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Radioactive Contamination Concerns Cause Temporary Closure of Middle School

EMSL Analytical provides radiological testing services to determine the radioactive content of materials to help safeguard communities, workers and the environment.

Indianapolis, IN – WEBWIRE

In May of this year, the President of one of Ohio’s local boards of education published an open letter to faculty, students, parents and the local community regarding radiological contaminants detected inside of one of the district’s middle schools and outside of another one. Enriched uranium and Neptunium 237 were specifically mentioned in the letter.

The contamination might be coming from the nearby Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant that is being decommissioned by the Department of Energy (DOE) according to multiple media reports. The DOE states that the facility operated from 1954 to 2001 and occupies about 1,200 acres of the 3,777-acre federally-owned Portsmouth Site. The plant was one of three large gaseous diffusion plants in the country initially constructed to produce enriched uranium to support the nation’s nuclear weapons program and, in later years, enriched uranium used by commercial nuclear reactors. After the Cold War, weapons-grade uranium enrichment was suspended and production facilities were leased to the private sector. In 2001, enrichment operations were discontinued at the site. Decontamination and decommissioning of the plant commenced in 2011 and is ongoing.

“The open letter from the school district reports that the middle school where contamination was detected indoors has been closed until the source, extent, level of contamination, and potential impacts to public health and the environment can be determined,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Anytime dust and debris from a site with radioactive materials is disturbed it could result in this type of scenario if safety precautions in place are not effective. Wind alone can allow fine materials to travel a considerable distance, creating health and safety concerns for people living, working or going to school in nearby areas.”

EMSL’s radiological laboratory has analyzed everything from soil and water to food, vegetation and other unique sample matrices. The laboratory possesses a liberal radioactive materials license able to handle most environmental radioactive needs and offers a wide array of analytical equipment. These include Protean 9604 Gas Flow Proportional Counters, Germanium Gamma Spectroscopy Detectors, Perkin Elmer Liquid Scintillation Counters, Alpha Spectroscopy Detectors and other advanced instruments.

EMSL is now accredited by A2LA under the Department of Energy Consolidated Audit Program (DOECAP) as detailed in version 5.3 of the DoD Quality System Manual for Environmental Laboratories (QSM), with fields of testing ranging from radiological testing services to full environmental testing capabilities. To learn more about this or other radiological, industrial hygiene or environmental testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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