Senators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases

Senators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases
© Greg Nash

A handful of senators sent a letter to the Army on Friday asking about reports of lead poisoning on U.S. military bases and urging officials to outline steps they are taking to protect any affected families and children.

“The health and safety of our servicemembers and their families are of the utmost importance,” Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KainePoll: Kaine leads GOP challenger by 19 points in Va. Senate race GOP offers to ban cameras from testimony of Kavanaugh accuser Corey Stewart fires aide who helped bring far-right ideas to campaign: report MORE (D-Va.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRussia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ MORE (D-Va.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonTrump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp' Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash GOP senator warns Trump: Anyone who trash-talks McCain 'deserves a whipping' MORE (R-Ga.) wrote in the letter to Army Secretary Mark Esper obtained by Reuters.

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"We ask that you provide our offices with a detailed briefing as soon as possible outlining the immediate and long-term mitigation strategy to keep military families safe, provide medical treatment for those potentially or previously affected, make long-lasting repairs, and finally, provide legislative proposals or guidance on legislation needed to hold maintenance contractors accountable."

The senators cited a Reuters investigation published this week that found instances of lead poisoning at on-base housing at Army bases in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky.

Reuters reported that more than 1,000 young children tested at military clinics had elevated lead levels between 2011 and 2016. It also found military bases failed to report children’s blood test results to state health departments in violation of state laws.

“We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment on all of our installations, and to providing the highest quality of care to our service members, their families and all those entrusted to our care,” Army spokeswoman Col. Kathleen Turner said, according to Reuters

Isakson serves as chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, while Kaine and Perdue are members of the Armed Services panel.