The threat of low-level radiation via CBS News

NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A study released Wednesday by the World Health Organization said long-term exposure to radiation — even low levels — can dramatically increase the risk of dying from cancer.

Carl Chappell lost his 44-year-old son Steven to appendix cancer three months ago. CBS News talked with him and six of his neighbors, all of whom either had cancer or lost a parent or child to it.Suspicious cancer

surge in St. Louis area

They all grew up in North St. Louis County, where radioactive material left over from America’s nuclear weapons program was stored — thousands of dirty barrels — near a creek than ran alongside their playgrounds and backyards.

Using social media, the neighbors said they’ve documented more than 2,700 cases of cancer, auto-immune diseases and tumors in their area.


In North St. Louis County, neighbors have a list to keep track of who’s gotten sick — including 21 people who lived on the same street.

The residents told CBS News they believe they had long-term exposure to the low level contamination, a type of prolonged exposure that has never been studied.

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