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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) prepared this health consultation as an update to the 1994 Kerr-McGee public health assessment. This was done at the request of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The current status of the Reed-Keppler Park portion of the site is evaluated in this document.


In November 1994, ATSDR released a public health assessment prepared by IDPH for the Kerr-McGee Radiation Areas, which included Reed-Keppler Park (IDPH 1994). The 1994 PHA concluded that exposure to materials at Reed-Keppler Park posed a public health hazard. Although past exposures probably were negligible, if a building were to be constructed in contaminated areas, occupants could be exposed to elevated levels of radon-220, radon-222, and gamma radiation. The key recommendation regarding Reed-Keppler Park was:

  • In the various environmental media, the presence and concentrations of other chemicals used by the Lindsay Light and Chemical Company, American Potash and Chemical Corporation, and/or Kerr-McGee should be assessed, including lead.

In March 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a Unilateral Administrative Order requiring Kerr-McGee and the City of West Chicago to begin time-critical removal actions at Reed-Keppler Park. Kerr-McGee began removing contaminated materials in April 1997, and they finished the cleanup in November 2000. Kerr-McGee has finished restoring the park by filling, grading, seeding, replacing the groundwater monitoring wells, and completing road work (1).

IDPH staff visited the 100-acre park on July 23, 2002 and the former contaminated areas were covered with grass and were accessible to the public.

In September 2002, USEPA issued a record of decision stating that the selected remedy for the Reed-Keppler Park site is "No Further Action" with continued monitoring to ensure that groundwater at the site meets drinking water standards (2).


As stated in the 1994 public health assessment, exposure of park users to contamination (including radiation) at Reed-Keppler Park probably was negligible (3). The removal of the contaminated material has eliminated the possibility of future exposure to radon-220 and radon-222, gamma radiation, and contaminated dust. Remedial activities have also removed the possibility that a building could be constructed on contaminated soil. The West Chicago Municipal Water Supply serves nearby residents, so the consumption of contaminated shallow groundwater at Reed-Keppler Park should not occur.


IDPH recognizes that children are especially sensitive to some contaminants. Past exposure of children at the site probably was negligible. The removal of the contamination has eliminated the possibility of future exposure.


Reed-Keppler Park currently poses no public health hazard. Past exposure at the park probably was negligible and the removal of the contamination has eliminated the possibility of future exposure. IDPH concurs with the USEPA record of decision for the site.


No further public health actions are needed for this site.


Thomas A. Baughman, Ph.D.
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health


  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health assessment for Kerr-McGee Radiation Areas, West Chicago, Illinois. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1994.

  2. US Environmental Protection Agency. Record of decision for Reed-Keppler Park, West Chicago, Illinois. Chicago: USEPA; 2002 September.

  3. US Environmental Protection Agency. NPL fact sheets for Illinois: Kerr-McGee (Reed-Keppler Park). Accessed August 2002. Available from: URL:


This Kerr-McGee Reed-Keppler Park health consultation was prepared by the Illinois Department of Public Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was begun.

W. Allen Robison
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SAAB)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DAC)

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.

Sven E. Rodenbeck
for Roberta Erlwein
Chief, State Programs Section

Table of Contents The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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