FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) — Residents of north St. Louis County learn what they long feared is true — the creek that snakes through their backyards may be to blame for high cancer rates in the region.
The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registery (ATSDR) has found that people who played in Coldwater Creek — or just lived nearby — may have higher risks for cancers of the lungs, bones, or leukemia.
"There is no more argument," said Mark Behlmann of the group Coldwater Creek — Just the Facts, "There is radioactivity of certain chemicals, which are identified in the report, that causes certain cancers."
Behlmann says the findings could lead to compensation. The creek, which is being cleaned up by the Army Corps of Engineers, was contaminated by Manhattan Project radioactive waste piled upstream near Lambert Airport in the 1960s.
The waste, stored in the open air, was exposed to rainwater, which is believed to have contaminated the creek with runoff.