Eureka, MO (KSDK) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 declared Route 66 State Park safe for visitors and workers after a dioxin soil sampling.
Results from a new soil sampling technique called "dioxin toxicity criterion," finalized in February 2012, revealed no significant health risks since the cleanup in the 1990s.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which owns the park, requested the soil sampling in June 2012 in order to apply new sciences to test for traces of dioxin in the soil.
Samples were collected from surface soils from various locations in the park. EPA considered several factors in their conclusion, including the frequency and duration visitors and workers spend in the park.
EPA concluded that a dioxin level of 640 parts per trillion (ppt) is safe for park visitors while a level of 660 ppt is safe for park workers.
Health experts from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry agree with the conclusions made by EPA.
The Route 66 State Park was established in 1999, at the former site of Times Beach, Mo. Waste oil containing high levels of dioxin was sprayed on the streets of Times Beach in an attempt to control dust, which led to dioxin contamination. In a response to contamination by EPA and MDNR, soil containing dioxin at a level of 1,000 ppt was excavated and replaced with clean soil.
Dioxins are a family of structurally similar toxic chemicals. Most dioxins are byproducts of chemical processing or burning.
For more information regarding EPA's June 2012 Route 66 State Park dioxin sampling, visit www.epa.gov/region 7/cleanup/route66_state_park