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EPA Concludes Bridgeton Ball Fields Pose No Radiation Health Risk

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Soil tests conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show no health risk from radiation at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex.

The agency released its final report on the athletic complex on Thursday.

The complex sits less than a mile from the West Lake Landfill, which holds World War II-era radioactive waste illegally dumped there in the 1970s.

The EPA screened the popular ball fields for gamma radiation in May and sent soil samples to be tested for radioactive compounds. Those included Thorium-230, Radium-226 and Lead-210.

Radioactive lead has been a focus of concern by some area residents after earlier testing initiated by Maryland Heights resident Dawn Chapman and her nonprofit group, Just Moms STL, found what they termed "an abnormal concentration" of the compound.

According to the EPA's final report, no radioactive substances were detected at levels that pose a human health risk.

But Chapman says she’s getting a lot of calls from area residents who are still confused by the EPA’s results.

“We’re looking to be able to make very simple decisions here," Chapman said. "Is there something on that field higher than what should be."

The EPA has concluded that the answer to that question is “no.” In a written statement, EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said, based on its testing results, "no additional environmental action is warranted" at BMAC.

The Pattonville School District, which includes Rose Acres Elementary and Pattonville High schools, also got the results of radiation testing this week.

The schools are about two miles from the West Lake Landfill. Responding to parents' concerns, the school district had hired an independent contractor to collect soil samples from the school grounds in June. That testing also did not find any levels that would trigger the need for a clean-up.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience