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Dec-09-2013 12:24printcomments

Deadly Chemical Trichloroethylene Now Making Headlines Left and Right

The most common ways of ingesting TCE is by drinking contaminated groundwater, or frequent use of degreasing products such as brake cleaning sprays.

sign warning of trichloroethylene
Picture from the UK shows us the problem extends well beyond the United States, essentially impacting every place the U.S. military went.

(MINNEAPOLIS) - I spent much of last summer riding my motorcycle around the United States giving talks about trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination knowing full well that most people have never heard of this deadly chemical compound destroying drinking water viability all over the country.

I was contaminated with TCE as a young Marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Two of my sons had severe health problems in their first six months of their lives due to this contamination and that fact that victims pass it on to their children.

A trichloroethylene site at a General Mills factory in Minneapolis is making headlines, and the bigger message is that it is far from the only TCE site of growing concern.

According to an article today by KARE 11 titled: Trichloroethylene contamination not isolated to Mpls:

    General Mills used TCE as a parts cleaner from the 1940s through the mid 1960's at its research lab on East Hennepin Avenue, and dumped the fluid in the back lot of the facility. The chemical reached the water table, and a plume of contaminated groundwater spread under ground toward the Mississippi River.

They further report that the trichloroethylene cleanup project in southeast Minneapolis is not the only one in the state, let alone the nation.

Certainly not. As has been widely reported, TCE was sold in large amounts to the U.S. government for decades and used to clean various types of military equipment. TCE is a triple chlorine degreasing chemical.

The articles states:

    TCE has been front and center in the Como Neighborhood of southeast Minneapolis since November, when 200 residents received letters telling them the MPCA would begin testing for TCE vapor emanating from the soil beneath basements.

Tim King and Roger Butow, El Toro, 2010

Of course letters to residents in TCE areas are rare. The city of Irvine, California sits atop a massive TCE groundwater plume. Residents and those considering moving to Irvine frequently read our articles about the pollutants stemming from the old Marine Corps base. Many have written letters thanking us for the warning, stating they chose to avoid Irvine because the city goes to great effort to conceal these hazards from its own public.

The most monstrous TCE site in the U.S. just might be the Googleplex, which sits atop three EPA "Superfund" sites for TCE in Mountain View, California. Google bought former semiconductor manufacturing firms for its flagship "campus". The site is adjacent to a closed down Navy base, Moffett Field. This is one of the most contaminated sites for TCE in the nation.

Health problems connected to TCE are myriad; they include liver and kidney failure, non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and male breast cancer, other types of cancer, Spina Bifida, and birth defects, especially heart defects in newborns, just to name a few. One of my sons was born with an epiglottis the size of a 40-year old man's. My other son's bowel collapsed at the age of 4-months, nearly claiming his life.

Tim King and Robert O'Dowd, El Toro 2009

The acceptable levels of TCE in water according to California safe water drinking standards is 5 parts per billion. Recent testing in Mountain View showed EPA levels of 160,000 parts per billion, obscene by many standards.

Yet the employees of Google are unaware, I learned this personally by interviewing Google employees at a parade in San Francisco. Like Marines and other military personnel serving at contaminated sites, they live out their lives in total ignorance.

The KARE 11 article has a video which is interesting, the report further states in regard to the General Mills site:

    Once the contamination was discovered in the early 1980's it was designated as an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site, those listed as a priority for a cleanup.

    General Mills began an extensive groundwater testing and cleanup project at that time, and continues to filter and treat the groundwater in that area to this day.

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The team I am working with, including Robert O'Dowd, with whom I co-authored Betrayal: Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-up, Roger Butow, who has been fighting over water quality in Southern California for many years, has gone to great effort to expose this hideous pollutant, and John Uldrich, who has been here since the day our research and reportage into this serious chemical hazard began.

We are all former MCAS El Toro Marine and we are unhappy with the treatment of this critical type of contamination.

Here is the article by KARE 11: Trichloroethylene contamination not isolated to Mpls

This is my article about contamination at the Googleplex: Google employees exposed to TCE - Tim King Press TV

For all of Salem-News.com's articles about TCE visit the tag word "El Toro" or just click here: Salem-News.com El Toro articles

You can also View Tim's articles published on Salem-News.com chronologically

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Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com.

Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim King reporting from the war in Iraq

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.

Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 115 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.

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Anonymous December 10, 2013 10:12 am (Pacific time)

TCE is also a major problem in North Carolina. Gov. This reporter's work prompted legislative change, caught the attention of Erin Brockovich and sparked a PSA by Gov. Pat McCrory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDGWJTZO5Ro

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