For the second time in a year a patch of radioactive land has been found in the Great Kills Gateway National Recreation Area on Staten Island. The contaminated area is in a wetland area that was made accessible after a wildfire last week.
The radiation levels are extremely low and pose no health risk according to National Park Service spokesman Brian Feeney. An expert from the US Department of Energy said the radiation was "equivalent to 1/70th of a dental x-ray". Despite the lack of danger, a small area of the park has been fenced off and closed to the public while the Park Service, Department of Energy and NYPD investigate the site.
Last year park officials found a radiation hot spot about a quarter-mile away from this week's discovery. The source of the initial hot spot is believed to be a small piece of equipment that had been used for radium processing in the 1940s and subsequently dumped at the site when the site was being used as a landfill. The contaminated soil was later removed.
Photo of Great Kills Park by Andy in NYC on Flickr.