Defence admit another 12 sites 'contaminated by toxic chemicals'

The Australian Defence Force has admitted its problem with toxic chemicals leaking from its bases is much bigger than first thought.

 

Another 12 ADF sites have been added to the original six investigated, causing more worry for the personnel who work there as well as the locals living nearby.

Defence Force widow Kristen Russell remembers the moment her partner Greg Lukes was diagnosed with kidney cancer at just 33 years old.

Two years later, the father of two young children was dead.

"He was one of those people that went to the gym everyday, ate all the right things, never smoked, never drank. It was a shock that somebody like him could get that type of cancer," Mrs Russell told 7 News.

Petty Officer Lukes served at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, working on Sea King helicopters.

The ADF believes exposure to a number of chemicals related to the choppers was the likely cause of his deadly disease.

There is now further concern about chemicals known as preflourinated compounds used in firefighting foams at that base, among many others.

Petty Officer Luke's widow has called on the ADF to "release the truth."

"If it's happened, it's happened. Let's get it out there and move forward," she said.

The ADF has already launched detailed investigations into six sites including HMAS Albatross.

On Tuesday it released a report revealing chemicals were found in the soil or ground water at another 12 bases.

The sites include three in NSW, two in Queensland, two in Victoria, one in Western Australia and three in the NT.

Lawyers are already preparing for class actions.

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