Radioactive waste found at Missouri elementary school

FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) – There is significant radioactive contamination at an elementary school on the outskirts of St. Louis where nuclear weapons were produced during World War II, according to a new report from Environmental Investigation Advisors.

Boston Chemical Data Corp. confirmed fears of contamination at Mass Elementary School in the Hazlewood School District in Florescent, raised by a previous study by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The new report is based on samples taken by the school in August. according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Boston Chemical did not say who or what commissioned and funded the report.

“I was heartbroken,” said Ashley Burnaugh, president of the mass parent-teacher union, who has a son in school. “It sounds so cliché, but it takes your breath away.”

The school is located on the Coldwater Creek floodplain, contaminated with nuclear waste from weapons production during World War II. The waste was dumped at sites near the creek that flows into the Missouri River near St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Vahini has been cleaning drains for over 20 years.

The Corps report also found contamination in the area, but at a lower level, and no samples were taken within 300 feet of the school. The most recent report included samples taken from Jana’s library, kitchen, classrooms, fields, and playgrounds.

Levels of the radioactive isotope lead-210, polonium, radium and other toxins were “much higher” than Boston Chemical predicted. Dust samples taken from inside the school were found to be contaminated.

The report states that inhaling or ingesting these radioactive substances could cause serious injury.

“A major remedial program will be needed to restore conditions in the school as planned,” the report said.

The new report is expected to be a major topic at the Hazlewood school board meeting on Tuesday. The district said in a statement that it will consult with its lawyers and experts to determine next steps.

“The safety of our staff and our students as a whole is our top priority,” Board Chair Betsy Rachel said Saturday.

Kristen Cumuso of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment submitted the basic results of the study to the school board in June after receiving a copy via a Freedom of Information Act request.

“I don’t want my son to be in this school,” he said. “The effects of these toxins are cumulative.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *