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Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
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Contaminants in Fishes from Johnston Atoll

May 08, 2011

Contaminants in Fishes from Johnston Atoll

L. Kerr Lobel1 and P.S. Lobel1 1) Boston University, Department of Biology, 5 Cummington St., Boston, MA, 02215 USA

Abstract. This study examined the distribution of military-industrial contaminants accumulating in coral reef fishes in the lagoon of Johnston Atoll, Pacific Ocean. This atoll was a major military base involved in nuclear and chemical weapons as well as being a depot, transient airfield and harbor since the 1930's. The base was closed and abandoned in 2003. Fishes of different trophic levels were sampled from locations throughout the atoll. Contaminants of concern included radionuclides, heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc) and organic contaminants including; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), herbicides, dioxins and furans (PCDD/PCDFs). The northwest section of Johnston Island, the largest island in the atoll, was the area with the highest level and variety of contaminants in fishes and sediments. This was near the site of the open burn pit and trash dump, fire training and explosives detonation areas, and the former storage site of Herbicide (Agent) Orange.

 

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Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
  1. Linda Bays Justice Reply

    My dad was stationed on Johnston Island 67-68 or 68-69.  He died of cancer at 49 in 1981.  Government says it was not service connected.

  2. Michael Webb Reply

    I also ate the fish on johnton island,

  3. Boyd Neiger Reply

    Excellent web site

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