Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fears widen over Kadena toxins

Just days after the commander of U.S. Kadena Air Base, near the city of Okinawa, promised parents their children’s schools were safe from dioxin contamination, a further 50 chemical barrels have been unearthed from adjacent land and a retired U.S. Air Force major has come forward with claims the school grounds are located near a former dump-and-burn site for waste that included military defoliants.
In addition, a growing number of parents affiliated with the base believe their children’s serious illnesses may have been caused by dioxin exposure.
Last Tuesday, at a hastily convened meeting, 18th Wing Commander Brig. Gen. James Hecker admitted to parents that he ought to have informed them of the contamination next to the playing fields of Bob Hope Primary School and Amelia Earhart Intermediate School as soon as he learned of the problem last summer.
However, he reassured his audience of about 100 U.S. service members and their dependents that there were no indications the base itself was polluted and stated his staff were doing all they could to protect children from any harm.

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