Jump to main content.

Fact Sheet

February 2009

EPA Sampling Results at Cameron Old Landfill, Cameron, Clinton County, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) have been conducting environmental investigations in Cameron, Missouri, since 2008. Initially, MDNR tested the water in the Cameron Reservoirs and directly from the distribution system in May 2008. The testing was conducted because of a community concern with the city's drinking water and the number of reported brain tumors in Cameron. EPA and MDNR have worked together to investigate several areas of concern in the community to determine the likelihood of an environmental release associated with reported brain tumors. Currently, neither EPA nor MDNR has been able to connect the reported brain tumors with any environmental releases.


In late October 2008, EPA investigated an old landfill located within the Cameron city limits in response to the community's concern. The landfill is located in the southeast corner of Cameron. It was closed by the City in the mid-60s, and was never issued a permit by the State of Missouri because it was established before landfill regulations were in place. There are no records to determine what was dumped into the landfill; however, the community believes that the landfill was used for personal or business waste. The landfill is not being monitored, nor is it under post-closure care.


EPA's investigation of this particular landfill was to determine if environmental releases existed. EPA collected soil, sediment, and surface water samples during the sampling event. MDNR also participated in the collection of these samples.

EPA collected 11 soil samples from eight soil borings at the landfill. Three sediment and three surface water samples were collected from the creek adjacent to the landfill. The compounds detected at the landfill include formaldehyde, metals, dioxins and furans, pesticides, semi-volatile organic compounds, and volatile organic compounds.

EPA compared the concentrations of each compound detected to health-based screening levels. Health-based screening levels are the levels considered to be protective of human health for long-term exposure. The levels of all the compounds detected in the water samples are below the national drinking water standards (Maximum Contaminant Levels, MCLs).

Except for the level of lead in one soil sample, the levels of all compounds detected in the soil and sediment samples are also below the screening levels.


Because the elevated lead level is only slightly greater than the screening level and the lead levels in the other ten soil samples are below screening levels, it is not likely that a person would be exposed to lead on a long-term basis at a level of concern for human health. Exposure of the public to contaminants is also unlikely because the old landfill is located in a non-residential area. Based on the low levels of contaminants detected and on current and projected use, EPA expects no adverse health effects.


EPA returned to the City of Cameron the week of February 2, 2009, to address additional concerns from the community regarding the possibility of environmental releases in other locations. EPA conducted a site visit at the old quarry located off Pence Road as part of this investigation, and found no evidence of environmental releases. EPA will continue to work with the community to investigate other areas of concern.

For more information please contact: 

Belinda Young
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Public Affairs
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
Toll free: 800-223-0425

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.