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Air Force Will Study Cancer Rates Among Former Pease Service Members

Annie Ropeik

The Air Force says it will study whether people stationed at Pease Air Base in recent decades got cancer at unusually high rates.

Former service members have been calling for a study like this for more than a year.

They say they recall exposures to a range of chemicals that are now considered toxic -- both on the job and in drinking water.

The new study, conducted by the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and other military offices, will look at cancer rates in personnel records from Pease installations between 1970 and 2018.

The base will host an informational session about the study later this month.

Pease is listed as a federal Superfund site. The Air Force is also working with Portsmouth to clean up PFAS chemicals found in drinking water there.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control is studying health effects from PFAS exposure among adults and children who drank contaminated water between 2004 and 2014 at Pease International Tradeport.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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