Boston Chemical Data Corp recently showed Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri, has radioactive isotope lead-210 levels 22-tims higher than expected on the kindergarten playground. It also found high levels of polonium, radium and other material inside the school.
PBS reports that "Worried parents crowded into a school board meeting Tuesday night, when the cleanup was announced. The roughly 400 students — 80% of whom are Black — will do virtual learning for now, and will be sent to some of the district’s 19 other elementary schools starting Nov. 28."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct new testing the school, having already detected radioactive contamination nearby. The Corps issued the following statement:
The Jana Elementary School property does have FUSRAP contamination that is below ground surface and in a densely wooded area near the Coldwater Creek (CWC) bank. However, the sample locations in the actual floodplain between the CWC bank and playground area aren’t contaminated.
While the evaluation is ongoing, early indications from the data are that the FUSRAP contamination is isolated to the CWC bank.
The team has been coordinating with the Hazelwood School District regarding the status of sampling on the property.
“Any contamination posing a high risk or immediate threat to human health or the environment would be made a priority for remediation,” FUSRAP program manager Phil Moser said. “In addition to this property, our team of local-area scientists and engineers have collected more than 40,000 samples and various measurements from along CWC.”
Moser said the St. Louis FUSRAP Team takes pride in the use of industry-standard sampling and analysis procedures, consistent evaluations using the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM), third-party reviews and a robust quality-control/quality-assurance program.
“We also consult with state and federal regulatory agencies to ensure our methods and conclusions are consistent and in accordance with the CERCLA process,” he said. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 is the main law governing cleanup of FUSRAP sites.