Banned pollutant detected in water running under Marine base on Okinawa

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An aerial view of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa, Japan. (COURTESY OF WIKICOMMONS)
From Stripes.com
An aerial view of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa, Japan. (COURTESY OF WIKICOMMONS)

Banned pollutant detected in water running under Marine base on Okinawa

by: Matthew M. Burke and Chiyomi Sumida | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: April 19, 2017
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — High levels of a banned pollutant have been detected in water running under Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, a year after the substance was found in streams and underground water wells adjacent to Kadena Air Base.
 
High concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, and per-fluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, were found during two underground-water surveys conducted in August and January, according to a statement released by the Okinawa prefectural government’s environmental protection department.
 
PFOS and PFOA are virtually the same, Okinawan officials said, though their concentrations differ depending on the product.
 
PFOS and PFOA — both synthetic, fully fluorinated organic acids — are found in firefighting foam, aircraft grease, water-repellant materials and fluorine chemicals. They have been known to cause tumors, increases in body and organ weight and death in animals, Okinawan officials said. Their manufacture and importation have been prohibited in Japan since 2010.