ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The EPA says its soil samples show it’s safe to play on the ball fields at Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex in Bridgeton. The facility is located about a mile from the West Lake Landfill where nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project was dumped.
“There were no detections of contaminants at any levels of health concern,” says EPA spokesman Chris Whitley. “The facility just simply does not pose any public health risks.”
The soil samples to check for possible radiation were collected after a citizens group said its tests showed there could be radiation in the dust around the BMAC ball fields.
“The facility remains suitable for public use, and there’s no finding that any further environmental action will be warranted at the site,” Whitley says.
However, there are different interpretations of the test results.
Ed Smith, of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, says both the citizens’s and EPA’s tests came back with the same levels of Lead 210, it’s just the EPA doesn’t think they’re dangerous levels.
“We’d like to see an interpretation – a comparative analysis to other sites with Lead 210, and what that means for human health,” Smith says. “This is a high-use field.”
Smith says the EPA is ignoring what happened in Dayton, Ohio. Radioactive levels lesser than Bridgeton’s were removed in Dayton by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2004.
Smith says that’s part of the reason why they’ve been pushing for more Army Corps involvement in the radioactive situation.
“Lead 201 came back more than twice as high at BMAC than at the two other sites tested. And, EPA needs to address this issue with a little bit more clarity,” Smith says.
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