I grew up, for the most part, in north St. Louis county very near Coldwater Creek. News of radioactive waste having made its way into this creek is not new. However, every time this news surfaces, it seems to be swept under a rug and all but forgotten for several years before making headlines again. Perhaps this time, with the popularity of social networking sites and ever growing technology keeping social media alive, it won’t just be swept under a rug again.
Here’s the story about the known radioactive contamination of Coldwater Creek and the high numbers of cancers and auto-immune diseases in the area. You can read about it and watch a video of the news segment. I would have embedded the video, but that option wasn’t available. The statistics are staggering. The numbers may seem small, but these are only the known cases. My dad lived in the house at point A in the photo below far longer than I did. Was the cancer that took his life so early only linked to smoking, or could this have had any impact at all? We’ll never know, but it does make me wonder a little.
Here’s part 2 of the story aired the next night. This segment covers the West Lake Landfill.
Here’s a map of my neck of the woods growing up:
Hazelwood Central is seen briefly in the news segment linked above and is also a short walking distance away from the creek.
Here’s a closer image showing the distance from the house I lived in from age 7 to 14 to part of Coldwater Creek:
The Florissant Valley of Flowers Festival is held on the banks of Coldwater Creek in that open space you see to the right of point B. When I was young and living in the house at point A, I’m pretty sure we went to that festival every year. We shopped in that shopping center that backs up to it. I played outside almost daily. I know! That’s practically a foreign concept to kids in this day and age, huh?
Granted, I didn’t play in the creek and didn’t live closer to the source of the contamination. That was only about four miles away, though. It’s all very bizarre to hear about now.
I would say I’m glad we moved to Colorado when our kids were little, but the Denver area is not without its own dumping grounds. :O Humans are pretty disgusting creatures and make the worst messes of the planet than any other living creature on it. There really is no escaping it.