Missouri elementary school sitting on radioactive contamination, report finds
An environmental investigative report found a Missouri elementary school be sitting on significant amounts of radioactive contamination.
Jana Elementary School, in the Hazelwood School District in Florissant, was once the site of nuclear weapons production during World War II.
The investigation, by Boston Chemical Data Corp., is based on samples taken in August from the school, first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It was not clear who or what requested and funded the report.
Nuclear waste contamination was dumped at sites near the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, next to the flood plain of Coldwater Creek, on which the school sits. The Corps has been cleaning up the creek for more than 20 years.
The Corps’ report also found contamination in the area but at much lower levels, and it didn’t take any samples within 300 feet of the school. The most recent report included samples taken from Jana’s library, kitchen, classrooms, fields, and playgrounds.
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Levels of the radioactive isotope lead-210, polonium, radium, and other toxins were “far in excess” of what Boston Chemical had expected. Dust samples taken inside the school were found to be contaminated.
Inhaling or ingesting these radioactive materials can cause significant injury, the report said.
“A significant remedial program will be required to bring conditions at the school in line with expectations,” the report said.
The new report is expected to be a major topic at Tuesday’s Hazelwood school board meeting.
Fox News has reached out to the Hazelwood School District for comment on the situation. The district said Friday it is aware of the environmental report.
“Safety is always our top priority, and we are actively discussing the implications of the findings,” the district said in a statement.
The Board of Education will be consulting with attorneys and experts in this area of testing to determine the next steps, the district said.
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“Safety is absolutely our top priority for our staff and students,” board president Betsy Rachel said Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.