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Study on Jet Fuel and Aircraft Fuel Tank Maintenance Workers

World First Research Study on Jet Fuel and F-111 Aircraft Fuel Tank Maintenance Workers

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced a multi-million dollar research study into the health implications of working with aviation turbine fuels and F-111 Deseal/Reseal agents.

The Jet Fuel Exposure Syndrome Study is in response to a parliamentary inquiry’s report into F-111 workers and their families.

“I take very seriously the need to ensure the ongoing health of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force.

“Defence is undertaking world first, ground breaking research into the F-111 Deseal/Reseal exposure to look at possible DNA changes in these workers and what may be causing these changes.

“We hope this research will help us understand why some Defence personnel became very ill after working with jet fuels and solvents on the F-111 programs and possibly help us to prevent it ever happening again” Mr Snowdon said.

The Study is a collaborative project between the Defence Centre for Occupational Health and Mater Medical Research Institute and will focus on the relationship between exposure to jet fuels and solvents in the F-111 Deseal/Reseal programs and mitochondrial genetic changes.

The research will be led by Professor Frank Bowling, a Metabolic Disease Consultant and Chemical Pathologist and a Professor of Medical Biochemistry.

Defence is seeking a range of volunteers for the Study:

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• Current or past members of the Air Force who participated in one of the recognised F-111 Deseal/Reseal programs, including “Pick and Patch”;

• Current or previous members of the Air Force who were NOT involved in the F-111 Deseal/ Reseal programs and have NOT had direct exposure to F-111 jet fuel; and

• First degree relatives (parent, sibling, child) of someone who participated in one of the F-111 Deseal/Reseal programs.

“I would strongly encourage interested individuals to come forward and volunteer for this project.”

ENDS

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