Some say creek in north St. Louis County causing cancer

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 10:44 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Residents in north St. Louis County are watching a state study closely Wednesday. The results of the study could prove whether Coldwater Creek is causing cancer.

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.

Former Floissant resident Jenell Rodden Wright is to compile cases of cancer using a Facebook page.

“[There] are thre cases of conjoined twins, a baby born with retno blastoma which is cancer of the eye, and we also have three cases that have come forward to us of babies born missing an ear,” she said.

Many of the children who played in the creek are now adults and developing cancers; some of which are linked to radiation exposure.

There are now more than 2,000 cases documented, and the numbers have prompted the state to take a closer look.

The Missouri Health Department brought in the Missouri Cancer Registry to study the cases and determine if the creek is the culprit.

The Registry will compare cancer rates for six north county zip codes over a 17-year period to the average rate of cancer to see if the numbers show a pattern and could be linked to the creek.

But residents say that won’t be accurate as many didn’t get cancer till they moved away. Most former residents have moved away to different zip codes throughout the nation, which puts them outside the area the Health Department and University of Missouri plans to analyze.

The Health Department and the experts analyzing the numbers have yet to respond to the concerns.

If their analysis turns out to be flawed, residents say it should be repeated using the information gathered by their Facebook page.

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