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Research Topics
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Lung & Respiratory
Project Summary

Title: Kuwait Oil Fires Troop Exposure Assessment Model (TEAM)
Synopsis: A study that integrates Kuwait oil fire Health Risk Assessment data of US troops located at eight fixed air/soil sampling sites with geographic information of all troop location and movements over time to characterize the possible health risk of those exposed.
Overall Project Objective: Characterize the potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks to U.S. military personnel exposed to the environment affected by the oil well fires during and after Operation Desert Storm. This responds to Public Law 102-190 (Section 734: Troop Registry from exposure to oil well fires in Operation Desert Storm).
Status/Results to Date: The data has been entered into the system. Both satellite plume and modeled plume boundaries (over 270 days, for the February - October 1991 timeframe) were digitized. Pollutant-specific oil fire emission factors were derived and integrated into the TEAM. Troop unit identification code location/movement data for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, and Army (over 500,000 records) was entered into the TEAM database. We are continually updating troop unit movement data and will integrate into the TEAM as it is received. In addition, the Desert Storm personnel rosters (696,693 individuals) are in the TEAM database along with the DoD's Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program (CCEP) database. In all, over 2.25 million records have been entered into the TEAM database. In FY'98, the TEAM calculated the exposure and risk for all troop units exposed to oil fire smoke in the Persian Gulf. The TEAM calculated the exposure and risk for all members of the U.S. Armed Forces deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. We are currently processing requests for individual exposure data from veterans and are working on several publications assessing exposure to oil fire smoke and potential health outcomes. In 2000, we completed an Oil Fire Exposure Web Site that will be available to Gulf War veterans so they can receive a personal oil fire exposure profile. Individual profile access will be controlled by social security numbers. The web site is currently being modified and peer-reviewed by health professionals and risk communication specialists to make it user-friendly and understandable to veterans. Several studies examining the association between oil fire smoke exposure and disease have been submitted for publication.
Project:DoD-18
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
P.I. Name:Jack M Heller, Ph. D.
Research Type:Development
Research Focus:Environmental Toxicology
Focus Category:Lung & Respiratory
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:May 04,1993
Estimated Completion Date:October 12,2002
Specific Aims: The site-specific Kuwait Oil Fire Health Risk Assessment addressed the risks to DOD troops located at the eight fixed air/soil sampling sites where actual environmental data were collected and analyzed. This study will incorporate actual site data with the modeled air concentrations, exposure data, and the Troop Location Registry data, to determine the risk to U.S. military personnel that were not located at fixed sampling sites for their entry tour of duty and for periods of time when no sampling occurred.
Methodology: Using a geographic information system (GIS) that is capable of mapping troop location and movement over time, in conjunction with the troop movement database, the locations of all US military personnel are being mapped during Operation Desert Storm. Once troop locations have been determined and mapped, the GIS determines troop exposure to oil fire pollution using satellite images, modeled plume boundaries, oil field crude composition data, oil field emission rates, modeled pollutant concentrations, and actual field data. When troop location and exposure have been determined, the potential health risks resulting from the exposure will be determined.
Most Recent Publications:

Smith TC, Heller JM, Hooper TI, Gackstetter GD, Gray G. Are Gulf War veterans experiencing illness due to exposure to smoke from Kuwaiti oil well fires? Examination of Department of Defense hospitalization data. American Journal of Epidemiology, 155(10):908-917. May 2002. Abstract

Kuwaiti Oil Fire Health Risk Assessment. US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, No 39-26-L192091, Feb 1994. Report