New tests ignore known toxins at Bannister

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Despite two troubling toxins identified in other tests inside the General Services Administration side of the Bannister Federal Complex, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report saying a second round of tests has identified no health concerns.

An EPA official said technicians did not test for beryllium or uranium which have both been found in trace amounts on GSA property according to tests uncovered by our investigation.

“Our managers have not seen anything that talks about depleted uranium,” said EPA Spokesman David Bryan. “We've heard your report of it, but nothing that shows it's been found.”

Bryan said the EPA did not test for the toxic metals, but that could change as the agency plans future sampling.

Bryan said the EPA is aware of the GSA reports uncovered by our investigation indicating trace levels of beryllium had been found on the GSA side of the complex during a 2002 test.

“Anytime we have reports of something like beryllium, we are going to work with GSA to probably investigate that,” Bryan said. “It is just a matter of putting that into the environmental work plan.”

Although this round of tests didn’t identify health risks, government officials acknowledge toxins below the building.

The complex is currently being reviewed for National Priorities List Superfund status.

“Indoor air samples showed no indication of health concerns related to volatile organic compounds,” an EPA news release said. “Results of the related sampling do not indicate migration of any vapors from beneath the building that would pose health risks.”

EPA technicians collected the latest samples at the daycare in the Bannister complex and in nearby offices, but the agency still hasn’t tested other areas.

“EPA expects to conduct groundwater sampling, soil gas sampling, and soil sampling around the two buildings in July as part of an agreement between EPA and GSA,” the statement said. “Additionally, two more rounds of air testing will be conducted before the end of the year as part of the comprehensive testing plan at these buildings.”

The tests and Superfund reevaluation come in response to our seven month long investigation that has identified 785-known toxins at the facility and hundreds of sick workers, many of them dead.

If you have a Bannister related health concern, please report it to us by clicking here.

See all our reports on the Bannister Federal Complex, by clicking here.

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