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Harmful chemicals detected in tap water in Okinawa

  • May 23, 2019
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times led with a report saying that the Informed-Public Project (IPP), an Okinawa-based environmental group, has learned from documents it obtained through information disclosure requests that high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), substances believed to be harmful to human health, were detected in tap water in an area near Shintoshin Park in Naha in a water quality survey conducted nationwide in 2007. The paper wrote that IPP leader Kawamura referred to the possibility of the contamination being caused by the U.S. military’s use of extinguishing agents containing PFOS and PFOA at its bases in Okinawa since the 1970s.


Ryukyu Shimpo also gave top play to the issue, saying that high levels of PFOS and PFOA were also detected in the groundwater around an industrial waste disposal facility in Okinawa City in a survey conducted in 2018. The paper wrote that although the possibility of U.S. bases being the source of the contamination has been discussed in Okinawa because high levels of PFOS have been detected in areas near MCAS Futenma and Kadena AB, it is urgently necessary for the prefectural government to determine the source of the contamination because PFOA was also found in addition to PFOS.

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