State finds no dangerous radiation in Hunters Point neighborhood via SF Curbed

Inspection of developed area turns up nothing dangerous, but further investigation is required

San Francisco’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) says that a state inspection has ruled a key section of the Hunters Point Shipyard “free from any radiological health and safety hazards.”

According to a statement from OCII spokesperson Max Barnes, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) cleared the area (known as Parcel A-1) of “any anomalies that would be detrimental to one’s health condition.”


The final CDPH report, which was issued Tuesday, says that, during inspections conducted between July and December in 2018, the “radiation survey detected 110 anomalies with 64 from the walkover survey and 46 from the towed array system.”

However, 109 of those turned out to be the element potassium 40, which the report claims isn’t a worry.

While potassium 40 is a radioactive isotope, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (a non-profit based in Quebec) says that it’s actually the same type of potassium found in common bananas.


“The [human] body already has a lot of […] K-40, which is unavoidable,” CCNR co-founder Gordon Edwards writes. “New ‘natural’ potassium ingested is balanced by eliminating a comparable amount […] to maintain the homeostasis of the body.”

As for finding number 110, “The one exception was a Navy radium-containing deck marker” discovered in September.

However, the CDPH report notes that the object was not radioactive enough to be dangerous—and that “no radiological health and safety hazards to the residents of Parcel A-1 were observed.”

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