School contaminated by atomic bomb waste

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Jana Elementary in the suburbs of St. Louis, is a majority minority school. It is also contaminated by radionuclides left over from a nearby WWII atomic weapons facility operated by Mallinckrodt Chemical Works. 

The school sits in the floodplain of Coldwater Creek, which itself was contaminated. Samples collected just outside and inside the school found radioactive isotopes lead-210 (found in the kindergarten play area at 22 times the expected level), polonium, radium, some “far in excess of the natural background” levels, the report said.

A 2018 assessment by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry determined people who had increased exposure to radioactive waste near Coldwater Creek were at a higher risk for some cancers.

Boston Chemical Data Corp, the company who prepared the report, said significant remediation was needed, but may not last because recontamination from the creek was possible unless Coldwater Creek itself was remediated.

This story follows reports of another school contaminated by nuclear technology, and subsequently shut, and points to Beyond Nuclear’s ongoing concern of disproportionate harm to children and minorities from the radioactivity produced by nuclear technologies.


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