High levels of pollutants attributed to firefighting foam and other aircraft byproducts have been found in the water running under the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Japan, a mere year after being found near the USAF’s Kadena Air Base.
According to Okinawan officials, high concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, were found during underground water surveys ranging from summer of last year to this spring.
While PFOS and PFOA are virtually the same, the concentrations can differ from product to product. Both substances have been known to cause tumors, death, and increases in weight and have been banned by Japan since 2010.
Okinawa’s government points out that the contamination seems to originate from the airbase.
“High levels of contamination was detected in underground water samples taken from the Oyama and Kiyuna districts,” said Yoshinari Mi-yahira, team leader Okinawa’s environmental protection department’s water environments control team. “Both sit on lower grounds adjacent to Futenma.”
Drinking water both on and off base is reportedly still safe to drink, according to the Stars And Stripes, with the situation remaining unclear as to whether or not the contamination is from the past or recent events.
The US Marines did not respond to requests for comment.
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