Carnotite Reduction Company
- Chicago, IL (Cook County)
- EPA ID# ILN000510371
- Superfund Site Progress Profile
- Alias(es): Michael Reese properties
Community Involvement Coordinator
Teresa Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-886-0725 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60725
312-886-3601 or 800-621-8431, ext.6301
Senior Health Physicist
312-886-4591 or 800-621-8431, ext. 64591
Office of Regional Counsel
(email@example.com) 312-886-4683 or 800-621-8431, ext. 64683
312-886-7166 or 800-621-8431, ext. 67166
(where to view written records)
Harold Washington Library Center
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State St.
Carnotite and Lindsay Light
If you're interested in the Carnotite Reduction Company site, you may be interested to know that EPA has been successfully overseeing the removal of soil that is contaminated with radioactive material in downtown Chicago for more than a decade. This contamination was caused many years ago by the Lindsay Light Company and widely spread throughout the Streeterville neighborhood.
There is another minor connection: at different times in the early years of the 20th century, a man named Herbert N. McCoy was president of both companies. Both processed radioactive ore, but for different reasons.
- Lindsay Light used radioactive thorium in the manufacture of mantles for gas lights.
- The Carnotite Reduction Company processed ore containing Carnotite to manufacture radium.
From about 1915 to at least 1920, the Carnotite Reduction Company operated an elemental radium separation and refining facility in Chicago at 2600 S. Iglehart Place, a street that no longer exists. It is believed Iglehart Place was near what is now Ellis Ave.
This property later became part of the land occupied by the former Michael Reese Hospital. In 1979, the State of Illinois Department of Health, Division of Radiological Health, in cooperation with U.S. EPA, conducted a radiological surface survey of part of the Michael Reese property and located several areas of elevated radioactivity. State personnel concluded that the contamination did not pose an immediate health hazard but should be taken into consideration prior to any future construction.
In September 2008, the owner of Michael Reese filed a petition for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In anticipation of Chicago being selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games, the City of Chicago purchased the 37- acre former Michael Reese property in June 2009. The City planned to develop the property as the site of the Olympic Village. The City's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, however, proved unsuccessful.
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On December 10, 2009, U.S. EPA performed a gamma survey of areas of the Carnotite site not previously assessed. U.S. EPA's survey confirmed the presence of radioactive contamination in the northern end of the former Michael Reese Hospital Campus, where the Carnotite Reduction Company was located although the exact property boundaries of the former Carnotite Reduction Company have not been established. Since then, the City of Chicago's contractors have surveyed the Michael Reese property areas in conjunction with the demolition of the former hospital's buildings and removed contaminated soil discovered on the site.
In June 2012, EPA conducted testing of public parkways, park lands, and at several private properties nearby and is currently analyzing the results.
- Department of Fleet Management and Facility Management City of Chicago letter (PDF) (1pp, 34KB) October 2013
- Enforcement Action Memorandum (PDF) (18pp, 1.61MB) December 2011
- Art of Recovering Radium - United States Patent Office (PDF) (3pp, 1.61MB) January 1919
- Chicago Chemical Bulletin (PDF) (1pp, 198KB) July-August 1917
Right of Way Survey Reports
EPA has agreed to host a web-based repository of radiation testing reports and other technical documents for the benefit of those conducting work within the rights-of way. These reports allow private utilities companies and city departments to easily check to see if an area has already been tested and determined to be clear of contamination, or if the area has never been investigated and still needs to be tested.