The Environment Ministry will investigate whether residents near Camp Carroll in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province have been affected by small traces of the carcinogen dioxin that have been found in the groundwater there.
The ministry will ask residents as early as this week about symptoms and then conduct blood and urine tests.
"We decided to investigate the effects on health as anxiety is mounting among residents because small traces of dioxin have been detected in groundwater outside Camp Carroll as well as in the soil inside the camp," a government official said Sunday.
The traces were found after U.S. veterans said they buried drums of the lethal defoliant Agent Orange at the camp following the Vietnam War.
The ministry wants to check up on residents within a radius of 1-2 km of the camp, especially those who drank groundwater for many years before running water arrived.