The most radioactive place in New York City

Alberto Rodriguez, the Dominican-born owner of auto repair shop in Queens, works atop the most radioactive spot in New York City. A predecessor business, Wolf-Alport Chemical Co., used to produce radioactive thorium as a by-product of its rare earths chemical business. The thorium was dumped down the New York City sewer until the Atomic Energy Commission came into existence and started buying it. The problem has been known for years, and will cost millions of dollars to clean up.

View the video for details and click on The Most Radioactive Place in New York City for a timeline and map by The New Yorker.   The radioactivity is not intense enough to cause any risk to Rodriguez’s customers, but there might be long-term effects from him and his mechanics, on their backs under the cars all day long while radiation comes up through the earth.  The EPA has laid down steel and lead shielding.

Hat tip for this to my e-mail pen pal Jack Clontz.

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