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The Nation

June 16, 1989

A 10-month cleanup has removed the last vestiges of a radioactive house contaminated decades ago by an enterprising professor, but at a price that is millions more than first predicted, officials said. Contractors began pulling apart the house in Lansdowne, Pa., in August of last year. It was contaminated from the mid-1920s into the 1940s by a University of Pennsylvania physics professor who used his basement to pack needles with radium for sale to doctors and hospitals for treating cancer. The house was placed on the EPA's Superfund cleanup list in 1985. The cost for the cleanup grew from $2 million to $11.6 million for tearing down the house and two neighboring garages and hauling the contaminated debris, along with 4,000 tons of radioactive soil, to a burial site for toxic waste in Utah.

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