July 10, 2018

El Toro Marine Air Base contamination

Jack Kemp

From the website for "The Few The Proud The Forgotten" (the Camp Lejeune toxic water main info website) there are also details of toxic water at the historic Marine Corps Air Station El Toro near Irvine, California (opened in 1943, closed in 1999).

You can read all the information, plus links to other articles, at

Here are some import topics in the article:


While MCAS El Toro is a separate issue from Camp Lejeune, TFTPTF felt that it was important to let our membership know about the situation. I hope that when you speak about Camp Lejeune that you also mention and think about El Toro. Here is a synopsis from Robert J. O’Dowd with www.mwsg37.com:
MCAS El Toro

Marines take great pride "in taking care of their own." Marine and Navy veterans who were stationed at former MCAS El Toro are at risk for exposure to toxic chemicals as a result of the contamination of the soil and groundwater. Very few know of their exposure.

Marines have been exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), suffered serious health consequences, and have no idea of what hit them.

A number of Marines report serious illnesses linked to toxic exposure. Some of the emails are posted at www.mwsg37.com.  Others have asked to withhold their names. Neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps made any attempts to notify El Toro veterans. 

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EPA traced the "hot spot" to MWSG-37's maintenance hangars: "the primary VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) source is present beneath Buildings 296 and 297, extending to the south with decreasing concentrations to the southern Station boundary. Several smaller source areas exist in the soil beneath Site 24, including a PCE soil gas plume located west of Building 297. The VOC concentrations in soil gas generally increase with depth, and the highest concentrations occur near the water table. VOCs in the area of Buildings 296 and 297 extend to groundwater directly beneath those buildings." How much TCE/PCE was used at El Toro? It's anybody's guess. El Toro kept no TCE usage records.

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The risk of serious illness for those who worked in MWSG-37 in or near the maintenance hangars was high because of exposure to toxic vapors from open containers and from vapor intrusion. Others on the base were at some risk for exposure from vapor intrusion from the contaminated soil and groundwater. If contaminated well water was used in swimming pools and for irrigation, the risk for exposure to these carcinogens through dermal contact is evident. In the words of one toxicologist El Toro "was a toxic waste dump.” At least one national law firm has taken an interest in injuries from toxic exposure at El Toro.

Tim King, reporter for Salem-News (http://www.salem-news.com/tgsearch.php?tag=marine_corps), continues his series of investigative reports/videos on El Toro.  Tim King’s reports raise more questions about the base's contamination, the impact on the local community and the significant amount of money changing hands in the sale of the base to real estate interests. 

Semper Fi,

Robert J. O'Dowd

www.mwsg37.com

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