• Evaluate the Navy's current and proposed 1-h and 24-h EEGLs and 90-day CEGLs for acrolein, ammonia, benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, Freon 12, Freon 114, hydrazine, hydrogen, methanol, monoethanolamine, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, 2190 oil mist, oxygen, ozone, toluene, and xylene.

  • Determine whether the current or proposed guidance levels are consistent with the scientific data and whether the Navy's exposure levels should be changed on the basis of the committee's evaluation.

  • For two submarine contaminants for which there are no guidance levels—surface lead and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-nitrophenol (DBNP)—determine whether sufficient data are available to develop EEGLs and CEGLs and, if so, provide recommendations for guidance levels consistent with the data.

  • Identify deficiencies in the database relevant to EEGL and CEGL development for the selected contaminants and make recommendations for research as appropriate.

To accomplish its charge, the committee was asked to review the Navy's supporting documentation and other relevant toxicologic and epidemiologic data and publish the results of its evaluations in two reports. This is the committee's second report, and it contains evaluations of EEGLs and CEGLs for 11 chemicals of concern to the Navy.

POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS

An estimated 30,000 submariners are on active duty in the U.S. Navy (Cassano 2003). Permanent crew members on U.S. submarines are all male and range in age from 18 to 48 years. Before entry into the submarine service, candidates receive a comprehensive physical and psychologic examination and are rejected if any major medical problems—such as heart disease, asthma, or chronic bronchitis—are noted (U.S. Navy 1992, 2001). Submariners are also required to undergo a complete physical examination every 5 years (Capt. D. Molé, U.S. Navy, personal commun., May 28, 2003). If any medical problems are noted at that time or during active duty, submariners may be disqualified from submarine duty (Cassano 2003). Thus, the population that serves on U.S. submarines is, in general, an extremely healthy one.

Recent studies that have evaluated mortality patterns in U.S. submariners support the conclusion that submariners are extremely healthy. Charpentier et al. (1993) examined a cohort of 76,160 submariners who served on U.S. nuclear-powered submarines during the period 1969-1982. They compared mortality in the submariners with that in the general adult male population of the United States and found that the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for total mortality was significantly less than 1.1 The SMR was also significantly lower than that

1

An SMR indicates whether mortality in a given population is greater (SMR > 1) or less (SMR < 1) than that in a comparison population.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement