Volatile Organic Compounds

Decent Essays
The Edwards Air Force Base located in Antelope Valley in Southern California was built to test new aircraft and help integrate them into the U.S. Air Force. The site became a flight test center after World War II. As an air base, many chemicals and fuel are stored here and throughout its history there have been spills and improper disposals. This became an environmental hazard when the contaminants began to seep into the ground. The EPA, the Air Force, and two state agencies signed a Federal Facility Agreement in 1990 to address this issue.

Activities That Led to Pollution
The activities that led to the pollution were the storage of fuel, Volatile Organic Compounds, metals, and other chemicals. Years of flight testing and rocket
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VOCs can easily become vapors or gasses making it very toxic to any in the area who inhale it. Perchlorate, which came from the many years of rocket fuel resting, 1, 4-dioxane, and various metals are non-volatile contaminants found in some areas. N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a semi volatile organic compound suspected of being a carcinogen and is a known hepatotoxin. Some of the less harmful contaminants include landfills that may contain unexploded artillery, weapons or other munitions related materials. Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs), an unregulated group of chemicals, has also been found and is being investigated at different sites on the base.

Harmful Effects
Trichloroethene has been associated with hepatotoxicity. Exposure also produces decreased appetite, gastrointestinal irritation, headaches, skin irritation. Chronic exposure produces ataxia (loss of full control of bodily movements.), decreased appetite, headache, short-term memory loss, sleep disturbances, and vertigo.

Tetrachloroethene is a group 2A carcinogen. This means that it is likely a probable carcinogen. It is also a Central Nervous System depressant and due to its fat solubility it can enter through the skin and cause irritation. Acute exposure to tetrachloroethylene can cause incoordination drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches. Large doses, however, can cause unconsciousness and death. Chronic exposure can cause changes in reaction time, memory, attention and vision, and
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