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My Mare Island, Vallejo, CA, 94592: Is It a Toxic Waste Hazard?

By       Message GLloyd Rowsey     Permalink
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I worked for the U.S. Forest Service from 1978 to 2001. My duty station for all 23 years was in the Regional Office of the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5), for 20 years in San Francisco's financial district, and for the last 3 years on Mare Island in Vallejo, CA, where the Regional Office moved in 1998 to reduce rental costs. 

Already the employee protests about being moved to a closed Nuclear Submarine Naval Base more than 20 miles from most of our homes and downtown San Francisco, with all its amenities, have faded to black.*  

But little did I suspect the nightmare that Mare Island Naval Shipyard may have turned out to be.

Southern Mare Island, by Wikipedia

When the Regional Headquarters of Region 5 of the Forest Service moved to Mare Island in 1998, there were already rumors that the nuclear submarines constructed on the island had also been armed with nuclear weapons there, and consequently that there were toxic nuclear waste disposal sites on the island. These rumors were pooh-poohed by management at the regional level and by our national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Top-Scoring WWII Sub, by Wikipedia

So move we did.

For personal reasons unrelated to whether there was toxic nuclear waste on Mare Island, I retired relatively shortly after we'd moved to Vallejo. In fact, I liked Mare Island just fine -- the commute was incomparably easier, and I felt like the Forest Service had "the run" of the place: we were in our own building, a prominent building high on a hill, unlike in San Francisco where the our Regional Office was just one of the federal workforces in a small office building built in the 1930's. Moreover, when employees came to the Regional Office from the national forests in California, they appreciated the lower costs and felt more at home on Mare Island than in downtown San Francisco.

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The Polaris Sub USS Mariano G. Vallejo, by Wikipedia

It was only after I retired, and in fact over the last several years that I started being concerned about whether I'd been exposed to nuclear waste on the island; and then, a few days ago, I read a long article about hexavalent chromium that simply scared the bejabbers out of me.

There follows the entire text of "Hexavalent Chromium Genetic and Cancer Toxicity -- Information and Links".   I did not write it, but I have taken the liberty of correcting the author's grammar and deleting redundancies, always without changing the meaning.   It's absolutely chilling.


Hexavalent Chromium Genetic and Cancer - Toxicity Information and Links


The best way to look at chromic acid is: it is much the same as deadly nuclear radiation. They both act the same and have the same effects except that chromic acid is"worse. Nuclear radiation causes cancer in small to moderate doses. Chromic acid causes cancer in small doses. Nuclear radiation causes physical illness, permanent injury and death in large doses and chromic acid does the same in small to large doses. The effect of nuclear radiation is permanent and so is the effect of chromic acid. Nuclear radiation causes genetic damage but chromic acid is worse because we know now that nuclear radiation does not cause inheritable, trans-generational genetic damage, but chromic acid does. There is no doubt in my mind that before too long the scientific community is going to come to the consensus that the worst thing mankind ever did to itself was to invent and use chromic acid. 

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Chromic Acid, by Wikipedia

This page is regularly updated with toxicity information about hexavalent chrome (chromic acid). The state of knowledge about this uniquely dangerous chemical is constantly changing. I regularly search the Internet and review other information about this dangerous chemical. Recent developments are that Chromic Acid is likely the most dangerous threat to mankind posed by any chemical.

If you don't have the time to read all of this page right now you can go immediately to a Material Safety Data Sheet for Chromic Acid prepared by a German company in 2007 using this link:

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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