Study: Neighborhood atop WWI munitions dump healthy

Crews work at a the site of a former World War I munitions testing ground behind American University in Northwest Washington. A new study finds residents who live near the site are heathier than the nation overall. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
WTOP's Neal Augenstein talks to Spring Valley residents

Neal Augenstein | November 14, 2014 8:08 pm

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WASHINGTON – Residents in Spring Valley, the neighborhood built on a World War I chemical weapons testing and dumping site, are healthier than the nation overall, according to a new report by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

The study determined “death rates for major causes were low and cancer incidence and mortality for selected cancers were mostly below U.S. rates.”

Still, the study found an up-tick in specific cancers – bladder, lung and bronchus – that could be related to arsenic exposure.

The study compares health of residents in two zip codes, 20015 in Spring Valley and 20016 in Chevy Chase, against national numbers.

“Residents can be assured that community health is very good and most environmental indicators are in compliance with established standards,” according to the study.

Neighbors differed in their responses to the studies findings however. Some questioned the validity of sampling an entire zip code and others feel that the area is safe.

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