SEATTLE -- A portion of a renovated hangar at Seattle’s Magnuson Park is not the only area contaminated by the Navy’s past uses and storage of radium paint.
The Navy confirmed Wednesday that a nearby hangar referred to as Building 2 also has radioactive contamination confined to rooms where sailors applied the paint aircraft gauges so they would glow in the dark.
The park was part of the former Naval Air Station Sandpoint which operated from the early 1920s until it was decommissioned in 1970.
Both contamination discoveries were made years ago, but neither the Navy nor the current owner of Magnuson Park, Seattle City Parks Department, has ever officially notified the public.
Parks officials say they did verbally notify the tenants, Arena Sports, and a park preservation group, but did not feel written public notification was necessary.
The Navy said it has notified all regulatory agencies and plans to notify the public at least 60 days before it begins a project to remove all the radioactive contamination from inside and outside the buildings.
But the Navy said there are no plans to test Arena Sports or any other buildings for radon’s dangerous by-product, radon gas. Unlike radium, radon gas would not be confined to contaminated areas by walls or other barriers.
The athletic club issued a statement Wednesday saying given the current discussion, they are coordinating with the Parks Department and the Navy to re-examine the issue and accelerate final steps to return the remaining area space to public use.