Army: Pesticide levels at Ft. Bragg not toxic

Fort Bragg (Wikimedia)

March 31, 2011 11:06:57 AM PDT
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command announced Thursday that lab testing in homes at Fort Bragg show that concentrations of pesticides were not elevated and do not pose a health hazard.

The Army and investigators with the Consumer Product Safety Commission have been trying to explain an unusually high number of deaths among infants living on post.

Earlier this year, officials looking for possible environmental causes announced that testing on drywall in post housing did not show any toxic chemicals.

At least ten baby deaths have been the focus of the on-going investigation.

Thursday's announcement came the same day that Army Secretary John McHugh talked with a congressional panel about the investigation.

McHugh called the unexplained deaths an incredibly frustrating situation, but said investigators are running out of investigative options to better understand the mystery.

The deaths at Fort Bragg date to 2007 and three were in one house. The most recent was Feb. 24.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina told McHugh the situation could affect readiness because soldiers are concerned about the safety of their families.

"This is an issue of family readiness," Hagan said. "We don't want soldiers from Fort Bragg to worry about the safety of their families when they're deployed."

Associated Press reporter Kimberly Hefling contributed to this report

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