Read the full article by Mika Kuniyoshi (The Asahi Shimbun)

“GINOWAN, Okinawa Prefecture–Extremely high levels of a suspected carcinogen were detected in the grounds of an elementary school next to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma here, rekindling persistent health concerns over the handling of dangerous chemicals at U.S. military bases.

A reading of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) at one site of the Futenma No. 2 Elementary School was about 29 times that of PFOS levels deemed under U.S. environmental guidelines to carry risks in containing the contamination.

Koji Harada, an associate professor of health and environmental sciences at Kyoto University, expressed alarm over the findings, saying they underlined the need for on-site inspections at the Futenma airfield.

‘The findings showed extremely high levels of the PFOS even on the ground surface where the contaminant tends to be washed away by rainwater,’ he said. ‘The only way to resolve this problem is to open an investigation to identify the source of the contamination, given the high likelihood that soil lying deeper from the surface is polluted along with the groundwater.’

A waste pipe that is believed to originate in the Futenma base is located near the school premises.

An expert organization commissioned by a civic group that calls itself Ginowan Churamizu Kai (society working to maintain clean water in Ginowan) went ahead with an investigation of its own, saying it suspected that wastewater containing PFOS was released from the base through the pipe.” …