2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 10:12:06 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] HEALTH, RADIATION: El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (CA) radium
El Toro Marines Exposed to Radiation

Robert O'Dowd
Salem News (OR)
August 6, 2009

Marines who worked in a radiation contaminated portion of a hangar at former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro were exposed to Radium 226. No action was taken to notify any Marine veteran who worked in the hangar.

(IRVINE, Calif.) - Marines were exposed to radiation in a huge maintenance hangar at former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro, California. The number of Marines who worked in the portion of the hangar contaminated with Radium 226 (Ra 226) is unknown. The hangar was constructed in 1944 and continued to support operations until the base closed in 1999.

Radiation contaminant from a Ra 226 paint room was found during a radiological survey of the hangar by a Navy contractor. Even a low dosage of Ra 226 can cause cancer after several years delay. The Navy has not responded to requests to assess the risk of occupational exposure to Ra 226.

A Navy report from July 2002 indicated that areas of the upper and lower north mezzanine in the Hangar 296 were classified as having or had the potential for radioactive contamination based on site history or known contamination above established release limits. Remediation action was taken by the Navy.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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