Friday, October 27, 2017

Toxic chemicals found near US base in Bupyeong

Highly toxic chemicals, including dioxins and benzene, were found in soil and water near a U.S. military base in Bupyeong, Incheon, the Ministry of Environment said Friday.
According to a joint statement by the Korean and U.S. governments, Korean investigators found that soil and groundwater at Camp Market, an installation of the U.S. Army, contained various harmful chemicals.
However, the documents do not say why the chemicals, including dioxins, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), trichloroethylene (TCE), heavy metals, benzene and tetrachloroethylene (TCE), ended up there and who is responsible for them.
After the issue came to the fore a few years ago, environmental groups accused the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) of dumping them there.
Investigators conducted an environmental field survey on Camp Market from July 2015 to March 2016. They looked deeper into the area to better understand the extent and level of contamination from June to September 2016.
The government did not immediately disclose the results of the investigation for diplomatic and security reasons, which later faced criticism from environmental groups.
"The soil from 33 sampling points in Parcel A of Camp Market were tested for dioxins. The results show that samples from seven points contained dioxins above 1,000 pg-TEQ/g. The highest dioxin concentration found was 10,347 pg-TEQ/g," the Korea-U.S. joint committee said in a statement.
Dioxins, which can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, take a long time to break down once they are in the environment.

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