A Missouri elementary school outside of St. Louis found "unacceptable" levels of radioactive contamination due to waste from creating the first atomic bomb in the 1940s, an independent report from the Boston Chemical Data Corporation explained.
CNN said that there are a number of illnesses, diseases and deaths that have cropped up in the area that are leading residents to wonder if the radioactive material is the responsible component.
"The Jana School, like many homes, institutions and businesses in the area, borders Coldwater Creek. This waterway has been contaminated by leaking radioactive wastes from disposal that began shortly after World War II and is not yet cleaned up," said the study's author Marco Kaltofen.
"The wastes in the creek come from residues of the Manhattan Engineering District Project. Many properties in this area get tested with some regularity," Kaltofen told CNN. "Unfortunately, when Coldwater Creek floods its banks, some of that radioactive material is deposited on neighboring land, such as the school."
The school district said that they knew about the report and said that they are "actively discussing the implications of the findings."
"The Board of Education will be consulting with attorneys and experts in this area of testing to determine the next steps," they also said.
Parents are demanding immediate cleanup of the infected area and the PTA will discuss it all at a Tuesday meeting.
"In August of this year, 32 soil, dust, and plant samples were taken from the school for the study. Samples were collected from places throughout the school such as the library, the ventilation system, and classroom surfaces," the report explained.
"The most outstanding result of August 2022 testing at the Jana school was that levels of the radioactive isotope lead-210 found on school grounds were entirely unacceptable," the report said.
The radioactive lead found in the kindergarten playground was "more than 22 times the expected background," and the lead-210 levels on the school's basketball courts were "more than 12 times the expected background," the report said.
Jana Elementary School is near Coldwater Creek, which was where uranium processing residues were dumped after the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb, says the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.