New Study Examines WWI Chemical Effects On NW D.C. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

New Study Examines WWI Chemical Effects On NW D.C.

Play associated audio
A sign and equipment mark one of the sites near American University where WWI-era munitions have been found.
AP File Photo
A sign and equipment mark one of the sites near American University where WWI-era munitions have been found.

A new study aims to examine the health of a wealthy Northwest Washington neighborhood that was built upon a World War 1 chemical testing ground. Spring Valley was discovered to be the site of an Army munitions site back in the early '90s, and health concerns persist to this day.

Scientists will poll Spring Valley residents through on online survey this spring. The study is a follow up to a 2007 report which found that, while residents were generally in very good health, some issues needed a closer look -- particularly the arsenic-related cancers.

"The rates were a little higher in Spring Valley than they were in Chevy Chase, D.C.," says Beth Resnick, outreach coordinator for the Spring Valley study. "It wasn't a huge difference, but enough that we felt like we wanted to go back and look at that a little bit further."

The study is being conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. Scientists also plan to monitor the ground water in the community -- it wasn't studied in the 2007 report.

"I have less concern, frankly, about arsenic than I would about something like loucide or mustard gas, something of that nature, which has been found in parts of the community, but has been cleaned up and has been addressed," says Thomas Smith, a resident of 30 years and the neighborhood advisory commissioner.

He says that no one has conclusively linked the chemicals found underneath his community with illness, but he hopes the study will will explore any individual claims.

American University is located in the affected neighborhood. WAMU is licensed to American University.

NPR

As Summer Winds Down, Wistful Dreams Of A 'Lost Estate'

The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Former Gov Defends Relationship With Jonnie Williams

On the stand today, the former Virginia governor defended his relationship with the businessman at the heart of the trial, saying it was appropriate.
NPR

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.