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Contamination Could Delay DuSable Park

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I’m standing at the future site of DuSable Park.

It was once a dumping ground for debris and a couple years ago the Environmental Protection Agency found thorium, a radioactive element, here.

Now as construction crews prepare to start work on the 150 story Spire, preliminary tests show four thorium hotspots at this site where the crews would set up.

Spire spokesman Tom Murphy says more tests will start on Friday, but contamination of the park would keep crews from the area.

It would also delay plans for the park. Millions of dollars have been set aside to redevelop DuSable.

Murphy says testing showed no thorium was found at the Spire site a few hundred yards away.

But the EPA says it is still waiting the results of its own tests.

According to the EPA, exposure to a concentrated level of thorium increases the risks of lung, pancreatic and bone cancer.

For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Alex Helmick.

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