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Traces of Degreaser Found in Fruit

October 12, 2001

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) _ Traces of an airplane engine degreaser that has contaminated groundwater around a Utah air base since 1987 was found in fruit grown nearby.

Scientists at Hill Air Force Base found no immediate health risk but will continue investigating, said Steve Hicken, an environmental engineer at the base.

Utah State University researchers found trichloroethylene, or TCE, last week in about 90 percent of fruit from nine homes.

TCE has caused cancer in laboratory rats, but it has not been linked to cancer in humans.

The base, about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, plans to eliminate the TCE contamination within 30 years.

Used solvents were routinely dumped into the ground in the 1940s, said base spokesman Charles Freeman. ``As we got more environmentally conscious, we realized it wasn’t a good thing to do and are cleaning up the results of what occurred years ago,″ he said.


On the Net:

Base: http://www.hill.af.mil

TCE facts: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts19.html

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