Alameda County substation will be tested for radiation following several cancer diagnoses

Radiation testing is scheduled for this week at the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Eden Township substation in San Leandro after at least five deputies were diagnosed with cancer.

Steven Welty, an attorney for the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff's Association, told 2 Investigates Wednesday the Radiation Safety Environmental Management Division of the California Department of Public Health will be on site to perform a "high-end" radiation inspection using "super sensitive" equipment. He explained there's no cost associated with the testing and the group became interested after learning the facility used to be a hospital and former military facility.

Several deputies reported that their radiation monitors went off inside the building, according to an OSHA complaint filed late last year following several cases of cancer among the 236 employees who work at the substation.

At least five deputies fear their substation is causing cancer

In May, 2 Investigates profiled one of five, healthy deputies in his 30s who was diagnosed with cancer. Four of the five are men who suffered from testicular cancer and worked in the aging building that contains asbestos.

"I just want to see some sort of investigation done to see what could be causing it," Deputy Nicholas Salcedo said. "This is not normal. I never heard of this happening before."

The union plans to present a bid to the county for additional testing by an independent industrial hygienist. Three vendors have contacted the union and are preparing estimates to do a third-party inspection.

"They [deputies] need assurance that it's OK to work there or we need to figure out what's going on with it," Welty said. "We haven't received any assistance from the county or OSHA."

Welty hopes the county will be agreeable to the scope of work including $15,000 for an initial assessment and various testing. He plans to present the bid next week to the county.

The county has never commented on the building or the cases of cancer despite repeated attempts.

"We want them to test the walls, test the floors, test the air, test the water," Welty said. "Either give it a clean bill of health or figure out if it's causing cancer."