That eerie glow? Not necessarily a harmless glowstick-toting Deadmau5 fan. In another installment of jolly local housing news, a new report by the state health department suggests that children living on Treasure Island could be at risk of radiation poisoning from radioactive shards buried around the former military base.

According to an article by the Center for Investigative Reporting, California Department of Public Health workers uncovered radioactive shards buried in lawns near apartment buildings earlier this year. One shard was so radioactive that it could cause burns, hair loss and ulceration after only an hour of exposure. But local officials who plan to build an 8,000-unit high-rise in the area have claimed to residents that low-level radioactivity in the soil near their apartments does not pose a threat.

As of 2011, 575 radioactive shards had been uncovered. State radiation health physicists have repeatedly urged the Navy to conduct more tests for radioactive waste, and the Navy recently stated that contractors will spend 10 weeks testing the area for radioactive waste, but they don't sound too happy about it:

The Navy has suggested at various times that the radioactive shards were glow-in-the-dark buttons from the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition held on the island or perhaps markers from the decks of military ships. Regulators have speculated that the shards might have been buried in the soil decades ago to train sailors to use Geiger counters, which measure radiation.

No one knows how many more shards might be buried in residential areas of the island. Mayor Lee's development director for Treasure Island, Bob Beck, said the city "continues to review and respond to all reports" from regulators and the Navy. How reassuring.

[CIR] via [Chron]