News Release

Earth Day: Military Degradation of the Environment


PAT ELDER,, @militarypoisons
Elder is the founder of He said today: “On Earth Day we ought to be talking about the deadly chemicals the U.S. military has recklessly dumped into the soil, water, and the air in every state. Let’s talk about cyanide, chlorinated hydrocarbons, lead, thallium, antimony, or chromium polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). We plant trees and we talk about cleaning the earth while the military continues to poison people and the planet with white phosphorus, benzene, xylene, toluene, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE).

“Rachel Carson, the great American environmentalist [author of Silent Spring], warned us in 1962, ‘If we are living so intimately with these chemicals, we had better know something about their power.’

“It’s Earth Day, so let’s think about how the military dictates environmental policy in the U.S. and how the EPA is a stooge for industrial and military masters.

“Then, let’s consider the military’s alpha-chlordane, benzoapyrene, cesium-137, chromium VI, cobalt-60, anthracene, dieldrin, gamma-chlordane, heptachlor, epoxide, radium-226, strontium-90, and uranium-238 in our backyards. Yeah; it’s tough to read.

“On Earth Day. Let’s consider what causes cancers, immeasurable suffering, and early deaths for millions.

“And then we can talk about per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and how the military has known these are killer chemicals since the 1970’s but continued to use them in firefighting foams. We can examine how concentrations of these chemicals in the single parts per trillion in the food we eat and the water we drink can send us to an early grave and rearrange the DNA of our progeny forever.

“Fish containing several million parts per trillion of PFOS have been caught near military bases while the same states regulate the chemicals at 70 ppt or less in drinking water. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says most of the PFAS in our bodies is from the food we eat. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), said in 2015 that food is the primary source of exposure to PFAS. It’s the food, especially the fish that are making us sick.”

See profile of Elder in the Baltimore Sun from last year: “Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ found in Maryland water” and IPA news releases: “U.S. Military Poisoning Nationally and Globally with Toxic Chemicals” and “Toxic Military ‘Burn Pits’ Across the U.S. and in Iraq: Why Are They Allowed?