The Air Force is investigating potential cancer risks at its nuclear launch silos, acknowledging a history of toxic exposures at these sites. Decades-old documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that the Air Force was aware of asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) leaks at these facilities, affecting personnel. Despite internal reviews in 2001 and 2005 declaring the launch control centers (LCCs) safe, there have been multiple incidents of hazardous material exposure over the years.
- Air Force documents indicate long-standing awareness of asbestos and PCB leaks at nuclear missile bases.
- Internal reviews previously claimed LCCs were safe, contradicting evidence of toxic exposure.
- Recent findings show elevated PCB levels in LCCs, prompting a cleanup and expanded cancer survey among personnel.
The Air Force’s current efforts to address these issues include cleaning up the nuclear facilities and conducting a comprehensive survey to determine the extent of cancer cases among current and former missile personnel. Despite these measures, the LCCs with a history of toxic exposure will remain operational until they are replaced by new facilities as part of the transition to Sentinel ICBMs. This situation raises concerns about the ongoing health risks for personnel stationed at these nuclear missile bases.