FOCUS: Toxic Compounds Found around U.S. Bases in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 6 (Jiji Press)--High levels of perfluoro organic compounds that Japan bans in principle due to concerns over cancer-causing properties have been detected in areas around U.S. military bases in the Asian nation in recent years.

Local municipalities have asked the Japanese government to conduct on-site inspections at the bases that are believed to have caused the pollution.

However, Japan would need to obtain the U.S. side's permission to conduct such inspections. It is expected to take a long time for the full picture to be grasped.

The toxic substances found around the U.S. bases are perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which have been used in firefighting foam and water repellent products.

The use of the substances, which are hard to be degraded, has been gradually banned around the world since 2009, with studies pointing to the risk of causing cancer and affecting people's immune systems and infant development.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press