St. Louis Co. Health Department to survey residents near Bridget -

St. Louis Co. Health Department to survey residents near Bridgeton Landfill

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The St. Louis County Health Department is conducting a survey to determine if there is a direct link between emissions from the Bridgeton Landfill and respiratory problems experienced by those who live nearby.

The department will survey residents who live within a 2.5 mile radius of the landfill. The study will focus on the chemicals released by the underground fire and will not include concerns about radioactive waste in the neighboring West Lake Landfill.

There are currently monitoring devices being used to get daily readings of the air around the landfill. The EPA said no matter how bad the air smells, the air quality is similar to the rest of the St. Louis area.

“There is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest people living in and around the Bridgeton Landfill began to experience exacerbation in their symptoms, or people previously undiagnosed with asthma are not being diagnosed,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, the St. Louis County Health Department Director.

Many nearby residents told News 4 they believe it may responsible for their health problems.

“I have asthma, COPD, and allergies,” said nearby resident Judi Stover. “I try to stay in and avoid it because it generally makes me feel not well.”

The health department will contract out with a firm and wants to make sure the survey results are solid.

“As a local health agency, it becomes our responsibility to take a closer look,” said Khan.

Republic Services, who owns the landfill, released the following statement about the survey:

“The site is safe and it is probably one of the most closely monitored landfills in the country. If Dr. Khan's health survey is based on good science and is capable of allaying the concerns of a small community group, we welcome it.”

The company also said it did not cause the underground fire, but has substantially reduced the odor from it.

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