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Barbecue allegedly triggered a PFOS leakage at Futenma in 2014

Okinawa Times led with the disclosure by a source who used to work at MCAS Futenma that the heat from a barbecue that was held in a hangar there in the summer 2014 caused the release of foam extinguisher containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). According to the article written by freelancer Jon Mitchell, unlike the incident that occurred at the same installation five months ago for the same reason, almost all of the foam that leaked was successfully contained by underground storage. As the personnel involved in the event were transient troops, there was reportedly disagreement among the base authorities over who was responsible for cleaning up the spillage. Consequently, the disposal of the firefighting foam was not completed. Mitchell also reportedly learned that the U.S. military attributed a separate firefighting foam spill in a base hangar at Futenma last December to the use of a portable generator that should not have been used indoors.

 

While pointing out that the Okinawa Marines commented on the latest leak by saying on Sept. 4 that measures have now been implemented to reduce the risk of a recurrence, Mitchell claimed that such steps, including keeping personnel informed that heat could cause the release of extinguisher foam, had apparently not been taken until recently. The daily added in a separate article that local distrust of the U.S. military is bound to increase since there have been repeated spills of firefighting foam due to “human error.”

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