Environmental Justice

“Let me be clear…I know that we have to rebuild trust. I know that this didn’t happen overnight and won’t be resolved overnight. So our commitment is to do better, leverage our enforcement, work with Congress to get the toughest laws in place that are adequate and protective…and to do this in concert with community members who have been advocating this for decades.” EPA Administrator Michael Regan — https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/17/michael-regan-epa-louisiana-cancer-alley-visit (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

Poison in the Air

ProPublica — a non profit newsroom that investigates abuses of power created a first-of-its-kind map and data analysis of “Sacrifice Zones”- where residents breath carcinogens in toxic air emissions from polluting industries. Using advanced data processing and modeling tools developed by the EPA, Propublica undertook an analysis of the location of the nations Sacrifice Zones where air pollution from industrial plants is increasing cancer risks for an estimated quarter of a million Americans to unacceptable levels.

View of the Martinez Refinery in Martinez, California on April 27, 2020. Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group
President Joe Biden announcing his administration’s environmental and energy team on January 27, 2021 Photo: Kriston Jae Bethel for the New York Times
10 year old Sammy Johnson died in his mother’s arms of a rare cancer of the brainstem induced by exposure to radiation and carcinogenic heavy metals on September 20, 2021. Sammy was the only son of Nia and Eric Johnson who live less than a mile from the federal Superfund site at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Investigative Journalist Carol Harvey chronicled Sammy’s life and death in the SF Bayview at: https://sfbayview.com/2021/09/help-the-family-0f-10-year-old-sammy-johnson-who-died-in-his-mothers-arms-of-a-brain-tumor/
Sammy Johnson wrapped in the “ginormous” love of his parents Nia and Eric at the 2014 Giants World Series Championship Trophy -AT&T Park in San Francisco.

According to the American Cancer Society the most established risk factor for brain tumors is radiation exposure. [https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html]

DIPG may respond temporarily to targeted radiation therapy but it is highly aggressive and infiltrates an area of the low the brainstem called the pons that controls vital functions including breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
Brainstem glioma in a child detected on MRI scan compressing vital structures in the narrow tunnel between the base of the skull and upper cervical spine that control breathing, swallowing, movement, heart rate and blood pressure.
Superfund National Priorities List Sites Where You Live — Overview
The Hunters Point Biomonitoring Foundation Geospatial mapping of a cancer cluster linked to ionizing radiation exposure in residents and workers within a one mile buffer zone of the federal Superfund system at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and adjoining Yosemite Slough. Cases detected from 2010 to current. Pin colors correspond to following key: yellow: brain and central nervous system, red: breast, green: thyroid, white: leukemia, lymphoma and haematopoietic, blue: lung & airway, gold: pelvic, colon, reproductive, black: canine/feline cancer deaths
“In the Dark of the Valley is a feature film about the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a former nuclear and rocket-engine testing site near Los Angeles that aired on MSNBC on Sunday, Nov.14, 2021 at 10:00pm. The film is an in-depth exploration into the site’s long history of cover — ups and negligence by the site owners Boeing, NASA and the Department of Energy. It also tells the harrowing story of how a community of mothers, led by Melissa Bumstead, have dealt with the struggles of childhood cancer and their new found life of environmental advocacy. It features Dr. Bob Dodge and Denise Duffield of PSR-Los Angeles.

“They were shocked to hear the health officials explain that the community was definitely experiencing a cluster of pediatric brain tumors, as well as elevated rates of all cancers at all ages.”

Angry residents of the South Florida town Acreage at a 2010 community hearing where a cluster of childhood cancers detected by Jennifer Dunsford included four children with brain cancer living within two miles of a fireworks and munitions company. A state investigation validated existence of the cluster but did not hold the polluter accountable. Photo: Gary Coronado The Palm Beach Post
How the Atomic Age Left Us a Half-Century of Radioactive Waste. Photo of the Atomic Energy Commissions plutonium production plant at Hanford, Washington, Circa 1955. Photo: Evans/Getty Imags
Declassified National Archives Photo — A technician applies sealant and putty to the crevices of a “Fat Man” plutonium bomb.
Map of Superfund density adjusted cancer clusters in the US identifies northern California cluster.
  1. Are there geographical areas where the number or density of Superfund sites is significantly higher than in the rest of the US?
  2. Is there an association between cancer incidence and the number or density of Superfund sites?
  3. Do counties with Superfund sites have higher minority populations than the rest of the USA.
Working in a Wasteland

Pathways of Exposure: Yosemite Slough — Photo by Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, March 20, 2020

A 32 year old physical therapist grew up on Yosemite Avenue adjacent to Yosemite Slough — a muddy channel of water that carries sediment from the shipyards contaminated Parcel E-2 shoreline west towards 3rd street. She developed right sided weakness and imbalance that caused her to repeatedly sprain her ankle underwent MRI scan that detected a brain stem glioma. After undergoing 30 rounds of RT in three weeks her symptoms worsened due to swelling in her brain but ultimately she moved on with her life and her career. She requested a urinary toxic exposure screening that detected a “slough” of cancer causing heavy metals in elevated concentrations including the Group 1 carcinogens nickel and cadmium.

Urinary toxic exposure screening conducted by HP Biomonitoring on a 32 year old woman diagnosed with a brainstem glioma who grew up adjacent to Yosemite Slough and currently resides on the Hunters Point hilltop north of the shipyard Crisp Road main entry to the Parcel E-2 shoreline. Multiple heavy metals are detected in elevated concentrations including the Group 1 Carcinogens cadmium and nickel. Aluminum Gadolinium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum and Vanadium and detected in concentrations far exceeding the normal population.
Children’s playground located in the 1000 block of Palou at the Crisp Road entry to the federal Superfund site a within 500 feet of the radiation contaminated Parcel E-2 shoreline. A Youtube video created by the author and photographer captures Proposition 65 Dust Barrier Violations and breaches in the fence line separating deep soil excavations can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/YFujuHHPPRY
The Bishop of a church in the 1100 block of Oakdale located 500 feet west of the fence line separating the federal Superfund site from the church built by his father was diagnosed with two brain tumors different brain tumors -including a brainstem glioma. A Youtube video captures Proposition 65 fence line violations at: https://youtu.be/o4dA5pzfwUU
Elected member of the Hunters Point Shipyard Restoration Advisory Board and 20 year homeowner and artist located in the 1200 block of Oakdale west of the Crisp Road entry to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has undergone brain surgery twice for meningiomas — a type of brain tumor linked to ionizing radiation exposure. Her urinary screening detects cesium, gadolinium, nickel, rubidium, thallium, manganese, strontium, and vanadium above reference range for the normal population.
Danger, Caution, Road Closed! Appropriate backdrops for a photo of Saul Bloom captured on September 11, 2013 by Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
“Yesterday my brother, Saul Bloom, passed away. He died as result of a 2 year long battle with brain cancer…He lost. I wonder if anybody actually wins this battle. Regardless of length of survival it is a bitch of a disease that leaves only a trail of hurt.”
San Francisco Doctor Researches Impact of Toxic Dump on Hunters Point. Youtube: https://youtu.be/RF-f2nKONzA



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Hunters Point Biomonitoring Foundation Inc

Hunters Point Biomonitoring Foundation Inc

Ahimsa Porter Sumchai MD- Director & PI. Founding Chair- Radiological Committee Hunters Point Shipyard RAB 2001, Former Attending MD VA Toxic Registry & SFDPH