In early 1999, concerns were raised by the officer in charge of the aircraft maintenance
section at RAAF Base Amberley about various symptoms being experienced by workers in the F-111 Spray Seal Program: the symptoms included memory loss, fatigue, and other neurological problems. As a result, the Spray Seal Program was suspended, and in January 2000 an internal investigation into the F-111 DSRS programs was conducted.

The investigation concluded that a significant number of personnel had presented with symptoms consistent with solvent or isocyanate exposure and had potentially been exposed throughout all the DSRS programs. Consequently, on 19 July 2000, the Chief of Air Force appointed a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to conduct an investigation into the effects on Air Force maintenance workers of possible chemical exposure during all RAAF F-111 fuel tank repair programs, dating back to 1975.