ABC7 took dozens of water and soil samples at private homes, creeks and ponds in Frederick as well as near the Fort Detrick fence. Testing at Schneider Labs in Richmond showed any trace of Agent Orange and other chemicals were 'BQL' — below quantitation level. In other words, no traces were measureable.
Experts point out that Fort Detrick is an EPA superfund site with industrial solvents, Agent Orange wastes and radioactive materials buried deep underground, possibly leaking into waterways.
Some residents said just because the samples tested by ABC7 came up clean, that doesn't mean chemicals weren't present years ago.
“A military base is like a chemical plant. And Detrick is even more interesting because they did experiments on things that were weapons,” said Dr. Tom Burke of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
“We're still not out of the woods. The cancer is still there,” said Gruden. She says she still wants to know what's causing all these cancer cases.
The National Academy of Sciences launched an investigation this week and hopes to have results by the fall.