Buried toxins on Treasure Island

Residents forced to leave due to radioactive materials beneath homes

Two dozen families living on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, which served for decades as a U.S. Navy base, have been asked to leave their homes so that the Navy can clean up toxic substances buried underneath those homes.

In late November, residents of the homes in question received a letter from the Navy informing them that they will be moved out in stages, beginning in April and ending in July, according to SFGate.com. “This work is part of the Navy’s ongoing cleanup of buried and currently inaccessible low-level chemicals that were identified in prior assessments,” reads part of the letter.

However, according to a recent NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit news story, “people never should have been allowed to live” in the area in which the homes are located, due to its radiological contamination. A radiation reading taken by Navy-contracted radiation expert Don Wadsworth at one of the homes showed levels one million times that recommended for an occupied residence by both the U.S. Environmental Agency and the California Department of Public Health.