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chemical dumping off of all atlantic and pacific states

Canuck

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The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.

A Daily Press investigation also found:

These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off at least 11 states - six on the East Coast, two on the Gulf Coast, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence.

The chemical agents could pose a hazard for generations. The Army has examined only a few of its 26 dump zones and none in the past 30 years.

The Army can't say exactly where all the weapons were dumped from World War II to 1970. Army records are sketchy, missing or were destroyed.


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The Norwegians found that the sunken ships remained intact. Some of the shells had leaked. Others were slowly corroding. That reveals a problem that could last hundreds of years, the scientists concluded.

Soil sediment showed high levels of arsenic, a component of some of the chemical weapons. Arsenic is bioaccumulative. This means bottom-feeding shellfish are likely to be contaminated and pass arsenic up the food chain to accumulate in humans who eat them, the scientists learned.

Also worrisome: Nets from fishing trawlers were found tangled on some of the weapons-filled wrecks.

"It might be possible to get chemical ammunition in the nets, which could then be brought up to the surface and poison fishermen," the scientists wrote in a report on the expedition.

"It is also a possibility that fishing equipment could damage the wrecks and expose the chemical ammunition to the water, increasing the release of the agents to the environment."

The Army is obliged to at least assess the danger that the dumpsites pose today, said Lenny Siegel, director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight who specializes in chemical weapons issues.

"If no one does a study looking for three-legged fish, how do they know it's not a problem?" he wondered.

"My guess is the risks are remote in most cases, but I think you have to at least evaluate the risk. They have to take continuing responsibility.

"They need to see if there is an impact on the food chain. If there is, you have to warn people. If so, they have to do something with them."
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/nation/13070288.htm
 
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