A group of environmental scientists running tests for a chemical data corporation claimed this past week that they discovered an excess level of radioactive waste on the grounds of a Missouri elementary school that sits on the grounds where a World War II-era factory was set up to create nuclear bombs.
A recently published report from Boston Chemical Data Corp. discovered that samples taken back in August showed extremely “dangerous” alpha-radiation levels pulsing co-mingled levels of thorium and radium on the site of Jana Elementary School out in Florissant, Missouri. Officials also gathered samples from various classrooms, the library, and the school’s kitchens. Additional samples came from the field and playground around the school building.
“Radiological contamination in and around Coldwater Creek, prior to remediation activities, could have increased the risk of some types of cancer in people who played or lived there,” expressed the released report.
Coldwater Creek runs along two of the school’s sides, which testing has shown contains residue from uranium processing actively contaminating the water source. Mishandled tox waste polluted the waterway in the wake of officials from within the Manhattan Project pulling the material out in order to develop atomic weaponry back during the 1940s while under the umbrella of the Manhattan Project, as reported by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
For the past two decades, members of the United States Army Corps of Engineers have been attempting to clean up the contamination of the creek. Just four years ago, however, officials first discovered pockets of radioactive waste next to the school and officially confirmed the findings over the course of the next few years. While testing for the level of the contamination, the Army Corp did not go any deeper than six feet below the surface or within 300 feet of the elementary school.
Christen Commuso with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment was able to get ahold of the report from the Army Corps via a request within the Freedom of Information Act and shared the discovered results with the board of supervisors for the elementary school.
“I wouldn’t want my child in this school,” explained Commuso, as reported by The Hill. “The effect of these toxins is cumulative.”
A group of officials with Boston Chemical explained that the tests conducted by the Army Corps were “incomplete and inadequate” because of the fact that no samples were gathered from within the school building or from the surface soils immediately around the area.
Via thorough testing from Boston Chemical, the corporation discovered levels “far in excess” of radioactive isotope lead-210 polonium, radium, and many other toxins. As stated in the report, the ingesting or even inhaling of such waste could cause rather significant harm.
“Given that radiological contamination related to these contaminants in the creek has been found in both the indoor (dust) and outdoor (soil) environments at the Jana School, a significant remedial program will be required to bring conditions at the school in line with expectations,” finalized the report.
School officials explained to The Daily Mail that “safety is always our top priority,” before adding that they would be going over the implications of the report and speak with any necessary experts and attorneys to determine what should happen next.