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NAPLES, Italy — The Navy needs more off-base houses to sample for the second part of an ongoing study to determine if there are health risks associated with living in Naples.

"The [Public Health Evaluation] needs a select number of homes in each of the nine study areas to provide a representative sampling of environmental conditions throughout the region," reads a notice on the command Web site.

Officials have yet to identify 210 homes needed for tap water and soil gas samples for Phase II of the study, which began in November. To date, they have collected 169 tap water samples and 146 soil gas samples.

The areas in particular where officials are looking for more samples include downtown Naples, neighborhoods in the area of Melito, Arzano, Casoria and Afragola, neighborhoods in Qualiano, Mugnano and Quarto, as well as areas around Caserta.

In all, the nine study areas encompass approximately 395 square miles. They contain government-leased housing complexes, a Navy satellite receiver station, the Carney Park recreational facility and the NATO base in Bagnoli. Each area also has an air-monitoring station to collect data on air quality, as part of the study.

Officials said they are using a "statistical approach" for selecting homes to be included in the study.

"Not everyone’s home will be sampled," said Cmdr. Jeff McAtee, a spokesman for the Naples health assessment. "However, Navy technicians are always looking for suitable alternate sampling sites."

If Naples residents want their home to be considered for sampling, they can send an e-mail to NaplesHealth@eu.navy.mil, McAtee said.

As a result of Phase I sampling, the Navy has been providing off-base residents with free bottled water for cooking, drinking and brushing teeth, and moved 17 families to new homes because of high levels of chemical contaminants found in their tap water. Additionally, several neighborhoods in the study areas have been placed off-limits for new leases, though several hundred U.S. servicemembers and civilians still reside there.

A complete report on Phase 1 of the study is expected at the end of the month.

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