June 20, 2019
Current Mansfield Fellow Michele Tempel (U.S. Air Force) recently completed training at Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies and visited the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in Saitama. At NIPH, she met with their expert on water quality standards, Mari Asami, to discuss the ongoing challenges of contaminants known as PFOS and PFOA. These chemicals have been used as an aircraft fire extinguishing agent at military installations around the world, but recent studies have shown adverse affects on groundwater systems surrounding air bases.
The U.S. Air Force is currently investigating the contaminant and researching countermeasures to treat contaminated water systems. Ms. Tempel seized the opportunity to share perspectives and network with an expert from Japan’s Department of Environmental Health. The issue of PFOS/PFOA contamination has been a key issue in Japanese news recently, and a problem Ms. Tempel will be managing at her future position as the Environmental Program Manager at Misawa Air Base in Northern Japan.
The twenty-third class of Mansfield Fellows are concluding their year in Japan this month, but we are excited to bring the twenty-fourth class to Japan on July 1!