Dioxin levels at Camp Carroll within safe levels

June 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM
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SEOUL, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. and South Korean officials say trace amounts of dioxin found in streams near South Korea's Camp Carroll are too small to be dangerous to humans.

A joint U.S.-South Korean committee investigating the possible burial of Agent Orange compound at Camp Carroll and other military bases said samples were collected from streams outside the 99-acre Camp Carroll site in South Korea.

Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military newspaper, reported South Korean officials tested for several contaminants, but didn't find a key and undisclosed chemical used in Agent Orange.

"That would have been a strong indicator that there was Agent Orange, but it was not found," 8th Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Buczkowski said.

Agent Orange is a defoliant used in Vietnam. Dioxin is a compound in Agent Orange, but it is also used in other industrial operations and known to cause a variety of illnesses and birth defects.

Buczkowski said the dioxin found in the stream water was within acceptable levels set by the United States and South Korea.

Three veterans claimed to have buried Agent Orange at the military base in 1978.

The U.S. military said records indicate a large number of barrels of chemicals were removed from Camp Carroll in 1979 and 1980 and disposed of outside the base, along with as much as 60 tons of soil.

Military officials said it isn't known if Agent Orange was among the chemicals removed from Camp Carroll and officials don't know where the contaminants were taken.

Tests at other sites are ongoing, officials said

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