Oliver August, Baghdad TheTimes June 14, 2010
American troops going home from Iraq after seven painful years are leaving behind a legacy that is literally toxic.
An investigation by The Times in five Iraqi provinces has found that hazardous material from US bases is being dumped locally rather than sent back to America, in clear breach of Pentagon rules.
North and west of Baghdad, engine oil is leaking from 55-gallon drums into dusty ground, open acid canisters sit within easy reach of children, and discarded batteries lie close to irrigated farmland. A 2009 Pentagon document shown to The Times by a private contractor working with US soldiers mentions “an estimated 11 million pounds [5,000 tonnes] of hazardous waste” produced by American troops.
• Greater rates of cancer and birth defects near sites
• Depleted uranium among poisons revealed in report