The Navy will test an island community in San Francisco Bay for radiation, officials said Tuesday, while trying to downplay fears of a potential health hazard.
An object containing radiation was found on Treasure Island, a man-made community created in the 1930s to host the San Francisco World’s Fair. A military base was opened on the island in the 1940s, closing in 1997.
San Francisco city officials are planning to build 8,000 new houses on the island, Reuters reports.
But not before testing 600 homes for radiation "due to a recent radiological finding beneath an (empty) housing unit,” the Navy wrote in a statement this week. It maintains that there are “no known health hazards” on the island, but wants to reevaluate the safety of the island as a precaution.
"The Navy cares about the people who live and work on Treasure Island and is committing to protecting human health and the environment," Keith Foreman, the Navy's base realignment and closure environmental coordinator, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
City Supervisor Jane Kim said in a statement that the Navy’s announcement seemed alarmingly out of the blue.
“So if I’m a resident and the Navy finds something that puts me or my family at risk, what is the Navy’s commitment and contribution to working with the City to ensure that I have a safe place to live?” she asked. “Moreover, are there any health concerns living here on the island while the survey is being conducted?”
The Navy said in its statement that it would “take immediate action to protect the residents” if the survey finds a health concern.