Health Department wants inclusive study of health problems near -

Health Department wants inclusive study of health problems near Coldwater Creek

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

ST. LOUIS ( – The St. Louis County Department of Health is calling for a bigger study of the health problems in and around Coldwater Creek.

The Health Department does not want the study to focus on just cancer rates, but an entire range of health problems associated with radiation exposure.

“People have a right to know if the environment they live in is safe for them and their families,” Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, said in a press release.

A report released Tuesday stated there were more than 400 cases of leukemia reported in the 8 zip codes closest to Coldwater Creek between 1996 and 2011, more than what would be expected in the community over that time.  Elevated levels of brain and nervous system cancers among children also show elevated rates.

“We need to go beyond the years 1996 to 2011 and beyond just cancer rates to develop a more complete picture of what the people in and around Coldwater Creek are dealing with,” said Dr. Gunn. “We also need to determine if people are still being exposed to any environmental dangers,” she added.

For 50 years, the creek ran next to uranium waste that was dumped near the airport before winding its way through north St. Louis County communities.

The waste was mostly disposed of by 2013, but the cases of cancer and birth defects coming to light seem to point to Coldwater Creek as the cause.

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