Japanese officials inspect US Navy bases for PFAS remediation
Japanese officials from the government inspected the water processing facilities in the Naval Air Facility Atsugi on Monday, three months following the time when toxic organic substances were released into a waterway at the base.
A torrential rain in Atsugi in September. 24 caused an hangar control system to fail, leading to the emission of fluorine organic compound known as PFAS to a small stream that flows through the entire base of 26 miles to the southwest of Tokyo according to the Monday news release of Kanagawa prefecture as well as an official from the environmental division of the prefecture. Both sources referenced an unidentified U.S. military official as the source for the information.
Certain Japanese officials of the government are obliged to talk to journalists only under an anonymity basis.
PFAS The PFAS, which comprises the chemical PFOS and PFOA It is present in the firefighting foam and aircraft grease, as well as water-repellent substances and other products that make use of fluorine-based chemicals.
Studies on laboratory animals have shown that exposure to these chemicals could raise the chance of developing certain cancers in the words of the American Cancer Society. PFOS as well as PFOA are described as “forever chemical compounds” in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since they do not break into the environment.
Human exposure studies have shown an increased risk for cancer or reproductive problems, child development issues and other health issues as per the EPA.
The incident of September resulted in the release of water that was contaminated by fire extinguishing foam in accordance with the announcement. The inspection, which was conducted by officials from Japan’s national administration, Kanagawa prefecture and the cities of Yamato and Ayase as well as assessment of the hangar, as well as the adjacent retention basin.
Naval Forces Japan confirmed the incident, but they are still looking into the root for the contamination as per spokesperson Cmdr. Katie Cerezo.
“We are deeply concerned about the health and safety of everyone and we are committed to the protection and care of the natural environment,” Cerezo said Tuesday via e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
U.S. officials explained the reason for the incident as well as the steps to prevent it from happening which included the elimination of fire extinguishers which make use of chemicals as well as the installation of the granular activated carbon filter official from the Kanagawa official informed Stars and Stripes by phone Tuesday.
The Japanese officials looked over the water filter that was installed and then reviewed the sample results of the test, but they weren’t immediately released. The results aren’t immediately accessible by either the U.S. side, Cerezo stated.
This Thursday Yokosuka municipal officials as well as Japanese government officials also conducted a survey of Yokosuka Naval Base, 33 miles to the south of Tokyo that detected high levels of PFOA in its industrial waste in September. 29 as per an Yokosuka City news release the same day.
The inspection included an evaluation of Yokosuka’s Granular activated Carbon filter – which is identical to that used at Atsugi and a review of the latest water sample results. The most recent sample, taken on Nov. 18th, showed levels of PFAS that
were below Japan’s preliminary goal of a target, as per the statement. Cerezo confirmed the results, noting that the chemical levels have been found to be in “non-quantifiable” amounts.
Tests conducted by researchers from the U.S. The Navy and the South Kanto Defense Bureau in May found PFAS in the waste water of Yokosuka Naval Base. The chemical was found repeatedly in subsequent tests throughout the year.
The base took away all foams for firefighting that contained the chemicals right after the discovery of the contamination during May. Cerezo informed Stars and Stripes in September. 16. The water filter that was installed in the first week of November. 1 was a different counter-active step that was taken by the base, Cerezo said.
Concerns over the chemicals are being raised in other parts of Japan. An Okinawa civic organization called Liaison to Protect the Lives of Citizens from PFAS Contamination published results of a survey in October. 15 and found PFOS present in blood samples to be 1.5 or 3.1 times greater than that of a Japanese government survey from last year.
A few days after the incident, Japanese Environment Minister Akihiro Nishim
ura announced that the ministry would collaborate in conjunction with Okinawan municipalities participating in the survey to collect data and look at mitigation measures.
The group is of the opinion that U.S. military bases on the island prefecture may be the cause of contamination and demanded their cooperation, spokesman Toshio Takahashi stated October. 17.