"U.S. Finds No Link Between Vieques Bombings and Health Risks"

"A federal agency announced Thursday that it had found no evidence that decades of live fire and bombing exercises by the Navy on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques had caused health problems documented among its residents."

"The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, released the results of a review that confirmed a conclusion reached by the agency in 2003 that heavy metals and explosive compounds in the island’s soil, groundwater, air and fish posed no health hazards.

Citing “gaps in environmental data,” the agency had agreed in 2009 to review the earlier finding after that report drew fierce criticism from Puerto Rican government officials and some members of Congress.

Agency officials said they had reviewed environmental, biological and health data from Vieques in their inquiry, including some new studies. Still, they conceded that “limitations” in the information made it hard to interpret research that has found a higher incidence of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer in the island’s population by comparison with the rest of Puerto Rico."

Mireya Navarro reports for the New York Times December 8, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"US Report Says No Proof of Cancer-Military Link on Puerto Rico Island of Vieques" (AP)

Source: NY Times, 12/09/2011