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Tue Aug 27, 2013, 05:52 AM

High PCB Levels in Mongooses: The US Must Make Past Use and Storage of PCBs Public

http://watchingamerica.com/News/219119/high-pcb-levels-in-mongooses-the-us-must-make-past-use-and-storage-of-pcbs-public/

Soil and water pollution caused by chemical substances and heavy metals from the U.S. bases have been identified time and again, but the recent test results showing a potential impact on wildlife are really shocking.

High PCB Levels in Mongooses: The US Must Make Past Use and Storage of PCBs Public
Ryukyu Shimpo, Japan
By Editorial
Translated By Katie Tremmel
20 August 2013
Edited by Brent Landon

Research groups from Ehime University and Meio University have discovered high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in mongooses found near two U.S. bases in Okinawa. Soil and water pollution caused by chemical substances and heavy metals from the U.S. bases have been identified time and again, but the recent test results showing a potential impact on wildlife are really shocking. It was reported that “there is a possibility that this could spread to other animals and the local residents.” Both Japanese and U.S. government officials should take this matter seriously and begin investigating the source of the pollution immediately.

In August and September of 2008, the research groups collected six mongooses in the area surrounding Futenma Air Base and a seventh near the Makiminato Service Area in Urasoe, most of which had been killed in traffic accidents. PCBs were detected in all seven mongooses.

The report showed that the concentration of a type of PCBs called mono-ortho PCBs was more than one order of magnitude higher than that of mongooses in other areas of Okinawa, and one to two orders of magnitude higher than that of animals such as cats and wild boars on the mainland. The research group pointed out, “There is a possibility that PCBs are leaking from transformers or condensers in the surrounding area.” We need to make the search for the source of this pollution our top priority.

~snip~

At the end of November 1995, the Onna communication site was returned to Okinawa; in March of the following year, cadmium, mercury and PCBs were detected there. However, on the grounds of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, which exempts the U.S. military from any obligation to restore military sites to their original condition before returning them to Japan, the U.S. refused to deal with the mess. To this day those dangerous substances are still being stored in the Air Self-Defense Force Onna subbase.

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