By TARA COPP Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen in samples taken at a Montana missile base where a striking number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses.

The discovery is part of the Air Force’s ongoing investigation of its nuclear missile bases.

The service began the investigation after at least nine current or former missileers at Malmstrom Air Force Base were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare blood cancer.

Two launch facilities at the base recorded higher levels of of PCB -- polychlorinated biphenyl -- exposure than is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

PCBs are an oily or waxy substance that have been identified as a likely carcinogen by the EPA.

Minutemen III silo fields are based at Malmstrom, F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne,  and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

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