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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR invites public comment on reports for two former DOD sites on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska

Nome County, St Lawrence Island, Alaska

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

ATSDR used environmental information from both sites to analyze data and develop exposure scenarios and conclusions for the two Formerly Used Defense sites (FUDS). At Gambell, ATSDR found adults and children might be injured by coming in contact with buried metal debris that rises to the surface of the ground after freeze-thaw events. ATSDR found no health hazard from the public drinking water, or if residents have contact with surface soil or gravel.

At the Northeast Cape FUDS, which is currently used as a Tribal seasonal fishing camp, ATSDR found no health hazards related to eating greens and berries year-round, eating fish seasonally (3 months), or if camp users have contact with area soil and surface water.

The two FUDS were in use by the US Department of Defense as satellite communications stations. The Gambell station was in use from 1948 to the 1960s. The Northeast Cape station was in use from 1957 to 1972. The military facilities were left in place until the 1980s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began conducting environmental investigations and cleanup of the FUDS.

To read a copy of the reports, visit Native Village of Savoonga IRA Council and the Native Village of Gambell IRA Council or online at

For more information, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) and request information about the health consultation(s): Health Consultation: Evaluation of Environmental Exposures at the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) in the Native Village of Gambell, Alaska and Health Consultation: Northeast Cape Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

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