Radiation at Treasure Island, USA

Alarming Radiation Levels Found on Treasure Island (includes Video –
on cancers in former residents) ) 
The Navy’s own data suggests that island residents were at risk of
radiation exposure.
East Bay Express, By Ashley Bates, 27 Dec 12, Navy officials have repeatedly downplayed the risks of
radiation exposure to current and former residents on Treasure Island.
But data from the US Navy shows that measurements taken in former
residential areas of the island revealed pockets of alarmingly high
radiation levels. The data, which the Express obtained as a result of
a public records request, also raises questions as to whether former
residents were, in fact, exposed to high amounts of radiation and
whether soil on the island can be sufficiently cleaned up for the
massive “eco-friendly” housing and commercial development planned for
the former Navy base…..
Despite the newly released data, much is still unknown about the
radiation levels on Treasure Island. For example, very little
information has been publicly released on the eight hundred-plus
truckloads of radiologically contaminated soil that were shipped off
the island in recent years. Shaw Environmental, the Navy’s lead
private contractor, has received a Notice of Violation from the
California Department of Public Health for its failure to properly
collect and record this data.

David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for
Radiological Research, reviewed the Navy’s Radiation Protection Plan,
which was prepared by Shaw Environmental. He noted the high toxicity
of radioactive disks that have been found all over Treasure Island.
According to the Navy, these octagonal disks emit contact radiation
dose rates of up to 10 rem/hr, but more typically 0.1 to 0.7 rem/hr.
“Had someone got hold of one of the metal disks and put it in his
pocket for a few days,” Brenner said, “the outcome could have been
very bad — significant radiation sickness or even death within a few
weeks.”. The origin of these disks is still a mystery, but they may
have been used in nuclear detection and decontamination trainings
during the Cold War. The disks were disposed of in four pits on the
island. Condominiums that housed military families in the Seventies,
Eighties, and Nineties were then built atop these pits. These areas
were only recently fenced off to protect the island’s 2,000 current
residents, many of who are low-income.
Brenner cited one silver lining in the radiation data: only a
“comparatively small area of the island” had “highish dose rates.” But
a key question, he said, is, “How many hours did anyone spend in this
region near Building 1321?”….

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