Colonia High School Radioactive Rock
You would probably hear a version of the answer if you asked your eighth grade English students what a colonia radioactive rock was. After all, what is this rock and why is it in the school’s name? Radioactive rock is the answer! This is the rock found just outside Colonia High School. The radioactive rock is actually a piece of granite!
The teacher of Earth science, Rita English, showed the students how to use a Geiger counter to detect radiation in the rock. Students were encouraged to experiment with other rocks. The school was closed Wednesday to protect students from radiation. Radiation readings were taken in classrooms and hallways. Although no one was exposed, radiation readings were taken in the hallways and classrooms. Parents were asked to wash their children’s clothes and take a shower.
The school is also about a half-hour away from the Middlesex Sampling Plant, which was used for importing and dispersing nuclear materials throughout the country. Although the facility was decontaminated when it was shut down in early 1970s, it is not known if any radioactive rock ended its way to the school. The Army Corps of Engineers notes that some of the radioactive material was probably carried away by the wind and rain.
Al Lupiano attended Colonia High School from 1975 until 1995. He was a member of the class 1989. His wife and he were both diagnosed with rare brain tumors almost twenty years apart. On February 17, Al’s sister passed away of brain cancer. Two sisters from Colonia High School died three years ago from brain tumors. The Woodbridge Township School District is still awaiting further details. The school district is currently awaiting the information from environmental agencies.
The news story has created a huge controversy and has spawned multiple conspiracy theories. One of them claims that the Colonia High School was the cause of a cancer cluster. While a cancer cluster is a rare occurrence, it is highly unlikely if a rock in a school caused the deaths. Scientists who compiled the list are still uncertain. It is important to note that no one has been tested for a link between the rock and cancers.
There is another possibility that the soil in the school was contaminated with uranium during the first atomic bomb. The state and federal authorities aren’t taking this issue seriously enough. Many of the radioactive rock victims have developed cancer. One of them was Al Lupiano, a former student at Colonia High School. In February, he lost his wife to a brain tumour. He believes that he, and other victims, may have been suffering from other types of cancers that weren’t discovered until months later.
Another possibility is that brain cancer clusters could be linked to Colonia High School. Further research is necessary to determine the exact cause. The results of the Woodbridge school investigation were very disappointing. However, the Colonia High School community remains hopeful. And they’ve received numerous awards in the past. The school was also awarded the Bronze Medal Award by U.S. News & World Report. It has been called one of America’s “most challenging” schools.