Department of Health publishes Red Hill Exposure Assessment

Posted on Jun 24, 2023 in Newsroom

Report summarizes potential chemical exposure to residents from 2021 jet fuel exposure

HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) has released an Exposure Assessment providing further details on the November 2021 contamination of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) drinking water system that was caused by the release of JP-5 jet fuel at the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

The Exposure Assessment is intended to provide additional information on the extent of contamination of the JBPHH drinking water system at the time of the November 2021 incident and uses the best available information to:

  1. Provide a summary of key contaminants of potential concern associated with the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage facility incident in November 2021 and the associated contamination of the JBPHH drinking water system;
  1. Provide an estimate of Reasonable Maximum Exposure (RME) concentrations associated with the contaminants of potential concern prior to and at the peak of contamination;
  1. Provide information regarding the estimated duration of the exposure; and
  1. Identify compounds that could have posed health risks.

The amount and length of exposure to JP-5 varied greatly during the November 2021 incident, which makes it impossible to know the true exposure amount and associated health risks experienced by any individual. However, understanding the range of possible exposure amounts may aid public health professionals in conducting health assessments related to the event.

It’s important to note that the JBPHH water today is safe for all uses. The JBPHH drinking water system source has been coming from the Waiawa Shaft since the Navy disconnected from the Red Hill Shaft. The Waiawa Shaft, located six miles away from Red Hill, has been tested to verify that it is safe for all uses. JBPHH drinking water continues to be under a long-term monitoring plan.

The Exposure Assessment, along with lab reports are posted on the DOH Red Hill Water Information website.

Click here to read the full DOH Exposure Assessment.