tom neal thallium 1300 Cleveland Avenue

Extremely Toxic Thallium Found in High Levels in Soil of Former Connor Property

City testing identifies numerous Thallium soil exceedances throughout property

In July 2020, the Chair of the Wausau Economic Development, Alderperson Tom Neal, asked the District 3 alderperson if citizens had told him that they were afraid of 1300 Cleveland Avenue, part of the former Connor Forest Industries property, because they had heard that there was “poison there” in the soil.

Incidentally and ironically, the report from the City of Wausau’s recent testing of 1300 Cleveland Avenue shows high levels of the extremely toxic metal, Thallium, — known for once being a rat poison — in the soils throughout large vertical and horizontal areas of the site.

According to information about the metal, Thallium has been referred to as the “poisoner’s poison” and “inheritance powder” because it is so incredibly toxic that it has historically been used as a murder weapon. In fact, Thallium was used as a former rat poison and insecticide, but it has since been banned in many countries for many years.

Even after a zoning map error was identified and acknowledged by the City of Wausau for 1300 Cleveland Avenue which resulted in its erroneous rezoning to industrial, simultaneously leaving the community with much less protective cleanup standards for the site’s remediation, City Hall has not declared that it will correct the error and use more protective non-industrial cleanup standards for the future assessment and cleanup.

The site is largely surrounded by single-family homes and is in the middle of a densely populated residential area.

In the end, Wausau Alderperson Tom Neal was correct — there is “poison” in the soil of 1300 Cleveland Avenue and — according to state regulatory standards — there is quite a lot of it.