The terminal cancer of Lt. Colonel Jim Gentry, age 52, has been attributed to an exposure to sodium dichloride. His unit was assigned to guard American contractors who were restoring the oil fields. The contractor, KBR, has been blamed for the negligent release of the chemical and exposures in the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment plant. Litigation is ongoing.
The US military is presently reviewing the extent of the chemical release and the consequences. The US Senate recently held hearings concerning the safety and health of soldiers deployed to Iraq who may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals at contractor worksites.