Chemicals found in Tokyo residents' blood may be due to contaminated water from U.S. base


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A Tokyo citizens' group said Monday it has detected high concentrations of potentially harmful substances known as PFAS in some western Tokyo residents' blood, suggesting it could be due to contamination

So US not only want to share their arsenal to fight against Japan unfriendly neighbor, they also want to share carcinogenic material along with their partner nation's citizen.

Feel really sorry for people who really live in their bases, since they need to stay there for their job while exposing themselves with those hazard material.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Those substances were common in cookwares, and can persist very long in the nature. What’s about people who do live further from the base.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Those substances were common in cookwares, and can persist very long in the nature. What’s about people who do live further from the base.

No one wants to hear this! It's just easier to blame the US military! This has been an ongoing issue here in Okinawa for a number of years, and never made an article here. Only when the "Tokyo-centric" reporting on it happening there does it make news!

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Sounds like something that can and should be figured out if both sides cooperate on the testing.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

These results are extremely random, extremely. To all of a sudden first point the finger at a U.S. Military Base without hardly and real investigation is just irresponsible. They only point the finger there first because they know they can get a heavily read story without any consequence of being sued. If they had pointed the finger at a large Japanese corporation with factories in the area... they they would have needed so much more proof first.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Seems the research was highly selective.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Blame America is priority number one for many people here. Easy target.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

And where is the complaining and finger pointing at Japan?

In Japan, PFAS have been widely used by civilian industries and contamination has been detected in heavily-industrialized areas such as Osaka and Tokyo. Civilian stockpiles of PFAS firefighting foam, for example at petrochemical plants, have been estimated to surpass 13,000 tons and the Japanese Self Defense Forces possess 400,000 liters of AFFF.6 In 2018, Japan halted the domestic production and import of PFOS under the terms of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; currently it is moving to apply the same controls to PFOA.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Been seeing this since the 70's in Okinawa and the base's, but I have seen far worse from Japanese institutions, Just saw it yesterday at the local Marina, Tons of toxic material dripping out of old rusted 5 gal cans that had been stacked outside for years.

I could ramble on about the Red Clay runoff, but I will save it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The typical wash me but don’t make me wet pattern. You simply can’t have only good things without any negative side effects. Not in the case of relying on US defense support because of peace doctrine and lacking of own capabilities, but also not anywhere else in general.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru is right. Only when it impacts mainland Japan or heaven forbid the Kanto area does it get publicity. So that others can get up to speed, the amount of PFAS found in groundwater near the bases on Okinawa is many times over the allowable U.S. EPA limits. This is a link to Pacific Stars & Stripes, There are many other sites, just Google it. This is not blaming America, this is about protecting citizens. Just like protecting vets who were impacted by Agent Orange, vets who were impacted by the damn burn pits, people at Minamata, or the people who died and suffered in Bhopal.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Find the source and FIX IT, I hope that this will not start another Okinawa like situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese govt don't care about people. The US doesn't even have to follow their own standards on PFOA for it's bases in Japan! Shameful!

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

A global ban on the production and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), along with its salts and related compounds, has entered into force for more than 160 countries.

The ban encompasses around 150 PFOA-related substances. It was agreed under the UN's Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and became effective on 3 December for most of the convention's 184 parties. 

Japan, which notified the convention secretariat that it is "currently unable to accept the amendment" as its timeline for the ban has been delayed; and

18 countries that have a special agreement with the convention allowing them to "opt-in" to new bans instead of being automatically subjected to them, including Argentina, China, India, South Korea and Russia

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The US should pay those poor people who's life were destroyed due to the chemicals.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

This did not happen all of a sudden, selectively targeting a US base:

June 21, 2020 (Mainichi Japan) TOKYO -- An Environment Ministry water quality study has revealed that contamination levels at 37 water sources exceeded provisional national targets, with high levels of two types of chemical compounds suspected to induce cancer found near U.S. military bases and industrial areas throughout Japan.

The fact is military activities generate huge amounts of chemical pollutants which are released into the land, sea, and air.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I'm not a big fan of the US war machine and they do pollute, certainly in Okinawa, but these cases seem a bit random. If a water supply is polluted you would get more victims. Japan often has small scale industrial sites mixed in with residential. A more scientific inquiry should take place.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan is like colony for US, not ally.

US Force at Japan repeats also dangerous military drill that banned inside US.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Meanwhile the locals continue to burn their plastic trash and and farmers their plastic grow-tunnels, all at low temperatures, thus releasing lots of dioxins and other contaminants into the air and soil.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Hideomi Kuze

Japan is like colony for US, not ally.

Then explain why so few Americans live here.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

So what's the normal/average PFOS/PFOA levels found in the rest of the population of Japan who don't live anywhere near a U.S. military? You'd think that would be an important data point to mention at their press conference and include in this article? Without it there's no context or basis for comparison and the data is circumstantial.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"The state and local governments must deal with the issue from the perspective of what to do with the source of contamination," Harada told reporters.….

It is more likely that worries residents will need to vacate the area before anything is done

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

it was unclear whether the findings had any relation to Yokota Air Base, a U.S. Air Force installation located in the Tama area of western Tokyo.

and yet they point the finger anyways, wouldnt want to upset local industry by blaming them first

4 ( +6 / -2 )

How much longer can the ruling regime stop the people rising up against the occupiers? On top of the criminal, uncivilized behavior and environmental contamination, they are now a huge drain on the economy. And the only purpose they serve from a military perspective is to ensure Japan is a target for the very powerful weapons arsenals of 3 of it's 4 neighbors. Unless their only purpose is to stop the independent development of Japan.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The american government doesnt care about japanese people.....but neither does the japanese government....Only yesterday I was reading in japantoday how the japanese government still after all these years of opposition, want to spread radioactive soil from fukushima all over japan !!!!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Yep lots of people (probably with US military affiliation) here trying to downplay or deflect.

Well, it's been proven that US bases pollute on a large scale throughout the Pacific region-

[ In the Marshall Islands, between 1946 and 1958, it conducted 67 nuclear tests, spreading radioactive fallout as far away as Guam and exposing tens of thousands of residents. On Okinawa, the United States packed its bases with one of the planet’s largest stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction — 1000+ nuclear warheads, hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons — and Pentagon scientists there also experimented with biological weapons on rice fields and established a test site for its infamous Project 112 human trials.

In addition to weapons of mass destruction, the region has been contaminated by seven decades of conventional military operations, including spills and dumps of fuel, pesticides, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), asbestos, and lead. Such pollution has occurred on bases within the United States, too, but as far as Japan is concerned, the difference lies in its remediation. Whereas the Department of Defense and Environmental Protection Agency investigate, make public, and clean up such contamination in the United States, Japanese authorities are not allowed to enter the bases here to check for pollution.

Since its atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States has tried to cover up the health and environmental impact of military toxins, such as Agent Orange, depleted uranium, and PFAS. Repeatedly, the Department of Defense, State Department, and CIA have hidden the truth, lied, and disparaged journalists investigating the problem. I’ve experienced this pushback directly, for example, the U.S. Air Force blocked my internet service provider and the State Department interfered with a public lecture I was giving in Tokyo. ]

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Some big WWII bomber on its way to an airshow bought the farm at my local airport (killed everyone on board). There was a huge fire and the airport firefighters sprayed a bunch of that stuff. I guess it totally messed up the local streams and brooks. That aviation-grade fire foam is no joke.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bet they won’t be so keen to report contaminated water-related illnesses once it’s TEPCO doing the biggest nuclear waste dump in human history.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Just a little research

Aqueous Film Forming Foam, or AFFF, is a firefighting agent used commercially and by the Department of Defense (DoD), including the Air Force since 1970. Most commonly used to combat petroleum fires in aircraft accidents,hangars and during live-fire training exercises, this formulation of AFFF contains perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) - two perfluorinated compounds that persist in the environment are not known to degrade by any natural process.

In March 2011, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center initiated an informal plan for Air Force fire chiefs to dispose of “excess” PFOS-based AFFF Air Force-wide over a 10-year period. In November 2015, more environmentally responsible formulas were added to the DoD’s qualified products list for firefighting agents. The Air Force began replacing both PFOS-based and other legacy AFFF products with a new, environmentally responsible formula in August 2016. The Air Force completed new foam delivery in August 2017. The Air Force is eliminating legacy AFFF through incineration at authorized disposal facilities.

So now the question is where is the disposal facility in their area? Or is it being airlifted back to the States?

After that, case closed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The price for bring "democracy" to the other side of the world..

What a problem with those colonialistic US bases..

Blame America is priority number one for many people here. Easy target.

Because it's a REAL target..

1 ( +7 / -6 )

It’s not rocket science. Research why USA bases are returning land back to Okinawa and why USA base mothers are suing the USA military.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The same PFAS etc...were found in North Tokyo Arakawa-ku and Adachi-ku, no bases anywhere near but previous location of Tanneries.

PFAS are in

Cleaning products.

Water-resistant fabrics, such as rain jackets, umbrellas and tents.

Grease-resistant paper.

Nonstick cookware.

Personal care products, like shampoo, dental floss, nail polish, and eye makeup.

Stain-resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics.

So the base seems a convenient thing to blame, blame the Foreigners.

What types of industries were in the area previously.

Anything producing any of the above and could be responsible.

The tanneries in northern Tokyo closed some 40 years ago but the contamination is still present.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

US military bases are extremely contaminated, according to a bioremediation expert I once talked to...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Raw Beer

Today 04:25 pm JST

US military bases are extremely contaminated, according to a bioremediation expert I once talked to...

Let me remind you this is Japan the country the name Minamata disease for mercury poisoning.

I went to purchase land in 3 locations in Adachi-ku and 2 came with "decontamination" papers one for Tannery contamination the other for Benzene from fuel storage.

I opted not to buy, good thing the benzene cleaning was not done as claimed and The housing built had to be removed and a new decontamination process done.

Remember Tokyo's new fish wholesale market not properly decontaminated!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Always ready to blame everyone but themselves in Japan. A foreign scapegoat being the most favoured.

Makes my skin crawl. Am so relieved to be back in a clean country.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Here we go!!!! Blaming the US. Sensational news with nothing proven to be valid!!! The article says "Chemicals found in Tokyo residents' blood may be due to contaminated water from U.S. base". The words "may be" indicate nothing of PROOF it could be from the base, but they are not sure of where it came from!!!! They only made a suggestion which is a SWAG!! Wow and people believe everything they read!! Words are powerful most people here read with their fingers. SMH!!!

A Tokyo citizens' group said Monday it has detected high concentrations of potentially harmful substances known as PFAS in some western Tokyo residents' blood, suggesting it could be due to contamination of the local water supply by U.S. military base activity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AFFF is not used exclusively by the US military. It is used at commercial airports, refineries and by municipal fire departments all around the world to extinguish petroleum based fires. Every time a car catches fire on an expressway how is the fire extinguished? The firefighters smother it with foam. Airport firefighters train with it routinely just as their military counterparts do.  It is ubiquitous in firefighting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back in 2011 TEPCO was accused of letting Radioactive materials leak into the Tokyo Water Supply....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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