Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian are raising concerns about the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a contaminated nuclear site in between California's Simi Valley and Los Angeles, and near where the devastating Woolsey Fire started.
"Our family lives ONLY 20 miles from a nuclear disaster site, Santa Susana Field Lab, and we didn’t even know it – the [Woolsey Fire] started there, and smoke could be carrying radioactive chemicals. We need [incoming Governor Gavin Newsom] to do something – sign the petition," Kourtney wrote.
Khloe shared the same statement, while Kim added, "Shocked & furious to learn smoke from the #WoolseyFire started at former nuclear testing site, Santa Susana Field Lab, & is potentially radioactive."
Our family lives ONLY 20 miles from a nuclear disaster site, Santa Susana Field Lab, and we didn’t even know it – the #WoolseyFire started there, and smoke could be carrying radioactive chemicals. We need @GavinNewsom to do something – sign the petition. //t.co/CBfY4gX1BG //t.co/daZFHZW7xa— Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) November 15, 2018
The Kardashian sisters included a link to a Change.org petition to get the site cleaned up that has almost 500,000 signatures. The petition was created by Melissa Bumstead, whose daughter Grace Ellen died from a very rare cancer at four years old. Bumstead lives in in West Hills, near the Field Lab.
"There's a lot of elected officials I think who are ready to jump on this, but we need more public support," Bumstead told NBC Los Angeles. "I've always wondered, if the site had been cleaned up way back in 2010, maybe my daughter never would have had cancer."
While the Kardashians are just bringing this issue to the attention of millions of people on social media, this has been a concern among residents of the area for decades. NBC Los Angeles previously reported in 2015 that the radioactive site threatens 500,000 people living within five miles of it.
The lab has been contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste left behind after years of nuclear accidents and rocket testing. Dozens of children living in the area have been diagnosed with rare and unusual cancers.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA committed to remove all contamination by 2017, and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) asked Boeing to help, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. However, the area has still not been cleaned.
Since the Woolsey Fire began nearby, concerns of the area have been raised again. As the Kardashians noted, the smoke from the fire could be "potentially radioactive."
Abbott Dutton, a spokeswoman for DTSC, told the Daily News that officials assessed the site on Nov. 10 and determined that no further damage was caused.
“We confirmed that the SSFL facilities that previously handled radioactive and hazardous materials were not affected by the fire. Over the weekend our multi-agency team took measurements of radiation and hazardous compounds, both on the site and in the surrounding community," Dutton wrote. "The results from this initial round of testing showed no radiation levels above background levels, and no elevated levels of hazardous compounds other than those normally present after a wildfire.”
In her own statement, Bumstead said she was skeptical about the test results and is "outraged" that DTSC and other agencies are telling residents there is no risk.
“DTSC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health should not make assurances when they don’t have the data and won’t release whatever measurements they may have taken," Bumstead said.
The Kardashians have homes in Hidden Hills and Calabasas, and both Khloe and Kourtney were forced to evacuate their homes. Kim and her husband, Kanye West, reportedly hired private firefighters to help save their neighbors' homes.
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