The Guardian headline: Pearl Harbor water poisoning: US military families say they continue to fall ill
Sub-headline: When second world war-era storage tanks leaked into Hawaii residents’ water supply in December thousands got sick
Beginning in December, US army Major Amanda Feindt and her family found themselves in and out of Tripler army medical center in Honolulu. First, her husband for debilitating ocular migraines, then her four-year-old daughter, who was vomiting with severe abdominal pain, then her one-year-old for chemical burns, and later herself when she started experiencing crippling back pain that prevented her from being able to walk, among other troubling symptoms.
The Feindts were only four of thousands who reportedly sickened after 19,000 gallons of jet fuel from the US navy’s second world war-era underground fuel storage facility leaked into one of Oahu’s main drinking water aquifers. The contamination has led to a major water crisis in the Pacific, affecting more than 93,0000 people.
Many affected military families and civilians at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam say they are continuing to fall ill and that the navy has not provided accurate information on the possible toxins in their tap water and their bodies.
What? The tanks have not been emptied as of yet? RUFKM? Is 350x levels not high enough to just red flag the foot dragging?
This has led to calls for a rapid emptying of the tanks to prevent further disaster.
Feindt says her case is emblematic of the difficulties families face. Back in November, Feindt, alongside many others, were told by the navy that nothing was wrong with their water, despite an advisory from the Hawaii department of health’s (DOH) saying not to use the water to drink, bathe, wash dishes or brush teeth.
Not wanting to question her employer, her family continued to use the water for over a week, until the navy formally announced it was suspending the use of the fuel tank facility. Test results from the DOH subsequently showed the drinking water had petroleum levels 350 times higher than what the department considers safe.