In 2003, the Defense Department reported it had identified 5, 842 service members and estimated another 350 civilians could have been potentially exposed to chemical or biological substances during Project 112, and indicated that they would cease actively searching for additional individuals. GAO says that since that time, the DOD has stopped actively searching for individuals who were potentially exposed, without giving a sound and documented basis for that decision.
And since 2003, non-DOD sources -- including the Institute of Medicine -- have identified approximately 600 additional names of people who were potentially exposed during Project 112. GAO maintains that until these issues are addressed, some identified veterans and civilians will remain unaware of their potential exposure.
"This is a striking issue," said D'Agostino. "Some of these tests are going all the way back to World War II, and it would seem that you would want to get some of these people help as soon as you could."