I think only in a few
3 cases, evidence of chemical weapons being there.
4 The real answer to the question is we
5 don't know. They, they could have been moved to other
6 locations that we have yet to find, we had to go with
7 the information that was available at that point in
8 time. It's possible they could be at other locations.
9 LT. COL. MARTIN: I think the key is, is
10 one of the things the U.N. told you, is that what they
11 have found and what the Iraqis have admitted to, and
12 I think is reasonable. They knew we were coming for
13 a long time before we came with our bombers and our
14 troops. So they had plenty of times, plenty of time
15 to disperse these weapons. They dispersed them, put
16 them out in the desert, they mentioned to you they
17 took them out of the bunkers, and put them in open
18 storage so we wouldn't know where they were.
19 I think the, if you look at the 155
20 millimeter Howitzer munitions that were found at, just
21 outside of Kamisiyah, it gives you a good idea because
22 what they did was put a tarp over them that was a
1 color of the sand. And unless, you know, from an
2 airplane or anything else, you didn't see them. And
3 we've had no estimates from anybody that went into,
4 with the 37th to do this, that they even ever saw
5 these things. They were sitting five kilometers away
6 in the middle of the desert and nobody knew they were
7 there. How many other places did they put things and
8 what did they do with the rest of their weapons, we
9 will never know.
10 And even then, we still don't have, you're
11 making it sound like we have an actual accurate number
12 of how many weapons they had, we don't. All we have
13 is what they tell us they had, and maybe some
14 estimates based, as --
15 DR. TAYLOR: I think I heard it, I maybe
16 heard wrong, from the CIA, that there were several
17 that were unaccounted for.
18 LT. COL. MARTIN: They were talking at
19 Kamisiyah, if you took the full 2,000-and-some that
20 they said they brought down, that not all of them are
21 accounted for, and that was at Kamisiyah. But the
22 U.N. told you that they didn't take out all the
1 weapons, they left and then the people, the Iraqis
2 went in and took that hillside apart, found a bunch of
3 other weapons, never really said, you know, exactly
4 what they destroyed, we have no way of knowing.
5 So to say with any certainty is very
6 difficult. So I think what Rich McNally did was he
7 tried to take a worse case estimate and put that
8 amount of munitions into the bunker to, to do it. And
9 I think that's the way to go with it.
10 MR. TURNER: If I could just do two last
11 little housekeeping things again.
12 DR. LASHOF: Yes, sure.
13 MR. TURNER: On Kamisiyah, have your
14 interviews corroborated accounts that munitions and
15 other debris were falling several kilometers outside
16 the demolition site, Colonel Martin?
17 LT. COL. MARTIN: Yes, there were a few,
18 several of the witnesses have said that they, that
19 cooked-off rounds fell in their area and also reports
20 from the 82nd, Elements of the 82nd Airborne, that
21 they had fallen in their areas also.
22 MR. TURNER: Could, how far away was that?
1 Could you give us some order, I mean?
2 LT. COL. MARTIN: About five miles, I
4 MR. TURNER: Okay. And on this new
5 information that came out yesterday about the
6 possibility, or the allegation, I guess is the way to
7 frame it, that troops, our troops had destroyed, in
8 addition to the material in the bunker, also some of
9 the sarin rockets that were in the pit area.
10 Have you investigated or interviewed
11 anybody from the units on that topic?
12 LT. COL. MARTIN: Yes, that's been one of
13 the questions we've asked everybody. And we found out
14 from a couple of people, to include Colonel Holcumb,
15 Battalion Commander, his S-3, actually his S-3
16 stumbled across a site which was in the same vicinity
17 shown on the map, where the pit area was, where there
18 was long things found in boxes and some of them were
19 dug into the side. And he said that they set charges
20 on those and on the 10th, on the day of the final
21 explosion --
22 MR. TURNER: So it was on the second set
1 of explosions that that was blown?
2 LT. COL. MARTIN: Yes. Yes.
3 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: The last set, not
4 the second. The last set, not the second.
5 LT. COL. MARTIN: Colonel Holcumb seems to
6 also remember the pit, I believe also the XO also had
7 heard of it, even though he wasn't there.
8 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think one of the
9 keys, too to this was that they were at the end of
10 their mission, they did not have enough explosives,
11 they did not go digging around in the pit, they just
12 blew what was on the surface that they could get rid
13 of and they made no attempt to blow the entire pit up.
14 And one of the things that's looked a
15 little suspicious or funny and that's why there's a
16 lot of things in here that are kind of unusual,
17 pictures by U.S. people that were on the U.N. team
18 showing this area do not show a lot of blown-up
19 rockets of any kind in the pit. All you see are some
20 materials, some broken materials, but none of it has
21 burns on it, none of it looks like an explosion. We
22 don't, we've not been able to figure out why it looks
1 like it does, since they did put explosives in the
3 MR. TURNER: But in your interviews, did
4 anybody do a count of the material that was in the
6 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: No.
7 LT. COL. MARTIN: No. No. The, and given
8 the information I got, it sounded like it was very
9 hastily done, they were getting out the next day, as
10 a matter of fact, they were well, they didn't even
11 observe the explosions in the last day, they heard the
12 explosion so they knew it went off and then started
13 heading south.
14 So, it sounds, I'm pretty sure that they
15 did blow what we think is the pit.
16 MS. NISHIMI: I just have one last
17 question unrelated to Kamisiyah. But at the main
18 meeting, we discussed the issue of standards and
19 criteria for PGIT in conducting its investigation.
20 And at that time in fact, you were unable to
21 articulate a set of criteria, in fact, you said that
22 there were no set criteria.
1 But in today's testimony, you describe a
2 U.N. developed process and you say that PGIT does
3 conduct its investigation in a similar manner. I want
4 to know what changed between May and now?
5 COLONEL KOENIGSBURG: I think, number one
6 was the questions you all asked, certainly to give you
7 credit of what we were using. We were using criteria
8 and we sat down at that point to say, we need to get
9 this a little more refined. And we did.
10 And I think one of the things we have
11 found as we go on more and more to a lot of these
12 detections is, that some of the things that we were
13 looking for originally, if you sit down and think
14 about it, we couldn't prove it. We had to find some
15 set of criteria that would say, this would be proofs
17 So initially, where we started out and
18 said, okay, if you have two detections from two
19 different types of detectors, then this surely is very
20 suspicious and maybe we can accept this as being the
21 final answer.
22 Well, the more we looked into it and went
1 back and discussed with the people that are
2 responsible for these detectors, we find out that a
3 lot of the same contaminants that will give you a
4 false positive in one will give you the same false
5 positive in another. And therefore, we had to sit
6 back and say, all right, well, if that's not proof,
7 what is the real proof? We looked, we told you in the
8 beginning, at the meeting, that we looked at each
9 instance in its entirety. And that's what we've done.
10 And in the beginning, we were saying,
11 okay, we'll take two of them, and if two of them come
12 in, that looks awful suspicious. But then when you go
13 looking at the rest of the records on that and look at
14 it in its totality, as we said we were doing, you
15 couldn't prove anything. Could you really say that it
16 was a chemical that had been there or was it smoke or
17 something else that had set off both say, an M8-A1 and
18 a 256 kit? And we said, well, no, you can't prove it
19 by that. So then what are the criteria that we used?
20 They're not, what we're giving you now is
21 not that dissimilar than what we gave you originally,
22 it's just put in a little more finite detail. Because
1 we were saying the same things, we just hadn't put it
2 into this kind of definitive chart, matrix, whatever
3 you want to call it, that would say, all right, does
4 this have this, this, this, and this.
5 And I think certainly your questions and
6 answers at your meeting has helped us to focus on some
7 of this as we've gone. It's been a factor as well as
9 DR. LASHOF: Well, with that pleasant
10 note, I think congratulations to both sides. Unless
11 there are more questions, I think we'll take our
12 break. Thank you very much.
13 Let's limit it to about 10 minutes, we're
14 20 minutes behind schedule.
15 (Whereupon a short break was
17 DR. LASHOF: I think we'll resume and the,
18 at least the Committee members, what we're planning to
19 do for most of the rest of the day, is to look at the
20 number of the risk factors that have been put forward
21 and its possible cause of the Gulf War illness. And
22 many of which, and there's a great deal of research
1 being funded to further explore.
2 The staff have been working extremely hard
3 over the last seven months on looking on any number of
4 issues, but certainly all of the prominent risk
5 factors have consumed significant amount of time and
6 staff work as they've interviewed people, researched
7 the literature, and considered everything we've heard
8 at the hearings, but also many much, a great deal of
9 other investigative work that they've done between our
10 meetings. And I personally want to congratulate the
11 staff and thank them for the work they've done.
12 I think the material we have in our
13 briefing book on each of these risk factors are really
14 excellent and I'm learning more than I thought I'd
15 ever learn about a number of subjects that I didn't
16 know much about before.
17 So I want to thank all of you for the work
18 you've done and we'll proceed to go through these and
19 I think what we're planning to do is take each one up,
20 ask the staff to give us a relatively brief summary of
21 their basic data that they've looked at and
22 conclusions that they've reached, some of the
1 recommendations that they think the Committee should
2 consider. And we'll take them one by one and discuss
3 each of them and this will be, form the basis of one
4 section of course, of our final report, which you all
5 know is due in about five months.
6 So we're going to start with, pardon?
7 SPEAKER: Holly is going to start.
8 DR. LASHOF: Holly, you want to start off
9 by saying some general things before we go to each
10 individual risk factor. Okay. Thank you, Holly.
11 MS. GWIN: The overhead shows you what the
12 Committee's mandate is. Miles, if you'll give me the
13 next slide.
14 We're going to make some recommendations
15 to you today about conclusions we've reached on a
16 number of risk factors. Obviously Gulf War
17 participants experienced possibly a wide range of risk
18 factor exposures. Staff have had to be somewhat
19 selective in the topics dealt with comprehensively, so
20 we've taken additional guidance from previous work,
21 both lay and scientific on these issues and the
22 overhead provides some examples. Next slide, please.
1 Memos on the nine risk factors staff are
2 prepared to discuss today are under Tab J in your
3 briefing books. Staff will deal with another
4 principal risk factor, stress, in September, following
5 a panel meeting that we're currently scheduled to have
6 on that topic July 23rd in Cincinnati and will be
7 chaired by David Hamburg. Next slide.
8 I'm going to provide a brief overview of
9 how the analysis were prepared. Staff relied
10 principally on the three types of sources that you see
11 on the overhead. We found this method provided a
12 broad base of information on every topic. Staff had
13 access to laboratory toxicology data, animal data, and
14 human data, primarily from occupational settings.
15 In fact, however, these sources represent
16 the limits on staff's research. Conclusions presented
17 for your consideration today will not reflect health
18 effects that are not reported in these types of
19 sources. Next slide.
20 The staff analysis follow a standard
21 format. Each provides information on reported
22 exposures in the Gulf, but because of sparse data,
1 staff are not able to be conclusive about whether
2 exposures actually occurred. Each analysis reports on
3 known health effects of the risk factor, the search
4 for information extended to all organ systems and to
5 cancer and non-cancer inpoints.
6 Staff have evaluated the adequacy of the
7 data, including descriptions of ongoing research, and
8 finally, staff are prepared to make recommendations to
9 you about conclusions about the role of the risk
10 factor in producing Gulf War veterans' illnesses.
11 And these conclusions are based on a
12 comparison of the known health effects with the
13 symptoms reported by Gulf War veterans.
14 I want to say a word or two about
15 terminology. Staff looked at a range of exposure
16 scenarios, all the way from high dose acute exposure,
17 all the way to low level exposure and from single
18 event to multiple event, to continuing or chronic
19 exposure. Staff also considered a range of health
20 effects, short-term effects, those symptoms likely to
21 appear immediately following exposure, and for Gulf
22 War veterans, could have been picked up in the theater
1 of operations. All the way to long-term effects,
2 meaning for Gulf War veterans, post-war effects,
3 symptoms that would not be likely to appear until
4 after service members left the Gulf and might persist
5 for some period. Next slide.
6 When staff refer to symptoms reported by
7 Gulf War veterans, the sources are data from the DOD's
8 comprehensive clinical evaluation program, the CCEP,
9 and VA's Persian Gulf Health Registry.
10 And then finally I want to put a caveat in
11 before Mark Brown starts the briefing on pesticides.
12 Today's discussion is limited to a discussion of the
13 evaluation of the role of these identified risk
14 factors in producing Gulf War veterans' illnesses.
15 This is just the beginning of the Committee's risk
16 factors in Gulf War veterans' illnesses. Even where
17 a staff analysis leads to a conclusion that it is
18 unlikely that a risk factor for the symptoms that are
19 reported by Gulf War veterans, it should not be
20 interpreted as a conclusion that Gulf War veterans are
21 not ill and it should not be interpreted that a
22 recommendation that the search for causes be ended.
1 So if you don't have any questions on the
2 overview, we're ready for Mark's presentation on
4 DR. LASHOF: Well, before we go to Mark,
5 does the Committee have any questions for Holly about
6 the process that the staff have used, the basis of
7 their work?
8 DR. LARSON: Not really a question, but a
9 comment. I hope as some point we will be prepared to
10 make some comments about possible combinations or, I
11 think it's along the lines of what you were saying,
12 Holly, that there are illnesses, acknowledging those,
13 and that we may make recommendations about individual
14 risk factors, we don't want to make the same mistake
15 of communicating, treating people symptom by symptom.
16 And somehow, while we can look at risk
17 factors one at a time, one of the complaints we've
18 heard is, okay, but you're not seeing the picture
19 here. I don't know if I'm making sense. But we don't
20 want to give the impression that we're doing the same
21 thing that's been done to the vets, and that is,
22 you've got a headache, you know, see a neurologist or
1 take an aspirin. You've got a rash, go to the
2 dermatologist and, you know, this and that and that.
3 MS. GWIN: You will hear on several of the
4 presentations today a discussion of synergism,
5 combinations of different risk factors.
6 DR. LARSON: Thanks. I think I was just
7 talking about the tone of the report, too.
8 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. That's a question of
9 somehow, I don't know how, but it's further
10 downstream, I think, when we hear the rest of the risk
11 factors and everything else, is to try to talk about
12 the totality of the experiences and how the totality
13 of the experience can be different than if one has an
14 individual isolated experience. And I think that's
15 something we'll have to explore as we go along.
16 Okay. With that, Mark, you're going to
17 start with pesticides.
18 MR. BROWN: I have the first transparency.
19 This is a list of the pesticides that the Department
20 of Defense shipped to the Gulf War to protect U.S.
21 troops against pests, insects, and against the
22 diseases that some insects can carry.
1 And staff have determined through
2 discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency
3 and the Food and Drug Administration that all of these
4 pesticides are commonly used, commonly, they are
5 approved for common use in the United States by our
6 civilian population. And I have listed on the right-
7 hand side, this pointer doesn't really show up very
8 well, but you can see on the right-hand side, some
9 examples of products that contain these pesticides.
10 All of these products should be familiar to at least
11 most of us. They may occur in our homes, they are
12 available in our grocery stores.
13 So staff focused on, as Holly mentioned,
14 we looked at the immediate toxic effects of exposure
15 to high levels of these pesticides, as well as long-
16 term effects from exposure to any levels, by reviewing
17 scientific literature and having briefing and talking
18 to other toxicologists and experts.
19 For example, the third material down,
20 DEET, is a commonly used insect repellent, mosquito
21 repellent, it occurs in products like OFF and Cutter's
22 brand. It was used, for use by the Gulf War troops
1 to, for protection against insects, biting insects.
2 Perhaps the best way to evaluate the safety of this
3 material is to consider the fact that it's been used
4 by millions of Americans and probably hundreds of
5 millions applications since it was first introduced in
6 the, approximately four decades ago, with few reports
7 of incidents of ill effects.
8 Another chemical that was used, pesticide
9 that was used by Gulf War participants, Gulf War
10 soldiers, was permethrin in a spray can to, this was
11 designed to spray a uniform for protection against
12 again, biting insects. Permethrin has very, very low
13 immediate toxicity. It's very difficult to cause
14 toxic effects in a mammal directly. Nevertheless,
15 there is some data from the Environmental Protection
16 Agency and others that have considered the possibility
17 of this material being a long, a carcinogen in at
18 least laboratory animals.
19 Nevertheless, in risk assessments carried
20 out by EPA and others, considering the possibility of
21 lifetime exposure, that is to say exposure, using
22 permethrin during the entire life a human being, the
1 risks of, long-term risks of cancer of this material
2 have been considered negligible. And it's considered
3 safe for common, general use in the United States.
4 Perhaps the most toxic type of pesticide,
5 both in terms of its immediate effects and in terms of
6 what we know about long-term health effects, the most
7 class, the most toxic class of pesticides on this list
8 are the organophosphorus agents. These include
9 materials like chloropryifos, diazinon, dichlorovos,
10 malathion. And so I'm going to spend the remainder of
11 my talk talking about what we know about the immediate
12 and long-term health effects of exposure to these,
13 this class of materials.
14 Could I have the next transparency?
15 What I tried to show on this transparency
16 is the effects we know about a different exposures to
17 organophosphorus pesticides. We know at, with
18 increasing exposure, we know at very high exposure
19 levels to these agents, they can cause death and in
20 fact every year in this country there are a number of
21 deaths reported, particularly from occupational
22 exposures to these materials, and particular farm
1 workers and applicators.
2 However, we also know at somewhat lower
3 exposures that there, that these lower exposures can
4 lead to very severe symptoms that include convulsions,
5 neuromuscular blockage, profuse airway obstruction,
6 and apnea, which means the temporary cessation of
7 breathing. These effects are quite dramatic and
8 usually they would result in the hospitalization of an
9 individual who suffered from them.
10 Researchers have followed the long-term
11 consequences of people who survived symptoms such as
12 these, looking for what type of effects individuals
13 may suffer for the long term. By long term, I mean
14 lasting a year of more following exposure and have
15 found a variety of effects, using, of lasting effects.
16 Using neuropsychological tests, researchers have shown
17 effects on intellectual functioning, academic skills,
18 abstraction, and flexibility of thinking, and simple
19 motor skills.
20 To illustrate what these, what type, what
21 these effects are, one researcher for instance found
22 an apparent lowering in intelligence, in I.Q., in a
1 group that had experienced these effects, compared to
2 a control group.
3 At lower exposures, at still lower
4 exposures, there are a variety of symptoms that are
5 associated, some of which we've heard about in the
6 discussion of the nature of a plume from an explosion
7 from a chemical weapon depot, for instance. These
8 include miosis, which is narrowing of the eye, of the
9 pupil of the eye, and a variety of much, nonspecific
10 symptoms that appear at lower exposures.
11 Now, the interesting point is that
12 researchers looking at individuals who have survived
13 exposures leading to these lower level symptoms, using
14 the same neuropsychological tests that they were able
15 to pick up effects at higher level of exposures, were
16 unable to find those effects in these individuals
17 showing low level, these low level poisoning symptoms.
18 So just to conclude with a couple of
19 points that I want to make. First of all, the only
20 long-term effects that staff have been able to find
21 from exposure to pesticides, organophosphorus
22 pesticides, are these neuropsychological tests that
1 I've just discussed.
2 Second, these effects only occur as a
3 consequence of severe poisoning. The type of
4 poisoning that would result in probably
6 Thirdly, we know from discussions, from
7 discussions and testimony to the Committee, some
8 panels have heard in Committee briefings, that medical
9 surveillance conducted, and monitoring of surveillance
10 conducted primarily by the Department of the Army
11 during the Gulf War, reported no cases of individuals
12 presenting with these types of severe poisoning
14 With that in mind, I'd like to make a
15 recommendation as a possible conclusion that would
16 come out of the points that I just made. And that is
17 that staff recommend that the Committee conclude that
18 exposure to any single pesticide or combination of
19 pesticides, during the Gulf War is unlikely to be
20 responsible for symptoms reported by Gulf War veterans
22 I'll take any questions.
1 DR. LASHOF: Go ahead, Elaine.
2 DR. LARSON: Just for completeness, there
3 were no exposures at higher levels than normal. Like
4 you say, obviously the stuff we use at home we use in
5 a certain form at a certain dosage and they weren't
6 unusual dosages or anything?
7 MR. BROWN: Well, it's a, it's an
8 interesting point because actually the only
9 pesticides, the pesticides that I had listed there are
10 available to any of us. We could go buy them today.
11 DR. LARSON: Right.
12 MR. BROWN: The Department of Defense has
13 a somewhat tighter policy than that. The only
14 pesticides that were given out for free use, that is
15 for use by any Gulf War participant, were the mosquito
16 repellent DEET, in the form of Cutter's brand
17 repellant, you know, the type of material many of us
18 are familiar with. And the permethrin, which was
19 designed to, as I described, to be sprayed on
20 uniforms. These were given out more or less freely.
21 The other pesticides on that list were all
22 supposed to be used according to DOD policy, only by
1 specially trained personnel.
2 Does that get at your question in terms of
3 possible --
4 DR. LARSON: My question is, were they
5 used by personnel in any massive, getting rid of the
6 rats or something?
7 MR. BROWN: Oh, yes. Well, we, there's at
8 least some information about the use of, there's a
9 mosquito abatement program, we know that some of these
10 pesticides were used and we know at least anecdotally
11 that troops used at least DEET and permethrin. We
12 know exactly what pesticides were shipped to the Gulf
13 and how much.
14 Unfortunately, as our interim report kind
15 of summarizes, we have very few records, or maybe no
16 records, about how they, how these materials were
17 actually used once they got to the Gulf. Department
18 of Defense just didn't keep that kind of record.
19 DR. LARSON: I'm just asking for the sake
20 of completeness, so we can wipe it off the list.
21 DR. TAYLOR: I guess the other question I
22 had was going back to what we heard in one of the
1 testimonies. I'm not sure when, maybe last year
2 sometime, regarding the use of lindane in spraying the
3 Iraqi troops. Were those, was that in a large enough
4 quantity as well as were the persons who were spraying
5 it wearing protective clothing or do we have any
6 information regarding how our troops are trained in
7 the proper use of any of these pesticides?
8 MR. BROWN: We have pretty good
9 information about how the Department of Defense set up
10 a policy for pesticide use. They have training
11 manuals and training programs that they implement for
12 the use of all of their pesticides. As I mentioned,
13 they have specially trained pesticide applicators,
14 which would be roughly comparable to hiring, you know,
15 your Orkin man to come around to your house.
16 Unfortunately, we don't really have good
17 records about how these policies were actually
18 implemented in the field. Look, let me just add,
19 though, looking at the policies themselves, they look
20 pretty good. I mean, they look, you know, they are,
21 they use, they have concerns for safety, the safety of
22 applicators. They have concerns for the types of
1 pesticides they use, they only use approved pesticides
2 that are commonly, approved for common use
3 domestically. They, they look like good policies.
4 Unfortunately we can't make that last leap
5 and evaluate, did they actually do that. The records
6 for that aren't there.
7 DR. TAYLOR: The second question I had,
8 going back to their organophosphorus pesticides. I've
9 heard of or read somewhere of a link to reproductive
10 health or problems associated with reproductive
11 health. Did you find any information in the
12 literature to find that any of these pesticides are
13 linked to hazards associated with reproduction?
14 MR. BROWN: Well all of these pesticides,
15 I should add, have gone through EPA's review process
16 where they review them for a variety inpoints,
17 including reproductive, reproductive toxicity and
18 environmental effects, cancer.
19 DR. TAYLOR: But in large quantities, you
20 know, huge doses, for instance farm workers using them
21 in the field.
22 MR. BROWN: Sure.
1 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
2 MR. BROWN: Well, I that think the way I
3 would answer it is maybe something like this, I think
4 that there is some data about some pesticides having
5 a variety of health problems, either cancer or
6 reproductive effects and so forth. These pesticides
7 are not in that class.
8 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
9 MR. BROWN: Secondly, in terms of
10 reproductive problems, the issue would be, the
11 reproductive problems that would be normally
12 associated with pesticides in general, not, not these,
13 but just in general, would be problems that might be
14 experienced by say a farm worker who might have
15 reproductive problems during the period of his or her
16 exposure, not years later or months later.
17 Does that answer your question?
18 DR. TAYLOR: Kind of.
19 DR. LASHOF: The other question I had,
20 Mark, and I'm not, it was in the newspaper and I don't
21 remember what chemicals, but it was a report of a new
22 finding of very massive synergism. You know, there's
1 been a lot of talk about the combination of different
2 drugs and we deal with it in relation to pesticides
3 and pryidostigmine bromide, but aside from that type
4 of thing, but just the use of several different
5 pesticides, whether in combination, there's a
6 synergistic effect and I don't remember which
7 chemicals, it was just a very recent report of a
8 preliminary study. It showed a 1,000-fold increase in
9 toxicity when two were put together.
10 MR. BROWN: Does this have anything to do
11 with hormonal effects? Environmental hormonal
13 Well, to answer your question,
14 organophosphorus pesticides are synergized by a number
15 of different agents. They, in fact, they synergise
16 each other, so if somebody were exposed to one, it
17 could synergise exposure to another.
18 Nevertheless, it wouldn't change the basic
19 issue here. That is, the, I'm showing that the
20 horizontal arrow is showing the effects at different
21 exposure levels. Okay? If you gave an additional
22 material, a second pesticide for instance, which
1 synergized these effects, it wouldn't change the basic
2 argument. It would shift, it would shift where those
3 effects would occur, downward, to say, say convulsions
4 for instance for severe poisoning might occur at lower
5 exposure, if you had a case where you had a co-
6 exposure to a material that synergized it. Okay?
7 But it wouldn't change the basic
8 arguments. You'd still, you might be able to induce
9 that whole train of effects, both immediate and long-
10 lasting effects. But you'd still expect the long-
11 lasting effects to occur as a consequence of the
12 extreme immediate effects that I have listed there.
13 In other words, I guess --
14 DR. LASHOF: Yeah, I know what you're
16 MR. BROWN: The synergism would increase -
18 DR. LASHOF: I'm just wondering whether
19 there have been any studies that actually support that
20 when you, whether, if you combine something, you might
21 end up not getting the acute effects, but could get
22 some of the long-term effects that you ordinarily
1 would see. It's hypothetically possible or not.
2 MR. BROWN: Hypothetically it's possible,
3 but there's no information in the literature that
4 wouldn't suggest that that occurs.
5 What you'd be talking about is, what
6 you're talking about really is the possibility of an
7 unrecognized effect. As Holly pointed out, the
8 effects that haven't appeared in the literature,
9 haven't been documented in the literature, such as
10 what you're describing, we can't really say yes or no
11 about that.
12 But just to reemphasize this, there's
13 nothing in the literature that would suggest that you
14 could induce these more long-lasting effects through
15 the use of some synergism, which without seeing them
16 as a consequence --
17 DR. LASHOF: Is there anything in the
18 literature that studied that specifically?
19 MR. BROWN: Yes. People have looked at
20 combinations of pesticides, sure.
21 DR. LASHOF: Okay. That's all I want to
22 know. John, yes, please.
1 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: In your written
2 summary, you say that lindane reasonably can be
3 anticipated to be a carcinogen. Is that known or not
5 MR. BROWN: That rather wishy-washy
6 language is literally taken out of EPA and IRA type of
7 language where they summarize all the animal data and
8 lindane is, the data supporting the carcinogenicity of
9 lindane is purely animal, rodent data, animal studies.
10 It appears that in very high doses it can cause liver
11 cancer in some strains of laboratory mammals.
12 Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency and
13 some other regulatory agencies have taken the position
14 that it can be anticipated, reasonably anticipated to
15 be a human carcinogen. There is, however, no data
16 showing human carcinogenicity with this compound,
17 although that's not uncommon.
18 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: You may remember in
19 one of our very first public reports, the, a wife of
20 then deceased officer who served in the Gulf claimed
21 that he had been involved in treating Iraqi prisoners
22 with heavy doses of what she called benzine. I think
1 with, it's lindane, sometimes hexochlorobenzine, it's
3 MR. BROWN: That's right.
4 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: And so it seems to me
5 that, because of that particular report, being as
6 careful as you can with this is important.
7 MR. BROWN: I agree. We try to choose our
8 language carefully. I would only point out that it's
9 thought to be liver carcinogen, not a pancreatic
10 carcinogen. And it only has a latency period of
12 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Yes.
13 DR. TAYLOR: And the other thing we have
14 to take in consideration, that it seemed to be more
15 immediate in her case with the person developing a
16 disease, and with cancer, the long term, it would take
17 longer for the cancer to show up from exposure. It
18 would also depend on what they're wearing at the time,
19 the exposure, how long, and that kind of thing.
20 DR. LASHOF: Can I ask the Committee if
21 anyone has any reservations about the recommendation
22 that we conclude that it is unlikely that health
1 effects reported today are a result of exposure to
3 Okay. Unless we change our mind by the
4 final report, we can expect that that will be a
5 conclusion in our final report.
6 Mark, it's you again.
7 MR. BROWN: It's me again.
8 DR. LASHOF: Yes, Don, first.
9 ADMIRAL CUSTIS: Have we not considered
10 adding something along this line to the, to the end of
11 that statement of recommendation, research in pursuit
12 of possibility deleterious effects in such combination
13 is still underway.
14 DR. TAYLOR: Or somewhere.
15 MS. GWIN: We discuss in, let me just
16 answer, if I can.
17 DR. LASHOF: Sure.
18 MS. GWIN: We discuss synergisms in more
19 completeness in the context of the pyridostigmine
20 bromide risk factor, insofar as looking at
21 recommendations on research.
22 The approach for this particular meeting
1 was not to also simultaneously evaluate the Federal
2 Government's entire research profile, vis a vis these
3 risk factors. The goal here was to look at the
4 possible health effects of the risk factors. And then
5 we fully intend to analyze the research portfolio as
6 you suggested, but that would be something we would
7 take up in September or October with you.
8 DR. LASHOF: Okay.
9 MR. BROWN: Next I'm going to talk about
10 chemical weapons issues.
11 DR. LASHOF: Oh, chemical weapons.
12 MR. BROWN: I'm sorry? At the outset of
13 the Gulf War, U.S. military planners were concerned
14 about possible Iraqi use of two different classes of
15 chemical weapon agents against U.S. troops. And these
16 were the mustard agents, the so-called blister agents
17 that cause a skin blistering effect, and the
18 organophosphorus nerve agents, which cause the type of
19 nerve toxic effects that I discussed for
20 organophosphorus pesticides earlier.
21 With the mustard agents, staff had
22 considerable amount of data available to evaluate
1 long-term health effects of exposure to these agents.
2 This comes largely from actual human exposure data, in
3 particular to troops exposed to mustard agent during
4 the first World War, particularly British troops that
5 were exposed and there are a lot of epidemiologic
6 studies on these people. The bottom line is with
7 mustard exposure, there is pretty good epidemiologic
8 data showing that there is an increased risk of lung
9 cancer to survivors to a mustard gas attack.
10 With the nerve agents, staff also had a
11 large amount of literature to review, that on the non-
12 lethal effects of organophosphorus nerve agents, this
13 includes the agents sarin and soman and some of the
14 others we've heard about.
15 This data, we found more than 80 papers on
16 such effects, not only on laboratory animals, rats,
17 and mice, and primates, but also data from human
18 volunteers done in this country and others in the
19 1950's and '60's.
20 In addition, we evaluated the literature
21 on the organophosphorus pesticides that I discussed
22 earlier on the basis that these materials are close
1 analogues of the nerve agents. They differ only in
2 the concentration required to cause effect. Could I
3 have the first transparency?
4 This transparency is really just a repeat
5 of the earlier transparency I showed in the effect of
6 organophosphorus nerve agents. Again, at very high
7 exposure, these agents are designed to be lethal and
8 incapacitating, they can cause death. At lower
9 concentrations, they can cause a variety of severe
10 symptoms, convulsions and so forth. These have been
11 shown at least in the case of pesticides to lead to
12 certain lasting effects, the neuropsychological
13 effects that I discussed earlier.
14 Again, at lower exposure levels to the
15 organophosphorus nerve agents, we, I have listed some
16 more minor effects, miosis and some other non,
17 nonspecific effects. Again, researchers looking, at
18 least in the case of pesticides, at these materials,
19 do not, cannot pick up the same neurological long
20 term, neuropsychological long term health
22 I just want to add one interesting point,
1 that there are some ongoing studies in the Department
2 of Defense and in the VA, using these standardized
3 neuropsychological tests, looking for these types of
4 effects in Gulf War veterans. The only study that's
5 been completed, there are a number of studies done at
6 the hazard, the Environmental Hazard Centers, the
7 three Environmental Hazard Centers that are doing
8 this. The only study that is completed so far that we
9 actually have any data that we can discuss now, is a
10 study conducted by the Birmingham VA, where they
11 looked at about 100 veterans, Gulf War veterans, who
12 believed their health had been affected, possibly by
13 exposure to organophosphorus nerve agents.
14 Using these neuropsychological tests,
15 these researchers were unable to demonstrate these
16 effects in that particular population.
17 The other point I want to make is that,
18 again as I mentioned, medical monitoring and
19 surveillance conducted primarily by the Department of
20 the Army during the Gulf War located no individuals
21 reporting, presenting with the severe symptoms that I
22 have listed there, convulsions and so forth.
1 So with this in mind, staff would like to
2 make the following recommendations as far as
3 conclusions based on these points:
4 First of all, if ongoing investigations
5 identify U.S. service personnel who were exposed to
6 chemical agents during the Gulf War, then that
7 population should be screened for the known health
8 effects from such exposures and they should be
9 monitored for other health effects that might develop
10 in the coming decades, even though we don't know what
11 those effects might necessarily be.
12 Secondly, nevertheless, at this time,
13 staff recommend that the Committee conclude that
14 exposure to chemical weapon agents during the Gulf War
15 is unlikely to be responsible for symptoms reported by
16 Gulf War veterans today.
17 The third point, Department of Defense
18 should or could plan for further research on the
19 effects of low level exposure to nerve agents based on
20 studies of selected targeted populations. Such
21 populations could include any U.S. service personnel
22 who are determined to have been exposed during the
1 Gulf War, that I just mentioned.
2 Secondly, civilians exposed to the
3 chemical weapon agent sarin during the 1995 terrorist
4 attack on the Tokyo subway. This could be a well-
5 characterized population to look at perhaps.
6 And thirdly and perhaps the best
7 population to study are cases of U.S. workers
8 occupationally exposed to pesticides during their
9 work. This data tends to get well recorded in various
10 health registries supported by various state
12 Finally, as for mustard agents, as part of
13 its ongoing mortality registry, the Department of
14 Veteran Affairs should monitor increased rates of lung
15 cancer in Gulf War veterans during the coming decades.
16 That concludes my recommendations,
17 suggested recommendations. I'll take any questions.
18 DR. TAYLOR: I just have one question, I
19 know I don't have the updated one that's there. But
20 what about the co-exposures, the possible
21 pyridostigmine bromide tablets could increase the
22 toxicity of chemicals?
1 MR. BROWN: Well, we're going to discuss
2 that a little bit more in a moment.
3 DR. LASHOF: That's a separate staff
5 DR. TAYLOR: That's a separate? Okay.
6 MR. BROWN: But just to make the same
7 point that I made with Joyce is, the similar question
8 that Dr. Lashof asked, and that is, if you added a
9 synergist that increased these effects, for instance,
10 PB does appear to have some effect on the acute
11 effects, the immediate toxicity of these agents. You
12 would expect, it would just move where those effects
13 occurred. It would tend to push them down. Okay?
14 It's not that you would expect different effects, or
15 somehow new types of effects that haven't been
16 previously seen, it would just shift where those
17 effects would occur and it wouldn't change the basic
18 argument that I think I'm trying to make here.
19 DR. LASHOF: Well, I'm not sure about that
20 with pyridostigmine bromide because there it's being
21 used to block some of these effects and so it could
22 block the acute effect and yet still contribute in
1 some way to the other. Because that would be the
2 whole theory by which, but let's, let's differ it
3 until we hear everything on pyridostigmine bromide.
4 MR. BROWN: I just want to point out
5 something, that pyridostigmine bromide does not
6 decrease the acute toxicity of sarin.
7 DR. LASHOF: No, yeah.
8 MR. BROWN: It must be used with atropine
9 and 2-pam.
10 DR. LASHOF: Right.
11 MR. BROWN: In other words, it's not
12 considered prophylactic on its own.
13 DR. LASHOF: Right.
14 MR. BROWN: It wouldn't be protective on
15 its own.
16 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Well, we're defer that
17 till we get to the pyridostigmine bromide discussion
18 because it's very complicated. Pardon?
19 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It blocks the same
20 receptor site.
21 DR. LASHOF: Yeah, yeah. Further
22 questions for Mark about chemicals?
1 DR. CAPLAN: Are we convinced that we know
2 enough about genetic variability with respect to
3 symptoms and exposures, to say, that's the list or
4 that's the profile?
5 MR. BROWN: Well, we, of course we know
6 about, there is some genetic variability in
7 sensitivity to s-trait inhibitors. Nevertheless, this
8 is a recognized effect that's been known about for
9 some time and I think at least, I guess maybe the best
10 way, one of the best ways I can answer that is at
11 least in the example of organophosphorus pesticide,
12 where we have applicators who, where we have a
13 population of thousands of individuals who were
14 exposed for their professional lifetimes to these
15 agents. This hasn't been an issue in at least that
17 On the other hand, could there be some
18 group that has an unusual sensitivity to these, to
19 these agents, that would show some unexpected effect?
20 It's hard to rule that out.
21 DR. CAPLAN: So that might be one area
22 where I might want to see us qualify or say something.
1 Because there has been a suggestion that sub-
2 populations or certain hypersensitivities might be
3 there biological and so on, not that I believe it, but
4 it's unknown.
5 DR. LASHOF: John?
6 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Has your list of
7 lasting effects actually been observed for any of the
8 nerve agents?
9 MR. BROWN: No. Well, let me think about
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: There's been no
12 exposure documented at sufficient level to keep
13 advised on such a thing.
14 MR. BROWN: There have a number of cases,
15 there's been no, the really good epidemiologic
16 investigations on these effects are, have been done
17 with pesticide exposures. Because that's where you
18 have the numbers to look at and you have the good
19 characterization of exposure.
20 Nevertheless, there have been some case
21 studies of individuals who have been accidentally,
22 occupationally exposed for instance, during the
1 manufacture of chemical weapon agents. And in at
2 least these case studies, they report these types of
4 These are, again, these are examples of
5 people who are severely poisoned, who, who, you know,
6 got close to perhaps dying from these exposures.
7 DR. LARSON: Joyce, we're recommending
8 monitoring and screening for troops exposed to low
9 levels of OP nerve agents, but we're having a heck of
10 a time finding out if there was any and where it was.
11 So, now this doesn't have anything to do
12 with this recommendation, but somewhere we need to
13 make a recommendation that those people be identified.
14 DR. LASHOF: Yeah.
15 DR. LARSON: You can't screen and monitor
16 them until you admit that it happened and, you know.
17 SPEAKER: That there were some people.
18 MR. BROWN: You got to locate them first.
19 DR. LARSON: So somewhere, this assumes
20 that we know whose people are when in fact we're
21 having a very hard time finding out who they are.
22 MS. NISHIMI: Right. This recommendation
1 would be in tandem with the Committee's work in other
3 DR. LARSON: Sure, thanks.
4 MS. NISHIMI: And it would be something we
5 fully intend to explore.
6 DR. LASHOF: Yeah, generally we have to
7 realize we're doing this piecemeal.
8 DR. LARSON: Sure.
9 DR. LASHOF: But piecemeal is not the way
10 it's going to be finally done.
11 Let me ask you again, Mark, about, you
12 mentioned that there were some human experiments with
13 the nerve agents in the '50's or '60's?
14 MR. BROWN: Yes.
15 DR. LASHOF: Is that correct?
16 MR. BROWN: There's a number, quite a
17 number of studies that came out of the Department of
18 Defense, Department of the Army, done in Edgewood and
19 Aberdeen in Maryland. Primarily, I think they were
20 done to evaluate the different treatments, safety
21 treatments, preventives, and also the effect, just in
22 a military sense, the effect of what would happen in
1 a military situation on exposure.
2 DR. LASHOF: What happened to those
3 people? I mean, what degree of exposure did they get?
4 Did we lose anybody in this experiment?
5 DR. TAYLOR: How were they selected?
6 MR. BROWN: Well I don't know that
7 exactly. I can say that there are a couple of
8 National Academy, three actually, National Academy of
9 Sciences studies, reports, looking, in fact, I think
10 Phil Landrigan was on one of the committees. Looking
11 at this data, and these publications exist where they
12 evaluated the long-term health consequences to these,
13 to these military volunteers.
14 And to make a long story short, they
15 didn't find, in the case of chemical weapon agents,
16 nerve agents, they really, they decided that there
17 were no long term lasting effects. There are some
18 problem with that experiment, these experiments
19 though, there weren't particular good records kept of
20 the doses that were used, sometimes people were
21 exposed to a combination of things. The experiments
22 were designed to give data about long-term health
2 Nevertheless, the National Academy of
3 Science's studies that we reviewed as part of this
4 process concluded that probably there were no long-
5 term health consequences to that population.
6 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: I think it's worth
7 noting that there was extensive testing in the U.K. as
9 DR. LASHOF: I'm sorry?
10 DR. TAYLOR: I'm sorry, John?
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: In the U.K. with
12 human volunteers.
13 DR. LASHOF: Oh, really?
14 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: At Port and Down.
15 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Does anybody have any
16 reservations about the recommendations that Mark has
17 just presented to us? I guess not. We have time to
18 do one more before break. Let's move on. Joan?
19 MS. PORTER: Overhead?
20 MS. NISHIMI: Joan, you're going to need
21 to pull it up a little bit and speak up, thanks.
22 MS. PORTER: I'm going to speaking about
1 pyridostigmine bromide.
2 DR. LASHOF: We wanted to get to that
4 MS. PORTER: In the Gulf War, the
5 Department of Defense sought to protect troops from
6 possible adverse health effects from any exposures to
7 chemical and biological warfare by providing them with
8 certain drug and vaccine products. Pyridostigmine
9 bromide, PB, is a pretreatment to be used in
10 combination with atropine and pralodoxine chloride,
11 that's 2-PAM-chloride, in the event of exposure to
12 nerve agents.
13 All U.S. troops received blister packs of
14 PB in the Gulf War. The PB pills were supposed to be
15 taken on the unit commander's order. DOD estimates
16 that approximately 250,000 personnel took at least
17 some PB in the Gulf War theater of operations.
18 PB has been used safely since 1955 by
19 persons with myasthenia gravis and at 7 to 17 times
20 higher doses than those taken in the Gulf War.
21 Past experience with the use of this drug
22 indicated that there would be some initial unpleasant
1 side effects, such as abdominal cramps, nausea,
2 diarrhea, for example, and indeed these occurred on a
3 transient basis in the Gulf War with PB use. The side
4 effects were rarely so debilitating as to require
5 medical order for discontinuance of use and side
6 effects abated when those who took PB adjusted to use
7 or when PB was discontinued.
8 May I have the next overhead? Thank you.
9 Some investigators have raised possible
10 concern about adverse health effects from PB use in
11 interaction with DEET and permethrin, insecticides
12 used in the theater of operations, or in conjunction
13 with several other stress or environmental exposures.
14 Other concerns are that a small number of
15 persons with genetic predispositions to sensitivities
16 to drugs such as PB might have long-term health
18 May I have the next overhead, please?
19 To date, studies have been inconclusive as
20 to their applicability to humans and have in some
21 cases involved animal models such as cockroaches,
22 chickens, and rats, given high doses of various types
1 of exposures incompatible with what Gulf War
2 participants would've encountered. At least three
3 studies have been conducted, one on cockroaches by Dr.
4 Moss when he was at the Department of Agriculture, a
5 second in chickens by Dr. Abou-donia of Duke
6 University, and a third in rats by the U.S. Army.
7 All three studies came to the same
8 conclusion. That is, enhanced toxic effects were
9 observed when these compounds are given in
10 combinations, at high doses, in some cases tens to
11 thousands or more times the amount that would have
12 been used in the Gulf War.
13 In all these studies, DEET and permethrin
14 were given by animals by routes of administration not
15 used by service personnel in the Gulf. In the
16 chicken, DEET and permethrin were given by injection
17 under the skin, for example.
18 The timing and use of these compounds
19 indicates a low probability that significant numbers
20 of troops were exposed to large doses of any of these
21 compounds and an even lower chance that service
22 personnel were exposed to large doses in combination.
1 The Department of Defense and the
2 Department of Veteran's Affairs, do continue to
3 support studies of effects of PB in their research
4 portfolios. For example, one project DOD awarded this
5 spring will examine the effects of pyridostigmine in
6 rats with genetic differences in culinogeric
8 Another project will examine
9 neurobehavioral and immunological toxicity of
10 pyridostigmine, permethrin, and DEET in male and
11 female rats.
12 Numerous studies were conducted before the
13 war and since in both animals and humans that address
14 these safety and efficacy of PB.
15 Both DOD and VA are supporting additional
16 research on PB and PB in combination in interaction
17 with other exposures.
18 Synergism studies to date are based on
19 hypothesis and designs that will not provide immediate
20 definitive information about a correct connection
21 between PB use and long-term adverse health effects in
1 In conclusion, Committee staff recommend
2 that the Committee conclude that it is unlikely that
3 health effects currently reported by some Gulf War
4 veterans result from exposure to PB. Additional
5 research to examine genetic susceptibility and/or
6 synergistic effects related to PB and other risk
7 factors is underway.
8 Whether more or different approaches are
9 warranted and should be funded is an open question,
10 but staff recommend that the Committee reach no
11 conclusion in this regard until it evaluates the
12 entire Federal research portfolio.
14 DR. LASHOF: Thank you, Joan. One
15 question about the research that has been done on
16 pyridostigmine bromide and DEET and permethrin.
17 Certainly the Abou-donia study sacrificed the animals
18 just at the end of the administration.
19 MS. PORTER: Yes.
20 DR. LASHOF: So that there was no period
21 of time where he watched the animals after having
22 treated them, stopped it, and then waited a period of
1 time to then look at the effects, is that correct?
2 MS. PORTER: That's my understanding, yes.
3 So there was no, no chance to observe any long-term
4 effects of possibility of recovery.
5 DR. LASHOF: Of recovery. So what he does
6 report essentially are acute effects?
7 MS. PORTER: Yes.
8 DR. LASHOF: Resulting from the immediate
10 MS. PORTER: Immediate effects.
11 DR. LASHOF: I think we need to deal with
12 that in the write-up when we describe these studies
13 and what we learn from them.
14 What about the others? You mentioned two
15 other studies, the cockroaches and one of the others.
16 MS. PORTER: Study in rats.
17 DR. LASHOF: Were they also that acute
18 situation or did any of these studies give them the
19 two drugs and then wait and then examine the animals?
20 MS. PORTER: I believe both studies
21 observed, as did the Abou-donia study, that the short-
22 term immediate effects. The study performed by the
1 Department of the Army in rats was done by Gavage at
2 high doses as well. And the study, studies done by
3 Dr. Moss involved administration of several different
4 pesticides and PB and other chemicals in combination.
5 But they were observing short-term effects.
6 DR. LASHOF: Short term. So when we look
7 at the future research, research that would really
8 mimic what happened in the Gulf, certainly is
9 something that would need to be done.
10 But obviously at this point it would seem
11 unlikely that if you can't demonstrate much in the way
12 of acute, that you're not going to demonstrate the
13 other. But where there has been some minor findings
14 in the acute, doesn't really tell us much at all about
15 what happens after you stop and wait months and months
16 later. And so that research has yet to be done.
17 Any other questions? John?
18 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: What is the situation
19 with regard to FDA approval for this particular
21 MS. PORTER: For pyridostigmine bromide?
22 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Yes.
1 MS. PORTER: As we heard at our May 1st
2 and 2nd meeting, the Department of Defense and the
3 Food and Drug Administration continued to consult
4 about the kinds of studies that need to be done to see
5 if PB can be approved for the military use.
6 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Would that be a
7 useful recommendation that, that is that continued
8 effort toward getting the full FDA approval for this
9 use be carried out?
10 DR. TAYLOR: I think that would have to
11 wait until after the research is done first. Right?
12 Or are we recommending that they use it --
13 DR. LARSON: Not really. Because the
14 approval process requires the research and the data.
15 So it would make sense to make a recommendation that
16 the FDA approval for this use be pursued.
17 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It's a, it's a tricky
18 problem because one has typically to deal with both
19 the safety and efficacy. And I don't know you deal
20 with efficacy in a clinical trial.
21 MS. PORTER: Yes, as we noted before, I
22 think that it is challenging to devise studies that
1 can be done in an ethical fashion to produce a
2 definitive, a result about efficacy. But the plans
3 and data are being assembled and NDA has been
4 submitted by the Department of Defense to FDA to
5 consider the approval.
6 DR. LASHOF: They have filed for, to get
8 MS. PORTER: Yes.
9 DR. LASHOF: Without trying to do some,
10 and I guess you'd have to request approval without
11 trying to do some, and I guess you'd have to request
12 approval without the usual, some of the usual
13 requirements on efficacy.
14 MS. NISHIMI: It's a negotiation between
15 the DOD and FDA on what the appropriate experiments
16 are and so-called surrogate endpoints to be used in
18 DR. TAYLOR: So do they have those yet?
19 MS. NISHIMI: That's a negotiation between
20 the person filing the NDA and the FDA and that's what
21 they're looking at right now.
22 DR. LASHOF: Well, we can re-visit this
1 closer to the time the report gets put to bed and see
2 what comment we want to make about the FDA process.
3 It's something we should continue to monitor and hold
4 our decision about what recommendation until then.
5 Other concerns? Other suggestions about
6 recommendations? Any reservations? Art?
7 DR. CAPLAN: Can we say more about the
8 long-term follow-up in that myasthenia gravis
9 population with the high doses? I mean, that really
10 was the reason that they put it out on the
11 battlefield, they felt they had clinical experience
12 with it.
13 But have those people been followed long
15 MS. PORTER: Yes. It's been, PB has been
16 licensed for use for persons who have myasthenia
17 gravis since 1955 and it's been, been used safely in
18 that regard. And as pointed out, at doses that are
19 considerably higher than those used in the Gulf War
20 and for periods of time that are considerably longer
21 than those used in the Gulf War.
22 DR. LASHOF: It's a lifetime use, once
1 they start.
2 MS. PORTER: Yes.
3 DR. LASHOF: Any other questions? Any
4 other concerns? Any other recommendations? If not,
5 I told you staff, you did a great job. I think we can
6 take our lunch break at this point and we will resume
7 at 1:15.
8 (Whereupon a recess was taken.)
1 A-F-T-E-R-N-O-O-N S-E-S-S-I-O-N
2 (1:21 p.m.)
3 DR. LASHOF: We're minus a couple members,
4 but I think they'll be along very quickly.
5 And we're up to the infectious disease
6 issues and Kelley Brix. Kelley, you want to walk us
7 through where you stand with the infectious disease
9 MS. BRIX: Today I'd like to provide an
10 assessment in endemic infectious diseases as a
11 potential risk factor during the Gulf War. I'll be
12 covering four topics. The first one is some
13 background information on the types of infectious
14 disease which were prevalent in the Gulf War region.
15 The second topic will cover the infectious
16 diseases which were diagnoses amongst military
17 personnel during the war.
18 The third topic is the infectious diseases
19 that have been diagnosed amongst veterans since
20 they've returned home.
21 The final topic will be to draw some
1 Can I have the first slide, please? I
2 have it already.
3 On the basis of experience with infectious
4 disease amongst military personnel during World War
5 II, U.S. troops stationed in the Persian Gulf were
6 expected to be at especially high risk for a number of
7 diseases. These include shigella, which can cause
8 diarrhea; malaria; sandfly fever; and cutaneous
10 Could I have the next slide, please?
11 In fact, there were no deaths due to
12 infectious disease reported in U.S. troops during the
13 war and infectious diseases were not a major cause of
14 illness or lost work time. This has been attributed
15 to a number of preventive medicine efforts that were
16 taken to minimize several risks. These include
17 arthropod-born diseases, these are flies and
18 mosquitos; venomous and biting insects; food-born
19 illnesses; water-born illnesses; and respiratory
21 Could I have the next slide, please?
22 During the war, the incidents of specific
1 infectious diseases was generally lower than expected.
2 In theater, the most frequently reported infectious
3 diseases were generally mild cases of short-term
4 diarrhea and upper respiratory infections, such as
5 colds or flu. Neither of these would be likely to
6 lead to long-term consequences. The data suggests
7 that no route of infectious disease was common, other
8 than the ingestion of tainted food or water.
9 Military personnel were evaluated for
10 several arthropod-born diseases, including malaria,
11 sandfly fever, and leishmaniasis. Seven cases where
12 malaria were diagnosed, no outbreak of sandfly fever
13 was observed. There were a total of 12 cases of
14 viscetropic leishmaniasis and 20 cases of cutaneous
15 leishmaniasis diagnosed amongst U.S. troops. These
16 two types of leishmaniasis are the only endemic
17 infectious disease that were symptomatic and were not
18 diagnosed for as long as a few months after the troops
19 returned home.
20 The cutaneous form causes a characteristic
21 skin rash, which is ulcerative or nodular, it can
22 persist for more than a year if it's not treated.
1 Viscetropic leishmaniasis is not
2 considered to be a cause of widespread illness, even
3 though it can sometimes be difficult to confirm the
4 diagnosis. This is because all the individuals that
5 had the viscetropic form, except for one, had
6 characteristic objective signs of the disease, and
7 these included high fever, enlarged lymph nodes,
8 enlarged liver, or enlarged spleen. Leishmaniasis is
9 transmitted by insect bites and there is no evidence
10 of person-to-person transmission.
11 Can I have the next slide, please?
12 There are three types of clinical data
13 that are available on the types of infectious disease
14 diagnosed amongst veterans since their return home.
15 These are the results of the CCEP, the results of the
16 Persian Gulf Registry, and the results of the VA's
17 mortality study. Today I'll be focusing on the
18 results of the CCEP.
19 Infectious disease have not been a
20 frequent cause of serious illness in the majority of
21 the CCEP population of 18,075 veterans. Most of the
22 infectious diseases that have been seen have been
1 relatively minor conditions. A total of 9 percent,
2 excuse me, of the veterans, or 1,627, have had a
3 primary or secondary diagnosis of infectious disease.
4 Of these, 1,050 have been fungal infections. Skin
5 infections due to fungi, which are common in the U.S.
6 are by far the most prevalent type of infectious
7 disease. A common example of this would be athlete's
9 The second most common general category
10 infectious disease has been viral hepatitis. There
11 have been 103 cases of hepatitis B or hepatitis C
12 infections, these are also common in the general U.S.
13 population and more than 50 percent of these
14 infections are asymptomatic. Sexually transmitted
15 diseases have been rare in the CCEP population.
16 Can I have the next slide, please?
17 Among 332 spouses of veterans who have
18 been evaluated in the CCEP, a total of 23 individuals
19 have a primary or secondary diagnosis of infectious
20 disease. These have included fungal skin infections,
21 vaginal yeast infections, warts, and one case of
22 tuberculosis. All of these are known to be common in
1 the general U.S. population.
2 There have been 191 children of veterans
3 who have been evaluated in the CCEP. And 17 of them
4 have had a primary or secondary diagnosis of a
5 infectious disease. These have included upper
6 respiratory infections, such as colds, ear aches,
7 fungal skin infections, and chronic pneumonia. All
8 of these are common childhood infectious diseases in
9 the U.S. population, with the exception of chronic
11 I'd like to note that this is based on a
12 relatively small number of individuals who have
13 spouses and children. The VA has recently started a
14 program to evaluate spouses and children, which will
15 provide more data on their health problems.
16 Next slide, please.
17 Several conclusions can be drawn from the
18 CCEP data. First, a variety of organ systems have
19 been affected by infectious disease in Gulf War
20 veterans without any observable patterns. The great
21 majority of these infectious diseases are relatively
22 minor conditions which would not explain serious
1 persistent systemic complaints.
2 To date, few veterans have demonstrated
3 the classical objective, physical and laboratory
4 abnormalities that would indicate a chronic infectious
5 process, such as documented fever, elevated white
6 blood cell count, enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged
7 liver, or enlarged spleen.
8 On the basis of current clinical evidence,
9 it is unlikely that veterans have infections that have
10 invaded the systematic diagnostic efforts which have
11 been mandated in the two registry exams.
12 In conclusion, the staff recommend that
13 the Committee conclude that it is unlikely that
14 infectious diseases endemic to the Persian Gulf region
15 are associated with long-term health effects in Gulf
16 War veterans, except in a small finite number of
18 Now, I'd like to take some questions,
20 DR. LASHOF: You comment in your
21 organized, in your more detailed material for us, what
22 we do and don't know about microplasma, since that's
1 been the major infectious disease that has been put
2 forward as a hypothesis. Would you say a little bit
3 more about where we stand and what we do and don't
4 know in that regard?
5 MS. BRIX: First of all, there are a
6 number of microplasmas that can infect humans. The
7 one type of microplasma that has been suggested as a
8 possible etiology in some Gulf War veterans is the
9 type called microplasma fermenten incognitus strain.
10 This can infect humans and in fact has been shown to
11 cause disease in AIDS patients. It is not at all
12 common to note, to have been shown to cause other
13 kinds of serious diseases in patients who do not have
15 So far, there have not been any controlled
16 studies of microplasma in Gulf War veterans. There
17 have been no instances where there's been any studies
18 published where Gulf War veterans who were ill and
19 Gulf War veterans who were healthy were compared on
20 their, on their rates of microplasma infection.
21 There are two projects that are starting,
22 or are ongoing that will be looking at this question.
1 The BAA is funding a project which will be looking at
2 the prevalence of microplasma incognitus in Gulf War
3 veterans. In addition to that, there is an ongoing
4 project that has already started that is at Walter
5 Reed Hospital and that's being done by Dr. Chung and
6 Dr. Wo and they are looking at the rates of
7 microplasma in both ill and healthy Gulf War veterans.
8 MS. NISHIMI: I just want to clarify, I
9 believe under the BAA, they are intending to fund, but
10 that's still being negotiated, is that not correct?
11 MS. BRIX: That's my understanding, but I
12 think it's likely it will be funded.
13 MS. NISHIMI: No. But we don't have
14 specific details on that because it is a contract
15 that's still be negotiated.
16 MS. BRIX: That's right.
17 MS. NISHIMI: I think that's important for
18 the Committee to realize.
19 DR. LARSON: A couple of follow-up things
20 on that. Who is funding the Walter Reed study?
21 MS. BRIX: I think it's being internally
22 funded by Walter Reed research funds.
1 DR. LARSON: Okay. And what's the status,
2 how far along is that?
3 MS. BRIX: I believe it's just been going
4 for a few months.
5 DR. LARSON: Okay. And you, you also note
6 that Dr. Nicolson has been sent some blinded blood
7 samples to test and has, CDC has been trying to
8 collaborate with him on some studies. What's the
9 status of that since our last meeting in San Antonio?
10 MS. BRIX: The CDC asked Dr. Nicolson if
11 he would collaborate with them. It was almost a year
12 ago, in July or August of 1995. They offered to send
13 him some blood samples to test.
14 DR. LARSON: Okay.
15 MS. BRIX: But he has not accepted them
16 yet. He has verbally expressed interest in
17 collaborating with the CDC, but so far he has not
18 started to do that. So right now the collaboration
19 has not started or taken place.
20 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? Is that it?
22 MAJOR KNOX: Kelley, you said that we had
1 103 cases of hepatitis B?
2 MS. BRIX: Yes, that's right.
3 MAJOR KNOX: Were those individuals not
4 vaccinated prior to the Gulf War?
5 MS. BRIX: Actually I should take a step
6 back. There were 103 cases of hepatitis B or
7 hepatitis C. The majority of those, most of those
8 people, were hepatitis C infections for which there is
9 no vaccination. I'd have to look in my paper, there's
10 something like 37 cases of hepatitis B. Vaccination
11 is only really given to people who are healthcare
12 workers. The general population is, is not usually
13 given the hepatitis B vaccination.
14 MAJOR KNOX: But isn't that one of the
15 vaccinations that you receive if you're going abroad?
16 MS. BRIX: Not that I'm aware of. I don't
17 think it's on the list that I have seen.
18 MAJOR KNOX: Okay.
19 MS. BRIX: They have recently added the
20 hepatitis A immunization, since that's become
21 available. But I'm not sure that the average
22 serviceman gets the hepatitis B vaccination.
1 MAJOR KNOX: That's something we just look
2 into right now.
3 DR. LASHOF: They do get gama-globulin,
4 but the ability of gama-globulin to protect against
5 hepatitis B is probably not very great.
6 MS. BRIX: Right. Right.
7 DR. LASHOF: But I'm glad to hear they're
8 now getting hepatitis A instead of just continuing
9 with gama-globulin.
10 MS. BRIX: They've added that, they've
11 added that since it's become available.
12 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? I think
13 then if there are no further questions and any problem
14 with recommendation as stated in your paper? If not,
15 I think we can move on to the next one. If I look at
16 my paper, I'll even know who is next. Mark, back to
17 you for biological warfare weapons.
18 MR. BROWN: Biological weapons now. From
19 the beginning of the Gulf War, U.S. military planners
20 were concerned about the possibility that Iraq could
21 use a number of biological weapon agents against our
22 troops, against U.S. troops. And two of the most
1 commonly developed, weaponized biological agents of
2 concern, were anthrax, which is a bacterial disease,
3 and botulinum toxin, which is not, botulinum toxin is
4 not a disease per say, it's a highly poisonous protein
5 produced by a bacteria.
6 And I've listed here some of the types of
7 symptoms that these agents cause with the idea of
8 emphasizing the very serious nature of these agents.
9 They are designed to be lethal incapacitating agents.
10 They cause, the symptoms that you see described there
11 are quite serious, severe and life threatening. And
12 just to make the obvious point, they, people who
13 suffer from those types of symptoms, from exposure to
14 those agents, the results are almost always fatal
15 within a few days if left untreated.
16 In terms of what happens to people who are
17 exposed to less, lesser amounts of these agents, that
18 is to say amounts that don't cause these very severe
19 symptoms that I've described, that I've illustrated
21 In the case of anthrax, people have
22 estimated, just to base on animal data, that exposure
1 inhalation, which is the route of inoculation, but
2 from the that causes this disease, inhalation of as
3 few as nine spores can lead to death in some
4 individuals, some humans.
5 In the case of botulinum toxin, people who
6 are exposed for some reason to lesser amounts than
7 would cause those type of effects probably would have
8 no long-term health consequences.
9 In fact, staff have determined that the
10 Food and Drug Administration has licensed botulinum
11 toxin at doses, obviously much lower than would lead
12 to these lethal effects, for certain therapeutic uses,
13 for the treatment of certain diseases in humans. The
14 only long-term consequence from these low level
15 exposures appear to be, in some instances, patients
16 show a slight immune reaction and a desensitization.
17 And again, the case of anthrax, it's an all or nothing
18 effect, if you don't get enough to show these severe
19 symptoms, then as far as we know, there are no health
21 Can I have the next transparency?
22 After the Gulf War was over,
1 investigations by the United Nations Special
2 Commission on Iraq, UNSCOM, found an additional
3 biological weapon agent that wasn't anticipated, and
4 that's aflatoxin. So we also took a look of what
5 would be the effects of exposure to U.S. troops, U.S.
6 personnel to this agent.
7 We have quite a bit of information about
8 aflatoxin as a public health concern. It's usually a
9 public health concern in the context of a contaminant,
10 it's a fungal metabolite produced by fungal that gets
11 into stored grain products that are improperly stored
12 that get wet, for instance.
13 And there is an issue that with humans,
14 there, it's pretty clear that exposure to low levels
15 of aflatoxin can lead to liver cancer in the decades
16 following exposure.
17 But there is some data as well that staff
18 came across about the effects of very high exposure to
19 these agents. These instances are usually in the form
20 of case reports or group populations, particularly in
21 developing countries who for one reason or another ate
22 food products that were highly contaminated with the
1 aflatoxin, with the fungus and the aflatoxin products.
2 And in these case studies, they report immediate toxic
3 effects, including some of the symptoms I have listed
4 there and at very high exposure, these materials lead
5 to, apparently cause death from massive liver damage.
6 With these observations, I'd like to try
7 a few recommendations, staff recommendations.
8 First, staff recommend that the Committee
9 conclude that exposure to biological weapon agents
10 during the Gulf War is unlikely to be responsible for
11 symptoms reported by Gulf War veterans today.
12 Secondly, in the case of aflatoxin, if
13 ongoing investigations identify any Gulf War veterans
14 who were exposed to this agent during the Gulf War,
15 then it might be appropriate to monitor that
16 population for increased rates of liver cancer in the
17 coming decades.
18 I'll answer any questions.
19 DR. LASHOF: As far as the second
20 recommendation goes, if ongoing investigations, now,
21 what investigations are ongoing that would relate to
22 exposure to aflatoxin? Do you know of any? Do we
1 have any idea as to how the troops might have been
2 exposed to aflatoxin?
3 MR. BROWN: I guess PGIT, you never know,
4 they might find something. And UNSCOM, UNSCOM is also
5 investigating, continues to investigate weapons of
6 mass destruction that Iraq had.
7 I suppose it's conceivable and this is the
8 thought that led to this conclusion, it's conceivable
9 that evidence could surface which we don't have now
10 indicating that biological, exposure to biological
11 weapon agents. If for instance, it turned out that a
12 bunker that was destroyed, not bunker 73, but if a
13 bunker was destroyed that turned out to have
14 biological weapon agents, at this point I want to
15 emphasize, we have no information to suggest that any
16 troops were even exposed to aflatoxin.
17 DR. LASHOF: Do we have much information
18 about how much aflatoxin they had and where it was
19 deployed, and you know, what has UNSCOM told us about
20 the deployment of aflatoxin?
21 MR. BROWN: My understanding is that we
22 have an amount, there's a, I forget what the exact
1 figure is, but an amount of aflatoxin that was
2 discovered. And Iraq had aflatoxin in weaponized
3 forms actually, in some kind of, I'm not exactly
4 familiar with how these weapons work precisely, but in
5 some form that was suitable for mounting on a bomb or
6 a missile.
7 DR. LASHOF: Similar, I would assume then,
8 to how they, the rockets that had nerve gas in it?
9 MR. BROWN: Quite likely.
10 DR. LASHOF: I think it would be similar
11 with that.
12 MR. BROWN: Yes, that's my assumption.
13 DR. LASHOF: John?
14 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Aflatoxin seems like
15 such an unlikely choice, is there information on acute
17 MR. BROWN: Well, I'm sorry, yes, the case
18 studies that I was referring to are, have to do with
19 acute toxicity. That is to say, immediate toxic
20 effects that show up, you know, you know, within hours
21 of exposure. And it can lead to severe poisoning and
22 even death.
1 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: But at very high
2 concentrations, I presume?
3 MR. BROWN: Not necessarily. The, the, it
4 turns out that there is a tremendous range of
5 sensitivities in different animal species. Some
6 animals, including some avian species, some birds, are
7 quite sensitive to the lethal effects of aflatoxin.
8 I don't know, we could not find any
9 references to human toxicity values, acute toxicity
10 values for these agents. So in a sense, we can only
11 speculate that that was their, that that was the
13 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It seems like such an
14 unlikely agent that anyone reading the report will
15 likely demand some evidence or data. So I think
16 referencing this one carefully is important.
17 MR. BROWN: Unfortunately, the data on
18 acute toxicity is, is somewhat limited because of the,
19 when these studies were done, they were done by a
20 medical public health people in developing countries,
21 looking at populations that had eaten, that were
22 determined to have eaten a lot of contaminated food,
1 food contaminated with the fungus that produces this
3 And we don't really have any, it's not a
4 good way to accumulate exposure data to determine what
5 the actual effective dose, say, of this particular
6 chemical might be.
7 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: But, but also the
8 data that suggests the Iraqis were, intended to use
9 this as a biological weapon.
10 MS. NISHIMI: But that's data from UNSCOM
11 and that, we --
12 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: That seems secure?
13 MS. NISHIMI: We talked about that in the
14 interim report, I mean.
15 MR. BROWN: Yes. The data that, we can
16 speculate about exactly what the Iraqis had in mind.
17 I'm speculating that they were looking at the acute
18 lethal effects.
19 But it's certain that Iraq had these
20 materials developed. That seems to be solid UNSCOM --
21 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: The U.N. literally
22 recovered --
1 MR. BROWN: My understanding, yes, that's
2 my understanding. They actually recovered --
3 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Munitions containing
5 MR. BROWN: Yes.
6 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: So they literally
7 produced kilogram quantities?
8 MR. BROWN: Yes.
9 DR. LASHOF: Any other questions?
10 Comments? Any problem with the recommendation in this
11 regard? I think that one's pretty solid. Okay.
12 Joan, you're going to talk about the
13 vaccines, is that correct?
14 MS. PORTER: I'm going to talk about
15 botulinum toxoid vaccine and anthrax vaccine.
16 In the Gulf War, the Department of Defense
17 sought to protect troops from possible adverse health
18 effects from any exposures to biological warfare by
19 providing them with vaccine products.
20 Two vaccines used in the Gulf War were
21 botulinum toxoid, BT vaccine, and anthrax vaccine.
22 DOD estimates that approximately 8,000 military
1 personnel received at least one dose of the BT vaccine
2 during the Gulf War and about 150,000 received the
3 anthrax vaccine.
4 The BT vaccine had been used safely since
5 1971, as accepted prophylaxis for industry and
6 laboratory workers who are at risk of exposure to the
7 deadly botulinum toxins. And before Gulf War, over
8 10,000 inoculations had been given.
9 May I have the next overhead, please?
10 Information available at the time of the
11 Gulf War indicated that individuals could experience
12 side effects associated with vaccination,
13 predominantly at the injection site. Such local
14 effects included pain, tenderness, swelling, redness,
15 and itching. Systemic reaction such as fever,
16 tiredness, headache and/or muscle pain could also
17 occur. Rarely, a lump developed at the injection site
18 that generally went away within several weeks.
19 The rate of adverse reactions during the
20 Gulf War closely paralleled the percentages and type
21 documented prior to the war. These types of adverse
22 reactions associated with BT vaccine are also seen
1 with other licensed toxoid vaccines such as diphtheria
2 and tetanus toxoids.
3 Since 1971, the anthrax vaccine has been
4 routinely used in at-risk populations such as
5 laboratory personnel, who worked with bacillus
6 anthraxus, employees in textile mills where imported
7 goat hair is processed, and veterinarians who come in
8 contact with infected animals.
9 Information available at the time of the
10 Gulf War indicated that up to 6 percent of the
11 recipients will experience mild discomfort at the
12 inoculation site for up to 72 hours. Less than 1
13 percent will have more severe local reactions,
14 potentially limiting the use of the arm for one to two
15 days. Systemic reactions, for example fever, malaise,
16 are uncommon. There have been no long-term adverse
17 consequences demonstrated. During the Gulf War, there
18 was one known hospitalization for a vaccination site
20 There are some well characterized short-
21 term health effects of BT vaccine and anthrax vaccine,
22 but there is no convincing theoretical or empirical
1 evidence that the use of these vaccines in the Gulf
2 War resulted in long-term health problems.
3 Staff recommend that the Committee
4 conclude that there is sufficient information
5 available today to make a determination that there are
6 no likely long-term health effects from potential
7 exposure to BT and/or anthrax vaccines used during the
8 Gulf War.
10 DR. LASHOF: Couple questions. Botulinum
11 toxoid now has been used in some 10,000 people so
12 there seems to be adequate information on its safety.
13 MS. PORTER: That's 10,000 doses, and that
14 was prior to Gulf War.
15 DR. LASHOF: Prior to Gulf War?
16 MS. PORTER: Yes.
17 DR. LASHOF: So there were lots more since
18 Gulf War?
19 MS. PORTER: Yes.
20 DR. LASHOF: But it is still an
21 investigational vaccine, that is it's not licensed?
22 MS. PORTER: It is not yet licensed, but
1 DOD is pursuing licensure for the BT vaccine.
2 DR. LASHOF: That, that was my question,
3 good. Okay. Let's keep a track on --
4 MS. PORTER: It's a priority for DOD to
5 have this particular vaccine licensed.
6 DR. LASHOF: Okay. The question
7 concerning possible contamination of these vaccines.
8 You want to comment further on that and do we want to
9 make any recommendation regarding any of the issues
10 around the so-called theory that the vaccines might
11 have been contaminated with microplasma?
12 MS. PORTER: At our May 1st and 2nd
13 meeting, this question came up with some presentations
14 that were made by Dr. Anna Whitaker Johnson. And
15 since that time we've tried to follow-up a little bit
16 to have further information on possible contamination.
17 That really does not seem possible for several
19 With the anthrax vaccine, for example, the
20 microplasma is a very finicky type of organism, and
21 the media which are used to grow anthrax vaccines are
22 not really compatible with microplasma.
1 Also, there is a sterilization process
2 wherein steam is used, which would kill the
3 microplasma, if any were there, and in the final
4 stages of preparation, formaldehyde, a very small
5 amount of formaldehyde is used, which would also not
6 permit any microplasma to grow.
7 Now with the BT vaccine, the way it is
8 prepared is slightly different from the anthrax
9 vaccine, but there is used in this vaccine thimerosal,
10 which is an antibacterial, which would make it not
11 possible for microplasma to be in these vaccines.
12 DR. LASHOF: Would it not be appropriate
13 for us to make a recommendation concerning, -- that we
14 also find it unlikely that illness could be used to
15 contaminated vaccines?
16 MS. PORTER: You mean make a finding?
17 DR. LASHOF: A finding.
18 MS. PORTER: A finding.
19 DR. LASHOF: Finding, not a
20 recommendation, a finding.
21 MS. PORTER: That seems warranted to me.
22 If the Committee thinks that is appropriate.
1 DR. LARSON: Just a point of clarification
2 about that. In a lot of products, formaldehyde and
3 thimerosal are used to inhibit growth, but not at
4 levels that will kill. What was the percentage of
5 these agents in the preparation, was it enough to kill
6 the microplasma?
7 MS. PORTER: My understanding is that it
8 was. I don't have the exact percentages, but we can
9 find that for you.
10 DR. LARSON: Because, you know, in an
11 analogous way, outbreaks have occurred from soap,
12 liquid soap with antibacterial agents in it
13 contaminated with microorganisms.
14 So, I just want to make, when you say
15 there's an antibacterial product and that microplasma
16 doesn't have a cell wall, so it's a little, it's
17 killed a little bit differently than other bacteria,
18 it's not killed the same way, let's just be sure that
19 the agents there could, would kill the microplasmas.
20 MS. PORTER: We can revisit that by --
21 DR. LARSON: And if that's the case, than
22 I would feel comfortable, but not unless we're sure.
1 MS. PORTER: So your question is, the
2 amount of thimerosal that is present?
3 DR. LARSON: Yeah.
4 MS. PORTER: In the BT vaccine preparation
5 and if that is sufficient to kill any microplasma.
6 DR. LARSON: And also the mechanism of, I
7 mean, and I don't know, you know more about
8 formaldehyde, does it, a little tiny bit will do it?
9 I don't know what percent is needed to kill.
10 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It seems to me the
11 point is that you're trying to differentiate a spore
12 from a bacteria. And the spore is, is very resistent.
13 So I think it could go to --
14 MS. PORTER: No, the microplasma isn't
16 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: No, but the anthrax
18 MS. PORTER: Oh, okay. Yeah, sorry.
19 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: And so the, I would
20 suppose that the process conditions are those which,
21 which will allow the spore to survive, but will
22 sterilize the microorganisms.
1 MS. PORTER: But I don't if microplasma is
2 sensitive to thimerosal, for example?
3 DR. LARSON: It's just information we
4 need. If it is and somebody knows, fine.
5 MS. PORTER: We'll follow up.
6 DR. LARSON: Thanks.
7 DR. LASHOF: John, just to correct, you
8 killed the spore in making the vaccine. It's a kill,
9 it's a kill
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Oh, excuse me, yes.
12 The spore is the agent, excuse me.
13 DR. LASHOF: Yes, the spore is the agent
14 and we kill it.
15 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: It's been a long
17 DR. LASHOF: We're not giving them long.
18 All right. Marguerite?
19 MAJOR KNOX: Joan, when they talked about
20 these vaccinations, there was some discussion about
21 receiving so many vaccinations at one time may depress
22 the immune system. Is there any work or any studies
1 that are ongoing that might look at that in the
3 MS. PORTER: Not, not in a general way.
4 You'll recall at the May 1st and 2nd meeting, we had
5 a report on boosters that were given to personnel who
6 received both anthrax and botulinum toxoid vaccine in
7 the Gulf War to see if the boosters in any way
8 interfered with one another or caused health problems.
9 And the data that were reported there in this
10 particular study indicated that there were not any
11 unexpected adverse reactions.
12 I think that you might say that our immune
13 systems are challenged all the time with a variety of
14 antigens every day. And our immune system manages to
15 resist those.
16 Also, if you think of situations in which
17 people travel overseas and they receive a whole
18 battery of tests and a whole battery of vaccinations
19 and so on. One doesn't see effects on the immune
21 MS. NISHIMI: Marguerite, -- medicine is
22 looking at, they have a committee to look at
1 combinations of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. And if
2 that study proceeds on time, the Committee would be
3 able to avail itself of the results of that study. So
4 I think that probably addresses your more broader
6 MAJOR KNOX: Okay.
7 DR. LASHOF: I think also from childhood
8 immunizations, the number of immunizations we're now
9 giving kids is I think probably even more than one
10 takes when one goes overseas on a relatively short
11 period of time without adverse effects.
12 All right. Any other comments? Any
13 problems with the staff recommendation and the
14 finding? Okay.
15 DR. TAYLOR: You know, I guess, one other
16 question I wanted to ask about the vaccines.
17 DR. LASHOF: Oh, sure. I'm sorry, please.
18 DR. TAYLOR: I remember earlier, we
19 weren't certain how many of our troops received the
20 vaccines versus those who didn't. Do we have any more
21 information regarding that, Joan? Or was that
1 MS. PORTER: No. The estimates stand as
2 they were when the interim report was prepared. We
3 don't really have any more definitive information
4 because there hasn't been much progress identifying
5 medical records. So we still bank on the same
7 MS. NISHIMI: I wouldn't expect that that
8 would change. The interim report quite directly makes
9 a point that medical recordkeeping was wholly
10 inadequate and we're just going to have to stop at
11 that point and I think acknowledge exactly what the
12 interim report said again in the final report.
13 DR. LARSON: I just want to make the point
14 that we do need to be very sure because while it's
15 highly, highly unlikely, practically impossible, these
16 things have happened and we need to be clear that we
17 have really looked at this. I mean, the numbers of
18 people that got these vaccines prior to the Gulf War
19 are very small. We would never have known about
20 guion-beret if there hadn't of been hundreds and
21 hundreds of thousands of people immunized for flu.
22 So, we just, we had a natural experiment,
1 if you will, with thousands and thousands of people
2 immunized at the same, or very similar time in a short
3 period of time, for the first time with these
5 So I'm comfortable with the
6 recommendations, but I really do want to make sure
7 that these ingredients were killing microplasma, which
8 are different to kill than bacteria.
9 MS. NISHIMI: I think we know where to
10 take this one and we'll report back to you on some of
11 the precise details.
12 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Very good. All right.
13 Moving right along, depleted uranium. Mike, that's
14 your baby.
15 MR. KOWALOK: Thank you. My remarks will
16 provide a few points about DU exposures during the
17 war, associates health effects, and preliminary staff
19 During the Gulf War, U.S. tanks and some
20 U.S. aircraft fired munitions made of depleted
21 uranium. DU is nearly twice as dense as lead and is
22 effective in enhancing the performance of armor and
1 armor penetrators.
2 Like other munitions, DU rounds produce
3 shrapnel and an aerolized dust whenever they strike a
4 hard target or ignite in an accidental munitions fire.
5 As you know, many veterans are concerned
6 that exposures to DU-contaminated debris are a
7 contributing factor in their reported illnesses.
8 According to my first slide here, is a sort of summary
9 of the exposures.
10 A review by the U.S. General Accounting
11 Office found that only a few dozen soldiers are known
12 to have been exposed to DU during friendly fire
13 episodes, or from duties in retrieving or servicing
14 vehicles damaged by DU munitions.
15 However, as evident in the testimony
16 provided to this Committee, there is much public
17 concern that thousands of troops could have
18 inadvertently and unknowingly inhaled DU dust
19 particles whenever they had incidental contact with a
20 vehicle that may have been destroyed by DU munitions
21 or whenever they lived or worked in areas that may
22 have been contaminated with DU dust from accidental
1 munitions fires.
2 Let me have the second slide, please.
3 About the health effects of uranium.
4 Uranium is a naturally occurring heavy
5 metal that is chemically toxic and slightly
6 radioactive. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the
7 process by which uranium, natural uranium is depleted
8 of its most diginible isotope.
9 DU has the same toxicology properties and
10 approximately half of the radioactivity of natural
11 uranium and the health effects of DU mimic those of
12 natural uranium.
13 Years of occupational health experience
14 within the domestic uranium industry, has shown that
15 natural uranium poses little radiological or
16 toxicological health threat, while external to the
17 body. Internalized uranium, however, is associated
18 with kidney toxicity and may be linked to radiation
19 induced lung or bone cancer.
20 The literature indicates that the kidney
21 is the most sensitive organ to uranium's toxicological
22 effects and is the critical target organ for risk
2 The data about uranium's radiological
3 effect is equivocal. Human and animal studies do not
4 indicate that uranium causes cancer and if it does,
5 any such cancer risk would be small because of
6 uranium's long half life and low specific activity.
7 In fact, the specific activity of uranium is so low,
8 that kidney damage will likely appear from uranium's
9 chemical effects at doses that are lower than those
10 that would cause an appreciable risk of cancer from
11 its radiation effects.
12 It is for this reason that uranium is
13 regulated, based on its chemical toxicity, not on its
14 radiological properties.
15 May I have the next slide, please? This
16 is a look at the clinical observations within the DOD
17 and VA registered programs.
18 It is important to note that clinical data
19 from the DOD and VA registry programs demonstrate that
20 few Gulf War veterans are experiencing kidney diseases
21 of any type and of any origin. Another key point is
22 that the soldiers who received the greatest internal
1 exposures to DU are the ones who survive friendly fire
2 episodes. These troops have the greatest potential to
3 inhale or ingest DU aerosols and many of them still
4 retain imbedded fragments of DU shrapnel.
5 The VA is monitoring the health status of
6 these individuals and to date, no evidence of kidney
7 toxicity has been observed within this group.
8 These points bring us to staff
9 recommendation. Staff recommend that the Committee
10 conclude the following:
11 (1) It is unlikely that exposures to
12 depleted uranium are responsible for the symptoms
13 reported by Gulf War veterans.
14 (2) The VA should continue to monitor and
15 treat those individuals with imbedded fragments of DU
17 (3) Further research is needed to better
18 evaluate the long-term health risks associated with
19 imbedded fragments of DU shrapnel.
20 And (4) The VA should consistently gather
21 data about bone and lung cancer in future mortality
22 follow-up studies.
1 DR. LASHOF: Thank you. Questions for
2 Mike? John?
3 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Thanks. How does the
4 toxicity of lead compare with that of uranium?
5 MR. KOWALOK: I, I do not know. Much more
6 is known about the toxicity of lead. But relative to
7 the other, I wouldn't want to speculate about.
8 MR. BROWN: Well, I can just add, I think
9 that they are somewhat similar, as to their acute
10 toxicity. But a major difference is that lead
11 persists in the body, to many routes of administration
12 at any rate, for much longer rates than does uranium.
13 In other words, uranium has a shorter half life.
14 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: But uranium is
15 cumulative as well, is it not?
16 MR. BROWN: I'm sorry?
17 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Isn't uranium
18 cumulative as well?
19 MR. BROWN: It is, but is has a shorter
20 half life.
21 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: In the body? And do
22 you know what method is used to assay for uranium in
1 circulation? Is there a current assay?
2 MR. KOWALOK: There, the current assay,
3 the one that's used the most frequently is a 24-hour
4 urine analysis.
5 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: With a key later?
6 That is, do you know how this is done?
7 MR. KOWALOK: With a serum sample as well.
8 To create, to correct for --
9 DR. LARSON: Yesterday somebody
10 recommended whole body counting for DU?
11 MR. KOWALOK: Yes.
12 DR. LARSON: What's, what's the rationale
13 or why would --
14 MR. KOWALOK: There is, depending upon the
15 ability of the uranium that's inhaled or ingested,
16 determines whether it's rapidly removed from the body
17 or whether it stays, in the case of inhalation, which
18 I think is the greatest concern here, whether it
19 remains within the lung.
20 There is a, a way of scanning for trapped
21 particles, called whole body exposure analysis. And
22 it is looking for gama rays that are given off by
1 uranium daughter products.
2 There is much debate right now about
3 whether this process can be calibrated to detect the
4 levels that would be expected in lung tissue. It's
5 just, there are, there are major uncertainties in the
6 level of science.
7 DR. LARSON: Well has this procedure been
8 used with the most heavily exposed people?
9 MR. KOWALOK: Yes.
10 DR. LARSON: And what are the results?
11 MR. KOWALOK: The results are negative.
12 There, there is work going on within the VA to develop
13 the process further and to, to better correlate it, to
14 see if it does correlate with uranium, excuse me,
15 urine assays. Urine uranium assays.
16 DR. LASHOF: How often have they
17 recommended, I mean the people who wanted to do the
18 whole body counts? How often did they want to try to
19 do that?
20 MR. KOWALOK: Well, in the VA follow-up
21 study of the 35 members who, the 35 individuals who
22 were exposed in friendly fire incidents, most of those
1 individuals who have had two urine uranium samples.
2 And eight, eight have received a whole body count and
3 all of those were negative. And they key point is
4 that there was no evidence of kidney toxicity evident.
5 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: By negative, you mean
6 no counts detected above background?
7 MR. KOWALOK: I do not know the specific,
8 how those results were characterized. But the, the in
9 vivo monitoring did not suggest that this was going to
10 be a --
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Just, direct
12 detection of the alpha radiation doesn't make, doesn't
13 make any sense.
14 MR. KOWALOK: You cannot detect the alpha
15 radiation from outside the body.
16 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: And the number of
17 outer products is so small because of the extremely
18 long half life.
19 MR. KOWALOK: That's the problem with the
20 science right now. Is that it's very difficult to get
21 a trial that's clean enough to differentiate from
22 background radiation.
1 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Are there question?
2 Other concerns? If not, I guess we will move along to
3 oil well fires. Can't move without my attendant, oil
4 well fires.
5 Lois, I guess you're, you're doing oil
6 well fires, right, Lois?
7 MS. JOELLENBECK: Yes.
8 DR. LASHOF: Pretty picture?
9 MS. JOELLENBECK: More than 600 oil wells
10 and several pools of spilled oil were ignited in the
11 Kuwaiti oil fields by the retreating Iraqi troops in
12 February of 1991. These oil fires were a very visible
13 and dramatic health risk factor present during the
14 Gulf War and for the nine months following until
15 November of 1991.
16 Black clouds of billowing smoke rose into
17 the atmosphere, forming a super plume that was visible
18 for hundreds of miles.
19 The oil well fires raised serious health
20 concerns, both nationally and internationally because
21 oil well fires can generate toxic gases and combustion
22 products which pose health hazards.
1 Can I have the next slide?
2 For that reason, an interagency task force
3 was organized with team members from the Environmental
4 Protection Agency, National Institute for Science and
5 Technology, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
6 Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and
7 Prevention, who arrived in theater by March 10th, 1991
8 and began carrying out sampling and interviews.
9 Similarly, other teams from around the
10 world participated in various assessment projects,
11 coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization.
12 Later in May, the Army's Environmental Hygiene Agency
13 began an extensive air pollution monitoring program,
14 which collected over 4,000 air and soil samples from
15 over eight different sites in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,
16 with a particular interest in the potential long-term
17 effects from exposures.
18 The conclusions of all of these groups has
19 been similar. Levels of pollutant gases were much
20 lower than had been feared or anticipated and below
21 guidelines set by EPA and other organizations, but
22 ground-based measurement did suggest high levels of
2 May I have the next?
3 An explanation for the finding that levels
4 of toxic gases and combustion products were so low,
5 seems to lie partially in the fact that the plumes
6 joined in a large super plume that rose quickly up
7 into the atmosphere to levels of 1,500 to 13,000 feet
8 and traveled, and dissipated at that great height.
9 There were times when the plume touched
10 down to the ground. And perhaps you've seen
11 photographs of such instances when it was dark in
12 broad daylight.
13 Transient higher exposures took place at
14 these times.
15 The Army took some worst case industrial
16 hygiene measurements at such a time when the plume had
17 touched down at Camp Freedom. These data indicated
18 that particulates were indeed high at this time, but
19 levels of other contaminants of concern were at low or
20 non-detectable levels.
21 So the acute effects were not as dire as
22 had been feared. To assess the long-term effects,
1 Congress mandated construction of a unit-locator
2 database, which you've had a briefing on, with the
3 locations of each unit on each day between January
4 15th and December 31st of 1991. The Army's Center for
5 Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine is using a
6 GIS database to combine this information with a model
7 of the oil smoke plume location for every day, to
8 estimate exposures to the troops.
9 In the meantime, the Army carried out a
10 risk assessment using EPA methodology of the long-term
11 health risks, both cancer and non-cancer, which might
12 be expected at the eight sites where ambient air
13 monitoring took place between May and December.
14 Risks from cancer were estimated not to
15 exceed 3 excess cancers per 1 million people exposed,
16 which is a value well within EPA's acceptable range.
17 The risk estimate for non-cancer health effects also
18 suggested low risks of potential adverse health
19 effects among the DOD population.
20 Can I have the next, please?
21 The health effects one might expect from
22 high exposures to oil well fire smoke include
1 coughing, wheezing, increased airway resistance,
2 respiratory infections, and causing particular
3 problems in asthmatics or others with chronic lung
4 disease. Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfite and
5 sulfur dioxide, are known to cause irritation to eyes
6 and nose, pulmonary function decrements, and increased
7 airway. However, these gases did not appear to be
8 present at high levels in the Gulf.
9 High levels of particulates which did
10 occur intermittently in the Gulf are associated with
11 increased asthma morbidity and the exacerbation of
12 other chronic respiratory conditions.
13 With long-term exposure to lower levels of
14 smoke, some loss in lung function or chronic
15 bronchitis might develop.
16 Some constituents of smoke, such as
17 benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are human
19 The next slide, please.
20 Often in occupational health, you turn to
21 the highest exposed groups for a sense of what health
22 outcomes you might be most likely to see in the
1 extreme. In this case, the highest exposed group is
2 that of the civilian firefighters, who worked 28-day
3 stints at the well heads with no respiratory
4 protection. Most were over 30 and had 10 or more
5 years experience fighting similar oil well fires.
6 Many of them in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle
8 The physician who examined them before and
9 after each tour of duty, found upon follow-up through
10 1994, no cases of illnesses resembling those reported
11 by Gulf War veterans, nor had he observed such
12 complaints in work among thousands of firefighters who
13 had spent years with similar experiences.
14 To conclude, staff recommend the Committee
15 conclude that it is unlikely that exposure to oil fire
16 smoke is responsible for the symptoms reported by Gulf
17 War veterans. This conclusion is supported by a large
18 body of data collected from sampling in the Kuwait and
19 Saudi Arabia environment while the fires were burning,
20 and by research on human and animal health effects of
21 exposure to air pollutions.
22 DR. LASHOF: Questions for Lois?
1 DR. TAYLOR: I have one, Joyce.
2 DR. LASHOF: Andrea, go ahead.
3 DR. TAYLOR: Lois, do we know how soon
4 after the fires were started that they were able to
5 actually come in and conduct sampling of the area?
6 MS. JOELLENBECK: The first sampling that
7 was done, that I'm aware of, was in March, starting in
8 March 10th, when the Interagency Air Assessment Team,
9 consisting of people from EPA, NOHA, National
10 Institute for Science and Technology, and CDC came and
11 began doing sampling.
12 DR. TAYLOR: And when were the fires
13 started, were they started --
14 MS. JOELLENBECK: The fires began at the
15 end of February.
16 DR. TAYLOR: End of February. What, were
17 they sampling for total particulate as well as sulfur
18 dioxide, or some of the others, I'm not sure what all
19 they sampled.
20 MS. JOELLENBECK: Yes. Later when the
21 Army came in and began its program in May, they were
22 sampling for a very broad spectrum. The initial
1 sampling that took place in March did include some
2 sampling for particulates, including the risk for full
4 DR. TAYLOR: And all these levels were
5 within EPA standards, that we know of?
6 MS. JOELLENBECK: Particulates did exceed
7 EPA, National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
8 DR. TAYLOR: They did exceed it?
9 MS. JOELLENBECK: Yes.
10 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
11 DR. LASHOF: The particulates were, what
12 chemicals in those particulates?
13 MS. JOELLENBECK: Particulates describes
14 a whole range of different chemical constituents.
15 Often what is focused on with particulates are those
16 that are sized less than 10 micrometers and those are
17 considered most easily inhalable deep into the lung.
18 DR. LASHOF: And those particulates are a
19 range of chemicals, right? But you do, when you
20 measure for those small particulates, are you
21 measuring the chemicals or just the particles?
22 MS. JOELLENBECK: Well, there are
1 sometimes, the chemicals adhere to some of the
3 DR. LASHOF: Yeah.
4 MS. JOELLENBECK: Right. Both are
5 measured. If you're concerned with the chemical-by-
6 chemical, then you can measure that aspect of the
8 DR. TAYLOR: Separately. Right, but most
9 of these were total particulate though. They didn't
10 measure separate chemical samples at all.
11 MS. JOELLENBECK: Well, they did measure,
12 for example, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
13 DR. TAYLOR: Okay.
14 MS. JOELLENBECK: And specific volatile
15 organic compounds.
16 DR. TAYLOR: That's right. Okay.
17 DR. LASHOF: That's what I was trying to
18 find out. John?
19 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: I wanted really to
20 make the same comment. That the real potential
21 villain here is the, is the fraction of poly aromatic
22 hydrocarbons and the long-term cancer risk. And those
1 typically have very, very high melting points so they
2 condense on the particulates.
3 And so, if you really want to understand
4 the exposure to these poly aromatics, then you have to
5 extract, take the particular fraction and do an
7 MS. JOELLENBECK: That was done. And they
8 found frequently levels of polycyclic aromatics to be
9 nondetectable, but otherwise to be in the very low
11 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: I find that, I find
12 that, yeah, hard to believe.
13 DR. TAYLOR: That's very, that's really
14 hard to believe that, I don't know.
15 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. And especially in view
16 of the, I mean, I don't think in terms of the acute
17 symptoms or the chronic symptoms we're seeing now, but
18 in terms of long-term disease and chronic disease, the
19 most recent study called taking breath or
20 breathtaking, from NRDC that came out about a month
21 ago, which concentrated on the cities and the country
22 that had the highest level of small particulates
1 having higher death rates than with cities with lower
2 level. And they came up with excess death, or
3 premature deaths really, probably primarily in
4 chronically ill people, having earlier deaths if they
5 live in a city that has high small particulate matter.
6 Is that relevant to what their studies and
7 the findings of that study relevant to what we're
8 discussing here today?
9 MS. JOELLENBECK: There certainly has been
10 increasing interest in particulates and this
11 association with increased morbidity and asthma
12 exacerbation and also mortality with the particulates.
13 So I would say it is relevant. Particulates are still
14 something of an enigma. And these associations that
15 are seen in the six city for example, and probably the
16 one by NRDC, there's controversy and still, I think,
17 not complete understanding of what components of the
18 particulates are responsible and what the biologic
19 mechanism is.
20 They would be relevant for this situation
21 where there were intermittent high levels of
22 particulates. What implications that has for the
1 long-term health effects are the same questions we
2 have for situations in our cities.
3 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: I guess I think much
4 more is known about this than you imply. That is, for
5 typical poly aromatics, such as the benzethracine, you
6 know, the root of metabolism, in fact it's the
7 metabolites that are the, that are the active
9 MS. JOELLENBECK: I'm referring to
10 particulates as respirable particulates. Certainly we
11 understand, well, that many polycyclic aromatics are
12 human carcinogens.
13 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: I mean, the products
14 of combustion of all kinds typically contain these,
15 these compounds. It's the problem with cigarette
16 smoking as well as exposure to particulates in urban
18 MR. BROWN: Excuse me, but the previous
19 study you referred to had to do with effects not
20 directly due to lung cancer, for instance, from
21 exposure to PAH's, but just an effect, a health effect
22 caused by the particulates, inhalation of
2 DR. LASHOF: Well, I think we're talking
3 about two different studies. John is talking about
4 the cyclic --
5 MR. BROWN: Polycyclic aromatic
6 hydrocarbons and PAH's.
7 DR. LASHOF: Yeah.
8 MR. BROWN: In other words, but the --
9 DR. LASHOF: And the NRDC study was
10 looking at nitrous oxide and other chemicals that were
11 attached to the small particulates.
12 MR. BROWN: But they weren't looking at
13 lung cancer, for instance, isn't it?
14 DR. LASHOF: No.
15 MR. BROWN: Just other health effects.
16 DR. LASHOF: The NRDC study was looking
17 more, well, they were looking at general mortality,
18 respiratory disease, cardiac disease.
19 MR. BROWN: And of course the other
20 difference is that that's a lifetime exposure --
21 DR. LASHOF: Well, I was going to say, I
22 think the big difference is and whether it's relevant
1 here or not, you may want to do a little more digging
2 before we come to a firm conclusion, but certainly the
3 NRDC study is talking about people exposed for a
4 lifetime and it was especially the elderly dying
5 somewhat prematurely in those cities.
6 So that would have been a long-time
7 exposure and you certainly wouldn't expect that from
8 a short exposure to fires.
9 I think making the comparison to
10 firefighters is much closer to the situation than
11 trying to look at the NRDC study, even though I
12 brought it up. I just brought it up because I think
13 we want to uncover anything that's been written
14 around, consider it, either accept or reject its
15 applicability. I don't know about the cancer.
16 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Well again, it's the
17 issue latency I think that's the difficult one here.
18 I would be comfortable with the recommendation that
19 said that the short-term effects are, are unlikely to
20 be the cause of the symptoms that we're seeing.
21 MS. NISHIMI: I think that as staff --
22 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: On the other hand, I
1 think there is potentially major long-term risk.
2 MS. JOELLENBECK: Well, actually, the
3 sampling and the risk assessment that took place were
4 based on long-term health risks, including cancer, and
5 based upon their measurements of polycyclic aromatics,
6 benzene and other carcinogenic components. So it was
7 based on their measurements that these were low, that
8 they arrived at very low risks for excess cancer for
9 the long term.
10 DR. LARSON: there are two experts here
11 who I don't think agree with you and that makes me
13 MS. NISHIMI: Well, anyway, I think I know
14 where staff needs to go on this one and we can report
15 back to you on this particular risk factor.
16 DR. LASHOF: Yeah. I think we just wanted
17 more information and that's where we need to go. And
18 Don has a question.
19 ADMIRAL CUSTIS: Where did the wind blow
20 this stuff? It didn't go north, northeast?
21 MS. JOELLENBECK: As you can imagine, over
22 the nine months that the oil fires were burning, the
1 wind blew in every different direction.
2 ADMIRAL CUSTIS: Was there significant
3 contamination down in Saudi Arabia?
4 MS. JOELLENBECK: That's now being, the
5 short answer is no, depending on how you define
6 significant. Because as I've explained, there doesn't
7 seem to be any --
8 DR. LASHOF: Lois --
9 MS. JOELLENBECK: The short answer is no.
10 DR. TAYLOR: Based on what we know about
11 the airborne levels of exposure that they had. They
12 sampled in the area nearby and the levels were low.
13 So, in Saudi Arabia, you would expect they be less,
15 MS. JOELLENBECK: Right. And I mentioned
16 and will mention again that the Army is carrying out
17 modeling for the time before when the very extensive
18 ambient air monitoring took place, they are carrying
19 out modeling of where the concentrations of the plume
20 might have been highest during those months of
21 February, March, April. That would extend down into
22 Saudi Arabia as well.
1 DR. LASHOF: Okay. Well, on this one,
2 you'll get back to us before we finally sign off.
3 And now we go to petroleum products?
4 Lois? Are closely related.
5 MS. JOELLENBECK: Petroleum products were
6 used widely during the Gulf War for various activities
7 such as fueling vehicles, stoves, heaters, and
8 generators, suppressing dusts, and burning wastes.
9 Fuels used included jet fuel, diesel, and
10 gasoline. Thus, some soldiers were exposed to
11 petroleum fuel vapors and combustion products with
12 components such as toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide,
13 sulfur dioxide, particulates, lead, and other
14 pollutants that could accumulate in unvented areas.
15 Concerns have been raised that exposures
16 to these fuels and combustion products in the Gulf
17 might have caused health effects in veterans reporting
18 illnesses since the war. Little exposure data is
19 available on groups who might have had such elevated
20 exposures. Instead, there are a variety of reports
21 and anecdotes that suggest the likelihood of elevated
22 exposures for certain sub-sets of the veterans.
1 For example, during about four months of
2 the deployment over the winter, it was cold enough for
3 heaters to be needed in sleeping quarters, such as
4 tents. The heaters require fuel and service members
5 are thought to have used whatever fuel was available
6 to burn in the heaters. There has thus been some
7 speculation that leaded fuels were available and used
8 and may have caused lead overexposure in certain
9 service members.
10 Other reports relate to the use of diesel
11 fuel as a dust suppressant. A sanitary engineer who
12 served in the Gulf reported one brigade's use of
13 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel daily to try to keep the
14 dust down on the roads. The truck drivers applying it
15 complained of nausea and were provided with
17 Workers at petroleum, oil, and lubricant
18 points, POC points, were similarly at increased risks
19 of elevated exposures to petroleum products.
20 The health effects from inhaling petroleum
21 fuel vapors are of short-term effects on the central
22 nervous system, ranging from fatigue, headache,
1 nausea, blurred vision, and dizziness, to convulsions,
2 paralysis, and loss of consciousness with increasing
3 dose. Exposure to high non-lethal levels however, is
4 in nearly every case followed by complete recovery.
5 Fuel oils on the skin can cause acne and
6 folliculitis and high concentrations or extended
7 exposure can lead to redness and peeling.
8 Exposure to the combustion products of
9 petroleum fuels can cause respiratory effects such as
10 though described for oil fire smoke, coughing,
11 wheezing, increased airway reactivity.
12 Long term, high exposure to petroleum
13 fuels can cause chronic effects. Breathing diesel
14 fuel vapors over a prolonged period can damage kidneys
15 or lower blood clotting ability. Chronic high dose
16 exposure to hydrocarbon solvents over many years can
17 cause neurotoxic effects in humans.
18 Certain components of petroleum fuels,
19 such as benzene or 13 butadiene, are known human
20 carcinogens. Lead can act as a neurotoxican. Effects
21 of lead exposures can range from subtle biochemical
22 changes in blood to acute central nervous system
1 effects at very high doses. Symptoms can include
2 headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbances, memory
3 deficit, and increased irritability. Short-term
4 exposures are unlikely to cause symptoms many years
6 Staff review of data found that transient
7 high exposures to petroleum products do not appear to
8 lead to long-term effects. A small sub-set of service
9 members might have had repeated high exposures during
10 their deployment, but this would still be months of
11 exposure as opposed to the many years of exposure
12 associated with neurotoxic effects.
13 Next slide, please.
14 Three environmental hazard centers are
15 assessing neurotoxic effects in studies they now have
16 underway. With regard to lead, short-term effects of
17 lead poisoning were not picked up in the Gulf, as far
18 as we are aware, and there were only four admissions
19 to Army field hospitals by virtue of carbon monoxide
20 poisoning, which might have been expected to be a more
21 frequent occurrence if heating with unvented heaters
22 were taking place routinely.
1 Furthermore, lead poisoning would not be
2 expected to cause chronic effects without symptoms
3 becoming evident at the time of the exposure.
4 An ongoing study at the Department of
5 Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham,
6 Alabama, is carrying out extensive neuropsychological
7 testing on Gulf War veterans, complaining of cognitive
8 disfunction. To examine, among other questions,
9 whether lead exposure might explain these symptoms.
10 About 100 veterans have been examined with no apparent
11 relationship observed between symptoms and blood lead
12 levels. Blood lead levels measured in the veterans
13 have been very low, suggesting that their current
14 symptoms are not caused by lead intoxication.
15 Finally, a study is now planned to better
16 characterize the combustion products to which service
17 members might have been exposed from the use of leaded
18 fuels in tent heaters.
19 Staff recommend the Committee conclude it
20 is unlikely that health effects reported today by most
21 veterans can be accounted for by exposure to petroleum
22 products during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
1 Do you have questions.
2 DR. LASHOF: Questions?
3 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: One detailed comment.
4 In the studies that were reported yesterday by the DOD
5 for funding, they spoke of leaded diesel fuel. I
6 never heard of a lead additive to diesel fuel. Does
7 that make any sense?
8 MS. JOELLENBECK: No one I've spoke to has
9 heard of it either.
10 SPEAKER: I'd like you to explain that,
11 yeah, what is that?
12 MS. JOELLENBECK: The issue of lead in the
13 fuels, and in diesel fuel in particular is one that at
14 this point more information needs to be acquired about
15 the fuels that were available in the Gulf. Fuels that
16 were widespread, from reports that we have, fuels that
17 were used in a widespread were not, were very clean-
18 burning fuels and did not have lead in them.
19 However, units tended to be able to
20 procure their own supplies in the case of the Gulf War
21 and so it's a question of not being able to rule out,
22 necessarily, the acquisition of other fuels that
1 soldiers then might have had available for their use
2 in the heaters.
3 So that study is being carried out to test
4 that possibility and what might be seen in emissions.
5 DR. LASHOF: Other questions? I want to
6 thank the staff for an excellent job. There are a
7 number of more researches going on. There are a
8 number of other things that we're going to be looking
9 into but this is a good start on where we need to go,
10 at least on these specific risk factors. And we have
11 a few areas where you'll get back to us, so.
12 Are there any other questions of staff at
13 this point? If not, let me thank you again for a very
14 thorough job.
15 And let us now move our attention to some
16 of our plans for the next period. Robyn, you want to
17 run through the schedule and then we could discuss the
18 format for -- okay. Okay. Let's just run through the
19 schedule and any other issues anyone wants to bring
21 MS. NISHIMI: What we will do from here,
22 obviously is take back your comments on the specific
1 risk factors and get back to you, in particular, the
2 one on the oil well fires and then some of the
3 questions that surrounded the vaccine.
4 The next full Committee meeting is in
5 Washington D.C. on September 4th and 5th. Then we
6 have scheduled on October 8th and 9th, a full
7 Committee in Tampa, Florida, and another full
8 Committee meeting in November on the 13th and 14th.
9 That would be back in Washington.
10 DR. BALDESCHWIELER: Those dates again?
11 MS. NISHIMI: September 4th and 5th in
12 Washington. October 8th and 9th in Tampa. And
13 November 13th and 14th in Washington.
14 Between now and the next full Committee
15 meeting, we have scheduled a panel meeting in
16 Cincinnati, that Dr. Hamburg will chair, looking at
17 the biological and psychological implications of
19 From here, as I said, on the specific risk
20 factors, we'll be getting back to you. As you know,
21 the charter also requires us to look at the Federal
22 Government's research portfolio, as I mentioned, we
1 anticipate getting back to you on a preliminary
2 analysis and evaluation of that for the September
3 meetings. We will get back with you on finishing some
4 of the outreach questions that you raised and then as
5 Dr. Larson pointed out at the last meeting, the staff
6 anticipates reporting to you on the clinical access
7 issues at the September meeting. And we'll continue
8 to round out the entire range of remaining pieces that
9 we have to move towards delivery, I believe on time.
10 Of the full report by the end of the year.
11 DR. LASHOF: Does anyone on the Committee
12 have any other areas of concern that haven't been
13 mentioned that they are, wish the staff to address at
14 any of our forthcoming meetings? Or is this
15 adequately covered for all of you.
16 Let me urge you all to review where we
17 stand and where you stand in your understanding of all
18 of the issues because I think we are going into that
19 last legs of our efforts. And identify any areas
20 where you feel we need to do more, any areas of
21 concern that you have, and get to Robyn as soon as you
22 can so we can move ahead expeditiously and cover our
1 mandate. So as you look back over the mandate, if you
2 have anything, please get back to Robyn or me.
3 If not, I guess I give it to Cliff to
4 close the meeting.
5 MR. GABRIEL: I want to thank the
6 Committee and staff for I think was a very productive
7 meeting. And with that, the meeting is adjourned.
8 (Whereupon, the meeting was adjourned.)