HAZELWOOD, MO - St. Cin Park in Hazelwood may look fun and welcoming to some, but even being just 50 feet away, Gerard Oscko, says his grandchildren are not allowed to play there.
“When they come over, they don’t go in the park because it’s just a few steps from our front porch,” Oscko said.
Oscko points to radioactive waste from Coldwater Creek as being his biggest factor in keeping his grandchildren away.
The homeowner of more than 35 years says it’s that same reason he believes is behind his wife getting stage 4 lung cancer.
He tells me she jogged along the creek all the time before being diagnosed.
“She was very dedicated in doing that and she was thinking it was a good way to stay healthy and get into shape,” he said. “Not knowing we feel because of it, it’s what’s killing her now.”
Now after a report released from the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, there may be some truth to Oscko’s belief.
The agency concluded radioactive contamination in Coldwater Creek could cause increased risk to certain types of cancers.
“What this report does is validates the facts of what’s going on here,” Mark Behlmann said.
Residents and activist appreciate the repairs that have been done to address this issue but feels the report is long overdue.
“Ten years ago, the doctors in the St. Louis area were treating people differently than what they were treating them now,” Behlmann said. “Now that they’ve become aware of what’s going on.”
As for Oscko, this entire mishap has him and his wife feeling like prisoners in their own home.
“I’ve seen property values plummet because of it,” Oscko said. Like our house, we’ll just have to walk away from it.”