Friday, April 4, 2014

Uranium is Chemically and Radiologically Toxic

Loomis, B. & Ye Hee Lee, M. (2014, April 4) Navajos Will Get $1 Billion to Clean up Uranium. The Arizona Republic A1, A9.

Majia here: The Navajos will receive 1 Billion to help clean up 85 years of uranium pollution from Anadarko Petroleum, which acquired KerrMcGee in 2006, the polluter. Here is what the article has to say about the consequences of the pollution:
In Arizona, uranium contamination – both to one-time Navajo miners and to people who live and draw water near the mines – has wrought untold health consequences. Victims frequently report kidney maladies or cancers, and the US EPA has advised against using some wells that previously served rural communities. University of New Mexico researchers are working on a study of the effects on pregnant women and their children. [end]
Majia Here: The chemically and radiologically genotoxic effects of uranium mining have been clearly established:
Once Upon a Mine: The Legacy of Uranium on the Navajo Nation. Environmental Health perspectives,
[Excerpt] Decades of uranium mining have dotted the landscape across the Navajo Nation with piles of contaminated mine waste…Human and animal studies elsewhere have indicated the health legacy of uranium exposure may extend to the children of exposed parents. A study of 266 cases and matched controls among Navajo births over 18 years suggested that children of women who lived near abandoned uranium sites were 1.83 times more likely to have 1 of 33 selected defects. Among these were defects thought to be connected to radiation exposure (e.g., chromosomal disorders, single gene mutations) as well as distinctly nonrelated defects (e.g., deaths due to obstetrical complications). On the other hand, these outcomes also were twice as common among children whose mothers worked at an electronics assembly plant as in other children.37
Animal studies suggest potential reproductive implications of exposure. A study in rats exposed to uranium found the offspring had a higher body burden of uranium than the dams. These offspring also had higher rates of physiological changes, including atypical sperm formation.38 And a mouse study produced evidence that uranium in drinking water caused estrogenic activity even at levels below the EPA safe drinking water level of 30 µg/L.39 To look more closely at the effects of uranium exposure on human reproduction and development, Lewis has recently begun recruiting up to 1,500 pregnant women to participate in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.40 Besides tracking birth outcomes and infant development, pharmacologist Laurie Hudson of the University of New Mexico is looking at molecular changes that may be induced by exposure to uranium waste.
Majia Here: I’ve reported previously on efforts by Feds to re-open uranium mines on and near the Navajo reservation:
B. Loomis (2013, April 1) Canyon Uranium Mine Draws Ire: Environmentalists, Tribe Sue After Feds Allow Company to Proceed Despite Ban on New Mining Near Grand Canyon. The Arizona Republic
[Excerpted] Energy Fuels Resources intends to reopen its [Grand] Canyon Mine despite a 20-year federal ban on new uranium mining, imposed early last year by the Interior Department, that covers 1 million acres near the Canyon. The company says the ban doesn’t apply because its rights are grandfathered, and the federal government agrees.Environmentalists and the Havasupai Tribe counter that those rights were granted before science was able to show the full potential impact of uranium mining, which opponents fear will poison water that feeds natural springs in the Canyon…
Majia here: ultimately the contamination will reach the Colorado River, poisoning it for all whom drink its waters, including yours truly. The article explains that there has been NO research examining whether the ‘breccia pipe’ type uranium formation will contaminate the underlying water aquifer during drilling.

Uranium mining is also contaminating other people’s lands in the west

On a Wyoming Ranch, Feds Sacrifice Tomorrow’s Water to Mine Uranium Today by Abrahm Lustgarten ProPublica, Dec. 26, 2012
[Excerpted] As dry as this land may be, underground, vast reservoirs hold billions of gallons of water suitable for drinking, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Yet every day injection wells pump more than 200,000 gallons of toxic and radioactive waste from uranium mining into Christensen's aquifers....

Twenty-five years ago, the EPA and Wyoming officials agreed that polluting the water beneath Christensen Ranch was an acceptable price for producing energy there.

The Safe Drinking Water Act forbids injecting industrial waste into or above drinking water aquifers, but the EPA issued what are called aquifer exemptions that gave mine operators at the ranch permission to ignore the law. Over the last three decades, the agency has issued more than 1,500 such exemptions nationwide, allowing energy and mining companies to pollute portions of at least 100 drinking water aquifers....
...Federal regulators also have become less certain that it is possible to clean up contamination from uranium mining....

Majia here: Uranium is to humanity what gold was to Midas.

Nuclear energy is the energy of DESTRUCTION AND DEATH.

Please see my annotated bibliography of research articles on the reproductive and health effects of ionizing radiation here: 


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