Investigators Notes from Visits to Manufacturers and Depots
Avondale Mills, Inc.-When: March 23, 1999
- Manager, Environmental Engineering
- Technical Manager
- Avondale coats the polyester fabric used in the GP Large and other tents. They
essentially "paint fabric" with preservatives. The fabric is acquired from a 3rd
- Very little change in formulation of coating since patent in 1977. Any change in
formulation is sent to Army.
- Product does not have a mildecide, because the polyester is inherently mildew resistant.
- General formula: Polyvinylchloride (PVC) polymer, plasticizer (for flexibility), fillers
[Iron Oxide, titanium dioxide, carbon], flame retardants [antimony trioxide], water
repellents (wax based), Calcium Carbonate (for added weight), organic solvents [xylene
solvent]. Chrome oxide used as a green pigment was discontinued in 1993; a cobalt pigment
is now used to impart green color.
- Product is coated and then put through a staged oven for curing. Temperature stages are
150, 250, 350 degrees F. This polymerizes the PVC and liberates the solvent.
- All hazardous wastes are incinerated as part of a supplemental fuel program.
- Temper Tents use an inner lining and floor that Avondale does NOT produce.
- No complaints of health problems from any group of workers, except occasional rash on
individuals sewing. This is consistent with abrasive nature of handling large amounts of
fabric under arm as one sews it.
- Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the Temper Tent
- Sample of Temper Tent fabric
- Laboratory report for QA testing of product
- Military construction specification number MIL-C-44103C: Cloth, Duck, Polyester, Fire,
Water and Weather Resistant
Intellitec-When: March 24, 1999
- Program Manager
- Chemical Engineer
- Safety Manager
- Named Brunsick Defense during Gulf War.
- Prior to and during Gulf War, camouflage-netting screen was 80-90% of their production.
- During Gulf War, Intellitec had about 40% of total market (the rest was split between
two other companies).
- Woodland and sand camouflage-netting screen went to Gulf first because these were in
stock. A new netting, Saudi sand color, was produced and sent over during the war.
- Specification for netting is unaltered since 1973.
- No chemical analysis testing of finished product is done, only lot acceptance tests for
physical properties (color, etc.).
- Graphite threads are sewn into one version of the camouflage-netting screen to provide
radar scattering property.
- A&S Industries (Poplar, MT 59255) makes the netting on which Intellitec puts the
- Teledyne Brown Engineering (Huntsville, AL) also makes camouflage-netting screen.
- No water repellents or abrasion resistance is added.
1997 Hazardous Waste Report
MIL-C-53004B, Camouflage Screening Systems, Modular, Lightweight, Synthetic, Woodland,
Desert and Snow
Notebook of detailed descriptions of chemical components found in the camouflage-netting
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia, and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)-When: March 31 April 1, 1999
- Head Industrial Hygienist at Occupational Health Dept.
- USMC, Commander, Defense Distribution Depot
- USMC, Deputy Commander, Defense Distribution Depot
- Chief, Operations Office, Defense Distribution Depot
- A mechanic and union steward complains of extreme sensitivity to the sun and itching
arms. Associated this with his work on Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) and mineplows
that returned from the Gulf. Claims that 78 other individuals from shop have similar
problems. A number of these people went over to the dispensary. Said that testing done on
equipment 2 years later showed only dirt.
- 2 individuals who sew canvas for the vehicles have had rash problems. This intensified
around time when vehicles were returning from the Gulf, but the overall volume of work
during this time also increased dramatically. Rashes occurred after lengthy contact with a
vinyl coated seat cover material (new).
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) section
- Were told that equipment would return clean and itemized. Reality was that equipment
was dirty and in no order. Equipment of all types was shored in any available space in
returning vehicles and crates.
- Safety officer recalls only 1 illness during this time period. 2 equipment handlers
concurred with this and added that they dont recall any health complaints.
- DLA would strip down everything off all vehicles and send it to be repaired with a
- Removed most of Chemical/Biological/Radiological (CBR) filters (DLA removes most
- Equipment returned for almost 2 years, and spent a good deal of time sitting on lots and
- 25-28 equipment handlers (unpackers) touched equipment first and generally wore no
- Due to exceptionally long work hours, individuals who got sick associated it with over
working, and would often go to a private physician.
- A listing of the equipment as it returned would have been very helpful, but none was
- The Industrial Hygienist, in 1994, did some sand sampling and research due to the
equipment mechanics complaints.
- 4 people (not 78 as claimed by the mechanic) came to the dispensary with complaints
similar to the mechanics (i.e., rashes). Another 10 had rashes but said they were
from known reasons.
- No parasites found in microscopic analysis of sand.
- No health complaints from DLA section.
- Occ. Health Nurse made calls to other bases and could not find any evidence of rashes
occurring under similar conditions.
- Physician Assistant at dispensary explained that the mechanic got a severe sunburn while
vacationing in Florida because he stayed out in the sun for a long time. This happened the
same time as the mechanic complained of health problems associated with the returning
equipment. This probably explained the occurrence of the rash.
Results of testing of CBR filters.
Summary of issues and events brought up at the dispensary regarding Gulf War illnesses.
Official reply to Senator Sam Nunn regarding mechanics complaints.
RNs summary report of individuals coming to clinic.
Current (not available in early 1990s) SOP for handling suspected contaminated
Blount Island Command, Florida-When: April 12 April 14, 1999
Ground Support Management Branch
Deputy Director Blount Island Command
Maintenance Operations Department Head
Environmental/Occupational and Safety Nurse
Marine Prepositioning Force (MPF) formed in 1979.
3 squadrons (13 total ships); occupy ports of Guam, Diego Garcia, Mediterranean.
30 month rotation to Blount Island for restocking.
Each ship brings about 1500 pieces of equipment and 350 containers that need to be
reconstituted in 30 days. Class 8 medical supplies are among most critical to restock.
Anything with a shelf life less than 18 months will not be put on a ship.
Prime contractor is Allied Signal.
Teamsters and Longshoreman unions both on site.
All USMC equipment was brought to Al Jubayl for redeployment, with best stuff picked for
high priority squadron. Middle tier stuff on second squadron, and worst sent to CONUS for
reconstituting. Somalia situation began shortly after the end of the Gulf War.
All equipment washed in theater by Saudi contractors.
No preservatives or chemicals used in crates when packing/storing equipment. Lots of
sand and dust were brought to Blount Island on equipment.
Two female workers have had health problems. Not related to retrograde equipment duties.
Otherwise, few health complaints regarding the Gulf War.
Occupational Nurse, who has worked there for 2 � years, hasnt heard or seen many
complaints regarding health problems associated with the Gulf War.
No environmental sampling done at Blount Island, because no real reason to do so.
Blount Island Command brochure.
MPF Options for Operation Shining Hope briefing.
Marine Corps Logistic Base, Barstow, California-When: May 18 May 20, 1999
- Base Commanding Officer
- Base Administrative Officer
- DLA Representatives
- Director Maintenance Center
- Deputy Director Maintenance Center
- Business/Process Improvement Manager Maintenance Center
- Base Industrial Hygienist
- MCLB Barstow is located on 3 separate sites.
- Current strength: 300 Military, 1814 Civilians
- Many of the civilians are military retirees, and can thus use the military clinic.
- There is a high rate of upper respiratory infections among people in the high desert.
- Some of the operations are unique to Barstow: M198, 155 millimeter Howitzers, SR71 Radar
- Barstows Fleet Support Center has a large outdoor storage lot for major end items.
This is possibly due to the dry climate.
- DLA, Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO), and Maintenance Center on site
- None of the Divisions know of any health problems that their people are facing now or
faced during the retrograde equipment return period. Commanders, civilian division chiefs,
and Union reps agreed with this statement.
- There were no problems among individuals who removed and repaired powerpacks and CBR
filters in M1A1 tanks (an area of concern at other depots).
- 4 civilians from the Maintenance Center were deployed to the KTO. They were given pre-
and post-deployment health screening, and showed no health problems.
- Marine Corps Multi-Commodity Maintenance Center Briefing package.
- Marine Corps Multi-Commodity Maintenance Center Executive Summary package.
- Marine Corps Multi-Commodity Maintenance Center Standard of Excellence marketing
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