Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer-causing Toxins Linked To Unexploded Munitions In Oceans

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
During a research trip to Puerto Rico, an ecologist took samples from underwater nuclear bomb target USS Killen, expecting to find evidence of radioactive matter -- instead he found a link to cancer. Data revealed that the closer corals and marine life were to unexploded bombs from the World War II vessel and the surrounding target range, the higher the rates of carcinogenic materials.

Unexploded munitions.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Georgia

During a research trip to Puerto Rico, ecologist James Porter took samples from underwater nuclear bomb target USS Killen, expecting to find evidence of radioactive matter – instead he found a link to cancer. Data revealed that the closer corals and marine life were to unexploded bombs from the World War II vessel and the surrounding target range, the higher the rates of carcinogenic materials.

"Unexploded bombs are in the ocean for a variety of reasons – some were duds that did not explode, others were dumped in the ocean as a means of disposal," said Porter. "And we now know that these munitions are leaking cancer-causing materials and endangering sea life."

These findings will be presented at the Second International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions on February 25-27 in Honolulu. Data has been gathered since 1999 on the eastern end of the Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico – a land and sea area that was used as a naval gunnery and bombing range from 1943-2003. Research revealed that marine life including reef-building corals, feather duster worms and sea urchins closest to the bomb and bomb fragments had the highest levels of toxicity. In fact, carcinogenic materials were found in concentrations up to 100,000 times over established safe limits. This danger zone covered a span of up to two meters from the bomb and its fragments.

According to research conducted in Vieques, residents here have a 23% higher cancer rate than do Puerto Rican mainlanders. Porter said a future step will be "to determine the link from unexploded munitions to marine life to the dinner plate."

While Porter believes every nation with a coastline has problems with unexploded munitions, there is a solution.

"With the creation of the Ordinance Recovery System, we now have a way to safely remove unexploded munitions," he said.

The machine picks up unexploded bombs off the sea floor and delivers them safely to a lift basket for surface disposal or deep sea burial. It is operated remotely with proportional toggle switches that allow much more fine control of the delicate undersea operation than an on/off button. The system relies on an underwater hydraulic system designed James Barton, president of Underwater Ordinance Recovery, Inc., with the technical expertise of machinists at the UGA instrument shop.

"When you remove the bomb, you remove the problem – but you've got to pick it up," said Porter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Cancer-causing Toxins Linked To Unexploded Munitions In Oceans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218091930.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2009, February 18). Cancer-causing Toxins Linked To Unexploded Munitions In Oceans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218091930.htm
University of Georgia. "Cancer-causing Toxins Linked To Unexploded Munitions In Oceans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218091930.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins