News & Politics

Staten Island Ballfields Contaminated with Radium, Closed


We lived years ago in Staten Island, where we were frequently visited by a rotten-egg stench from Fresh Kills dump. (Today we live in the Greenpoint toxic waste zone. Funny how things work out.) Now Fresh Kills is slated to become a park. But the legacy of the old, pollution-friendly Island persists. Today the Advance tells us that the ballfields at nearby Great Kills Park have been closed because they’re radioactive. The contaminant is believed to be radium from old paint and dental equipment left years ago when it, too, was a dumping ground — one where unscrupulous people often illegally deposited toxic wastes. The risk is believed to be low, but further investigation is understandably planned. Other facilities at the park are open as usual.

A few weeks ago the New York Times gave the Great Kills neighborhood a glowing write-up which didn’t mention the area’s dicey environment record, concentrating instead on its “family-friendly atmosphere” and low home prices. Image (cc) Cary Bass.


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