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The carcinogenics perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were found in high concentrations in underground water during surveys in August and January, the Okinawa prefectural government’s environmental protection department said in a statement.
“High levels of contamination was detected in underground water samples taken from the Oyama and Kiyuna districts,” said Yoshinari Miyahira, team leader of the environmental protection department’s water environments control team. “Both sit on lower grounds adjacent to Futenma.”
Japan banned the manufacture and importation of both chemicals in 2010. They are synthetic, fully fluorinated organic acids that have been linked to tumors, increases in body and organ weight and death in animals, Okinawan officials said. PFOS and PFOA are used in firefighting foam, aircraft grease, water-repellant materials and fluorine chemicals.
Despite the ban, though, the chemicals have been discovered near both Futenma and Kadena Air Base, also on Okinawa. PFOS was found downstream of Kadena last year, leading to the two tests.