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Missouri creek contamination may raise cancer risks

A warning sign hangs Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, on a fence that surrounds a pit of radioactive material at the St. Louis Airport Site on the north side of Lambert St. Louis International Airport and just off James S. McDonnell Boulevard. The area abuts Coldwater Creek, which runs north from the airport through north St. Louis County into the Missouri River. (Photo By David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

HAZELWOOD, Mo. (AP) – A federal report says people who lived near or played in a contaminated St. Louis-area creek from the 1960s to the 1990s may have increased risk of developing cancer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report Monday on cancer risks from exposure to radioactive contaminants in St. Louis County’s Coldwater Creek. The report found that exposure could raise the risk of bone cancer, lung cancer and leukemia, including a smaller risk of skin and breast cancers.

Nuclear waste from World War II weapon production contaminated the creek decades ago.

Kim Visintine leads volunteer group Coldwater Creek _ Just the Facts Please. She says the group will pursue federal legislation to recognize the county’s residents through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.