Organic Compound Detected in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

26 February 2022
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy detected elevated levels of an organic compound from a non-residential building located at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The sample, taken from a building in a ship forces work area, found an organic compound called bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, also known as di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate or DEHP. DEHP
Department of the Navy, Department of the Army, State of Hawaii, Hawaii State Department of Health and United States Environmental Protection Agency logos

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy detected elevated levels of an organic compound from a non-residential building located at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

The sample, taken from a building in a ship forces work area, found an organic compound called bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, also known as di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate or DEHP. DEHP is frequently used in the production of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, and is not a known component of JP-5 fuel. DEHP is not the same chemical as a previously reported compound known as BCEE (bis(2-chloroethyl)ether).

The sample tested at a level of 26.4 parts per billion (ppb). The action level for DEHP is 6 ppb. That level is also called an Incident Specific Parameter or ISP.

This exceedance was the only one reported out of 25 samples taken in Zone C3, which includes Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Hospital Point neighborhood. The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) determined that the next step was to sample, flush, and re-sample. The zone residents and building tenants have been notified of the findings and corrective actions.

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) public health advisory remains in effect for Zone C3. With the exception of zones amended by the DOH, Navy Water System users should not use the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene. The IDWST will perform a thorough review of all results, including the re-sampling for Zone C3 before submitting a package for Hawaii DOH review. Once Hawaii DOH determines the water is safe to drink, Hawaii DOH will amend the health advisory for Zone C3.

The Hawaii DOH’s Nov. 29, 2021, public health advisory for JBPHH remains in effect for all zones except A1 (Pearl City Peninsula) and I1 (Red Hill Housing).

For more information on water recovery efforts, please see: https://www.cpf.navy.mil/JBPHH-Water-Updates/.

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