LEGACY OF CONTAMINATION. A California Naval base shutters, and contamination lingers decades later/ Reuters

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Reuters looks into the nuclear contamination of the EPA Superfund site, Treasure Island which is in San Francisco Bay and it is being developed by contractors with close ties to Bay Area politicians. The City put low income housing on the former barracks and houses on the site. People are getting sick. The Navy and the city are trying to cover this up but kids are finding radioactive materials all over the island.

One girl who became ill had a jewelry box her “Treasure Box” with radium painted dials and radioactive beads. [Editors note: Fallout beads]

Disaster Area Editor:
Why would these be on Treasure Island? Treasure Island was the Navy’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical training school. They are exactly the thing you need to train sailors on how to detect radiation and so they buried these things in the ground for the sailors to find. And that is the only way they could have been dug up by this little girl in her yard or on the playground at her school on Treasure Island.

Most military bases who operated ships and airplanes had radium painted dials and markers used to operate machines, engines etc in no-light situations. When they realized that these markers were radioactive and that they were dangerous, these bases removed them and buried them in the ground, with no care that it might spread the contamination into the water table.

Most EPA superfund sites for military bases have the radium dial markers as one of the things that make it a federal cleanup site. Usually there are others like PCBs (dioxin) and Trichloroethylene (TCE), unexploded ordinance (which is quite common in the Bay Area). You can search for these specific chemicals on the Envirostor website which is the State of California’s Toxic Waste site or on the GeoTracker site which covers California and federal cleanup sites. The Geotracker map shows little squares that indicate a toxic waste location and if you click on them it will show the name of the site.


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