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Carnotite Reduction Company Site


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.  

Carnotite & Lindsay Light

f 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.

Site Update

October 2017

EPA continues to maintain a repository of radiation monitoring reports when intrusive work is performed in the vicinity of the Carnotite site.  Visit the City of Chicago's Former Carnotite Reduction Company's website Exitfor additional information. 


Interactive Map of Uranium and Radium Survey Reports - Updated October 14, 2020


Radiological Survey Reports

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