This week, the Hazelwood School District announced that one of its schools will be closing after an independent report indicated high levels of radioactive contamination at the site. Jana Elementary, located in Florissant, will switch to virtual learning for the remainder of the current semester. In January, at the start of the second semester, students will be transferred to different schools in the district.
The report, produced by the Boston Chemical Data Corporation, showed samples taken August 15 from Jana Elementary’s library, kitchen, HVAC system, classrooms, fields, and playgrounds were found “far in excess of the natural background” of radioactive isotope lead-210, polonium, radium, and other toxins. The school sits in the floodplain of Coldwater Creek, which was contaminated by waste from the manufacture of atomic weapons in the 1940s and 1950s. Missouri officials, including Senator Josh Hawley and Representative Cori Bush, have called for an immediate federal response.