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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI)– Mounds of buried trash and radioactive waste are a constant presence for people who live and work in Bridgeton and Maryland Heights. They`re calling for emergency action.

Most people are uncomfortable with the unknown.  So it’s not surprising that an environmental situation would generate questions and anxiety.  Homeowners, elected officials and private industry are now forced to face the unexpected.

Kirstee Pimberton passed away four years after the diagnosis.

Alexandra Duly was 22 years old when her cancer was diagnosed.

Cindy Whitman`s daughter Victoria is also a cancer survivor at age ten. She went to the doctor for strep throat.  She quickly became an inpatient.

Victoria`s had a bone marrow transplant and part of her lung removed due to an unexplained fungus.  She`s had lots of ups and downs.

At one time or another, these families lived near the landfills.  Some are still there.  No one can say for sure if their illness is due to the radioactive waste at West Lake or possible airborne contaminants coming from the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.  But it is clear the smoldering event is moving outward.  And there are 7,000-8,000 tons of low level uranium-ore waste buried nearby at West Lake Landfill.

In 1989, the director of the office of nuclear material safety and safeguards wrote: “If neglected, the radioactive material has the potential of becoming a threat to the public health and safety.”

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency is lead federal agency.

Most homeowners prefer removal.

Emergency removal would only occur if West Lake is moved to the Formally Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program or F.U.S.R.A.P.

Residents say they will step up their letter writing and phone campaign to the congressional delegation representing their area.