Read the full article by Pat Elder (Military Poisons)

“In July, an Okinawan TV crew came to Maryland and filmed me taking samples of foam on my beach in St. Mary’s City.  I live 600 meters across a deep saltwater creek from a U.S. Navy base where carcinogenic firefighting foams were used in routine practice for many years. The Okinawans also filmed our group while we tested 18 locations in Okinawa. We’ll have the results in a few weeks. The U.S. military tells the people in St. Mary’s County, Maryland and the people of Okinawa there’s nothing to be concerned about. The folks in Maryland buy it, but the folks in Okinawa don’t.

Of course, these reactions have everything to do with the media. At home, Southern Maryland News, the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post steadfastly refuse to cover the story of waters and fish poisoned by military activities.

The foam on my beach contained 6,449.2 parts per trillion of the deadly carcinogens. (Go to 1:00 in this News clip).  I tested the crabs, oysters, and rock fish and they are all poisonous. I am telling the truth and I am doing so because I am worried about the health of the unborn.  Scientists with Harvard’s School of Public Health say 1 part per trillion in drinking water is potentially dangerous, especially for women who are pregnant. I am not saying these things because I hate the military. Many who serve are good people. It’s just tough to get them to take this seriously.

The state of Maryland tested Largemouth Bass in the Potomac River near our home and found 94,200 parts per trillion in the filet of the fish. Meanwhile, the EPA says we shouldn’t be drinking water with more than .02 parts per trillion. The state says it’s OK to eat the cancerous fish while it contains 4.71 million times the safe level in drinking water.  

Everywhere our team from Veterans for Peace visits in Japan we are treated well. It is also a testament to Rachel Clark, an amazing woman who has been organizing these tours of Japan for years. 

Ken’Ichi Narikawa and Pat Elder are shown with a Cyclopure test kit after collecting a sample from waters draining from Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan

We visited the Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan on Saturday, September 30, 2023 and were greeted with open arms by Japanese academics, NGO leaders, and the press. It is becoming routine for us.  We have been intensely covered by the media, while I am introduced by college presidents and leading academics when I lecture on college campuses. The production of our play continues daily, but with a cast of different local actors.

On Saturday morning we finished a wonderful and thoroughly nourishing Japanese breakfast that was quite distinct from the Krispy Cream/Fruit Loop faire found in the U.S. Breakfast consisted of the most wonderful miso soup, pickles from out of this world, and tamagowiki (a Japanese-style omelet).  After breakfast at 9:00 am, we were promptly met by Hideki Nitta with Peace Link Hiroshima Kure Iwakuni. We had never met him, but, like the other cities, these are instant karma acquaintances.  

Japanese nationals Ken’Ichi Narikawa and Hideki Nitta pose before testing waters near Iwakuni MCAS. The rope and small cage allow for water samples to be collected from waters up to 30 meters below.

We came to test carcinogenic waters flowing into the sea from American military bases and we are being treated like royalty. There’s a lot of pent-up frustration here over PFAS among those who understand the peril. Until very recently, the Japanese media has been reluctant to cover the story of American military bases poisoning Japan, but that is changing now.

Mr. Nitta was referred to us by Okinawa University retired professor Kunitoshi Sakurai, while the reporter who wrote the article shown above was referred by the reporter in Hiroshima.

We did our homework last month as well as we could, using Google Maps to select potential locations where surface water drains from Iwakuni MCAS.  In the meantime, local supporters used our preliminary maps to physically investigate potential sites. The same scenario has played out at Futenma, Kadena, Yonaguni, Ishagaki, Yokasuka, Tama, Sasenbo, etc. This way, we wasted very little time examining sites while we deferred to our Ryukyu Island and Japanese hosts.

Various U.S. Navy aircraft litter the runway at Iwakuni MCAS.  It is a given than the reservoir adjacent to the runway is a cauldron of chemical contamination.

Mr. Nitta drove us around the perimeter of the sprawling facility, allowing us to reach a consensus on where to use the two test kits allocated for the installation. We took two water samples and we’ll mail them to Cyclopure in Chicago. We’ll have the results in a few weeks.”