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Respiratory diseases, radioactive fumes – concerns in St Louis County, USA

landfill West Lake St LouisAIR POLLUTION, ATOMIC RISKS GROW AS TOXIC DUMP SMOLDER , URBAN NEWS SERVICEPart 2 of a 2 part series.  For part 1 visit “Near Ferguson, Ghosts of Hiroshima Haunt Fuming Landfill“.

BRIDGETON, Missouri – They can’t breathe.

Residents of this community near Ferguson — site of 2014’s police-involved shooting death of teenager Michael Brown — have complained for years about lung troubles caused by toxic fumes tied to radioactive waste linked to the atomic bombs that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services will release a study in June to gauge these concerns. Many here call this step positive, small and too late; a slow-moving, subterranean landfill fire that began in 2010, could boost the site’s toxic-gas emissions.

Some locals have been diagnosed with cancer, which they connect to nuclear waste illegally dumped at the West Lake Landfill by the Cotter Corporation in 1973. This radioactive refuse is from World War II’s top-secret Manhattan Project.

Thanks to these conditions, residents who seek government-assisted relocation feel abandoned. Lengthy fights over who ultimately should control the site have slowed cleanup efforts……..

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly investigating the issue following a September 2014 study by Missouri’s health department. It found that, between 1996 and 2011, the ZIP codes around the landfill included statistically significant, higher incidences of leukemia plus cancers of the colon, prostate, kidney, bladder and brain.

“[The] recent study by St. Louis County is actually the first time that a government entity has asked people if they feel ill,” said Laura Barrett, executive director for the Center for Health, Environment and Justice…….

A 1988 Nuclear Regulatory Commission study revealed that its inspectors discovered in 1974 that the Cotter Corporation — which agreed to buy the atomic refuse from the federal government and dispose of it — mixed this waste with 39,000 tons of topsoil. Cotter illegally covered the West Lake Landfill with this irradiated earth in 1973, according to the nuclear agency’s report.

“It’s not in barrels. Some of it’s mixed in the soil and the garbage,” said Chapman. “Some of it’s just lying on the surface for over 40 years, and none of us knew about this.”……


May 6, 2016 - Posted by | environment, USA

1 Comment »

  1. […] Respiratory diseases, radioactive fumes – concerns in St Louis County, USA […]

    Pingback by May 6, 2016 - SAVE THE PLANET | May 6, 2016 | Reply

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