A compelling opinion piece about the contamination of Coldwater Creek in North St. Louis County was published in the June edition of St. Louis Magazine. On newsstands this past week, “The Poisoned Children of Coldwater Creek” by Ray Hartmann is critical of the media and the Missouri state government.
“But if the media is unhelpful, Missouri state government is worse. Apparently in response to some public outcry, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services issued a report in March claiming there was no health problem near Coldwater Creek and essentially blaming the victims for bad lifestyle choices.
…The “experts” studied some health data in a handful of ZIP codes between 1996 and 2004, meaning at best they considered the wrong people. As a horde of angry critics pointed out, there’s great turnover in North County residency.
The large majority of real victims no longer live in the studied area, and as much as 75 percent of the area’s residents have moved in so recently that their histories meant nothing to the issue. The study made no effort whatsoever to track the experiences of the generation whose tragic stories…” are happening now.
The piece mirrors the outrage of residents who have watched as their neighbors, friends and family become sick within the past five years from exposure to the toxic creek decades ago. Residents have reported more than 2,500 cases of cancer, autoimmune diseases and birth defects. They include higher than average reports of rare diseases like brain cancer, thyroid cancer, appendix cancer and more.