I am David Hollis, and was an ICBM crew member stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, in the 490th Missile Squadron between April 2002 and May 2006. All crew members were exposed to radon gas at varying levels and frequency by virtue of being in LCCs, but little has been done to educate us on the associated side effects and potential treatment options for those experiencing them. If others read my account, they may become more informed and able to draw connections between their exposure and any dermatological (or other) issues they have experienced since then. This could lead to more appropriate, timely, and effective treatment and an overall better quality of life.
Narrative: I pulled 326 alerts during my four years at Malmstrom, including all fifteen REACT-A LCCs in the 10th, 12th, and 490th. During my time at Malmstrom, I witnessed the Air Force perform radon testing at the LCCs. During our pre-departure briefing one morning we were told that radon tests would be installed at all LCCs and to, in essence, keep our hands off them. After some weeks went by, a crew member asked what ever happened to the radon tests. The colonel who was taking pre-departure that morning said he would look into it. A couple weeks later, a representative from bio-environmental engineering came to pre-departure and stated that the radon tests results showed all LCCs were below acceptable levels of radon gas exposure except one – India LCC in the 12th Missile Squadron. I am unaware of any mitigating actions that were taken at the time. The crew force continued pulling alert at all of the LCCs, including India, with no change. During my time at Malmstrom, I began experiencing skin issues such as a small lesion on my forehead and itchy skin rashes. I allowed the forehead lesion to grow over the years until the point it became embarrassing. I treated the itchy skin rashes with over the counter lotions. Eventually, I went to a dermatologist and had the forehead lesion removed. It subsequently returned and I had it removed again. I still have a residual elevated portion of skin in the same place and believe I may need to have it removed yet again in the near future. I also have experienced an increase in size and severity of itchy skin issues that have bothered me since my time at Malmstrom and continue to trouble me to this day, even nine months after retiring from the Air Force.