Full Health Survey must be carried out for Air Corps Personnel exposed to toxic chemicals – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government to carry out a health survey of all serving and current members of the Air Corps to ascertain how many may be suffering from ill health effects associated with toxic chemicals. Teachta Ó Snodaigh raised the matter with the Minister for Defence in the Dáil this morning.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“Serious concerns have been raised by whistleblowers in relation to the lack of basic health and safety procedures at Baldonnel and this has been confirmed in a serious of reports commissioned by state agencies.
“This is currently the subject of litigation as Air Corp Personnel have taken cases against the state as a result of illnesses believed to be the result of toxic chemical exposure.
“To date, the approach of the Government has been to fight these cases tooth and nail through the courts at significant cost to the taxpayer.
“This contrasts with the situation in Australia, where one of the initial responses of the state was to establish a comprehensive health outcome survey among Air Corps technicians involved in the deseal/ reseal programme who suffered ill health affects as a result of toxic chemical exposure. A health care scheme was established on foot of this survey.
“At present, we do not know the number of Air Corps personnel who may be affected by toxic chemical exposure in this state.
“This Government has a duty to seek to establish these facts and put in place measures to ensure that those who are affected receive all appropriate healthcare and assistance.”