The Iredell County Health Department, over the last few years, has worked closely with state and local partners and elected officials to address the elevated thyroid cancer rates in the two Mooresville ZIP codes. The Iredell County Local Thyroid Cancer Workgroup in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory, were able to test whether five public schools within Iredell County have been constructed on coal combustion residuals (CCRs), commonly referred to as coal ash.
The Iredell County Local Thyroid Cancer Workgroup consists of the Iredell County Health Department, county management, Iredell County Board of Commissioners, Sen. Vickie Sawyer, Rep. John Fraley, Iredell-Statesville Schools and the Mooresville Graded School District.
Mooresville Middle, Lake Norman Elementary, Lake Norman High, Lakeshore Middle and Shepherd Elementary were selected for testing because they were all built or renovated during the window of time where coal ash was used as structural fill. Stumpy Creek Park was also tested and used as a control for background comparison data.
The study found no anomalies or exceeding concentrations of toxic metals detected in the trace metal and radionuclide data generated from these soil samples. Based on the report provided by the NC Policy Collaboratory, the data used to identify these sites indicate no additional school sites need to be sampled. Further, the levels and distributions of radionuclides found in the soil cores were consistent with the levels and distributions expected in natural soils associated with the granitic bedrock found throughout Iredell County. Finally, the trace elements and radionuclide data were examined to evaluate the possible presence of CCRs in the soil cores, and the results clearly rule out this possibility.
Read More: Soil study finds no anomalies | Local News