More Francis Howell students suspect their illnesses caused by radioactive waste


Francis Howell High School

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – More former students from Francis Howell High School are coming forward to share their stories of illness and rare medical conditions in the wake of an alum’s claim they were exposed to radioactive waste at the school and a nearby quarry.

Jamie Krafft, who graduated from Francis Howell High School in 1996, said she suffers from severe cysts throughout her abdominal cavity. She had to have a full hysterectomy, but that’s not all.

“I was diagnosed with a very rare cyclic vomiting syndrome,” she said. “They’re not sure what causes it or why and where it came from.”

Krafft said not enough testing has been done in the area of Highway 94 in Weldon Spring near the high school, where workers purified uranium for nuclear weapons in the 1940s. There was also a quarry that documents show was used for dumping radioactive material. Kids would break through fences to swim in that quarry.

“I don’t think they have released enough information to us to be confident that none of the residents or students were exposed while removing or when they weren’t removing it in the 70s,” Krafft said.

The area was cleaned up and became a superfund site in 2001. Dr. Micheal Garvey has been followed the situation with his watchdog group since 1985. He said Francis Howell students and staffers were contaminated by airborne particulates, which cause all kinds of cancers.

“The people who are at most risk are people who worked at the plant; second, people who swam at the quarry; and third (were) people who had wells,” Garvey said.

The Francis Howell School District said it’s aware of efforts by a group of former students and staff calling for a federal investigation to determine if their health problems are related to exposure to contaminants from the former ordnance works. The district will cooperate fully with any official government study regarding the health of former students and staff.

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