Health concerns halt tours at popular caverns near Stanton
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tours of the popular Meramec Caverns near Stanton have been suspended while the owner tries to reduce levels of a potentially harmful chemical vapor.
The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered traces of trichloroethylene vapors, which it says can cause cancer. Trichloroethylene is a solvent used mainly to remove grease from metal parts, but it's also found in products such as adhesives and paint removers.
The EPA says the vapors probably came from a former auto parts facility and landfill in Sullivan. Both of the locations are associated with a Superfund site that has been on the EPA's national priorities list since 2002.
The Franklin County site shut down in March, and its website posted a notice on March 22 that said it "hoped to re-open in two to three weeks."
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