Thursday, October 8, 2020

Wife of deceased Air Reserve Technician hopes law will help others


BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Amy Delcambre is now a single mother of three.

Her husband, Air Force Reserve Tech Sgt. Sean Delcambre died in August 2019 from cancer, a cancer she believes was caused by exposure to hexavalent chromium during the time he worked at Keesler’s 403rd Maintenance Wing. His entire career was spent at the 403rd.

Sean Delcambre was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2018. Just over a year later, he died at age 34.

“She was just over 18 months old when Sean passed way,” Amy said of Lucia. “Of course all the time, she says ‘I miss daddy.’ They ask about daddy all the time, they all miss daddy.”

Their three girls are now 7, 5, and 3. They watched as their father faded quickly under the weight of his cancer.

A WLOX News investigation last year uncovered documents showing the 403rd violated OSHA standards for exposure to the chemical during the time Delcambre worked there. Internal memos noted the paint facility at the 403rd had been broken since 2008, and as a result, Air Reserve Technicians spent their days blasting and painting airplane parts in an “open work bay” with “no control of particulates.”

Air Force records confirm those particulates contained hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing ingredient made famous in the movie “Erin Brokovich.”

Multiple documents called for a better decontamination facility beginning in 2012. It took until 2018 for the unit to formally call for a “clean room” to “reduce the spread of CrVI (Hexavalent Chromium).”


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