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U.S. Navy to test homes for radiation in San Francisco neighborhood

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy plans to test hundreds of homes for radiation in a remote San Francisco neighborhood after an object containing radium was found beneath an unoccupied residence in the area last fall, city officials said on Tuesday.

In the coming weeks Navy officials will begin surveying about 600 homes on Treasure Island, a manmade land mass in the San Francisco Bay that once served as a naval base, said Bob Beck, a director with the city's Treasure Island Development Authority.

A full plan for the survey is still being developed, but officials will likely use handheld scanning devices on the ground floors of homes to detect possible radioactivity underneath them, Beck said.

"In the event a radiological survey of a housing unit reveals a health concern, the Navy will take immediate action to protect the residents," the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy and the agencies with which it is working on the cleanup, including the California Department of Public Health and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, were not immediately available for further comment.

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