Uranium study would be first for Navajo Children
Condensed by Native Village
View Interactive Slideshow from the
Blighted Houses, Poisoned Water, Superfund, New Uranium Rush
A study of how uranium affects Navajo Nation mothers and children
that was slated to begin last year is still on hold.
The U.S. and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection agencies are
waiting for the go-ahead. The
problem is federal funding.
Both agencies suspect a connection between the high rates of deformities and
high levels of uranium in
"Every now and then, there's a birth recorded with all kinds of
problems," said Stephen Etsitty from the NNEP. "But it's really
difficult to directly attribute any one thing without
research. People attribute them (deformities) to uranium
exposure, but none of it's been formally documented. They've
never been addressed,"
Concern over uranium exposure began in the 1980s when people
learned uranium mining was poisoning the land and water sources.
While radioactive ore occurs naturally, mining
has tainted the area and endangered the people
and living nearby.
Agencies still are working to clean up the mess. The U.S.
EPA recently released a report on it's five-year, $100
million cleanup project. It concluded that while progress is
better than expected, there is still much to do.
But without further funding, the project cannot continue.
includes a study --the first of its kind -- on women and children, specifically pregnant
women with unborn children. It would enlist about 1,500 pregnant
mothers living on the Navajo reservation, assess their
exposure to uranium, and the follow their pregnancy.
"It's what people have been asking for," Etsitty said. "They want to
what's happening to their future ... but it's also very sensitive."
The study would follow children for a year after their
birth, record data about their uranium exposure, and assess its
effects on their health and behavior.
the Center for Disease Control,
uranium exposure appears to induce early deaths and birth
defects in pregnant animal subjects. It is not clear,
however, if uranium causes birth defects in
humans. Other studies suggest a relationship between uranium
exposure and human birth defects, but they are not
sufficient to allow valid conclusions, the CDC said.
Native Village Home Page
Village © Gina Boltz
To receive email notices of Native Village updates,
please send your email address to:
To contact us, email
Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals, friends,
organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and
talents to make Native Village possible
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed
without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and
educational purposes only.
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends
who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples.
We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education
News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites. Each issue shares
today's happenings in Indian country. NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website
libraries and informational materials to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written in full by the credited author at
the credited source link. We are responsible for format changes and additional
photos, art, and graphics which boost visual appeal and add dimension to
the reading experience. Pictures and graphics not appearing with the original
article are either credited on the page or by right-clicking the picture. Some
may be free or by sources unknown.
Please contact us with any copyright
corrections so we may properly credit the source.
We are not responsible for changes to outside websites and weblinks. Please
notify us if any problems arise.