If you go by location alone, Treasure Island, California is a prime piece of real estate. Situated in the bay between Oakland and San Francisco, the island boasts some of the area’s most spectacular views; the island’s annual two-day music festival draws more than 15,000 attendees every year; and Kendrick Lamar even chose to film part of his music video “Alright” there earlier this year. You would think that residents would be excited to call the island home.
If some of them weren’t so worried about radiation exposure, that is.
After Treasure Island was constructed in 1939 for the World’s Fair, the U.S. Navy used the site to clean ships that were used to test atomic bombs. Many buildings on the island are still marked as radioactive, which concerns several of the families who live there.
Robert Williams, 16, used to live on the island as a child. He said his parents weren’t aware of the radiation warnings when they first moved to the island.
Williams says living with the radiation risk meant taking certain precautions. “You can’t grow on the island’s soil, they have to be in a bed or put with new fresh soil in a pot,” he said. “This ground is questionable. You have to test it.“