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SCIENCE > Health

High level of pollutants detected in drain near Camp Hansen

  • March 12, 2020
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that the government of Kin Town surveyed rivers and drains at eight locations in the municipality in October 2019 in response to the detection of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in waters near MCAS Futenma and Kadena AB. After detecting PFOS and PFOA higher than 300 nanograms (ng) per liter at the mouth of a drain running from Camp Hansen to the Red Beach Training Area, the municipality conducted follow-up surveys at three locations in November 2019 and detected 94 ng of the chemicals in a part of the drain near Camp Hansen, 51 ng in the middle of the drain, and 71 ng at the outlet. The paper wrote that although there is no legally binding water quality standard for PFOS and PFOA contamination in Japan, the Ministry of Health is planning to set 50 ng per liter as an interim target level on April 1. The paper wrote that the town suspects that water discharged from Camp Hansen could be the cause of the contamination because the level was highest near the camp. Kin Mayor Nakama reportedly said that his municipality will work with the Okinawa Prefectural Government to have experts conduct a survey at the base to determine the cause of contamination. The paper noted that the water in the drain is not used for farming or daily life.

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