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Navajo Nation: Cleaning Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

Health Effects of Uranium

Cover of ‘Your Health: Uranium and Radiation on the Navajo Nation” PDF showing chemical and radiation effects on the body. For the text version of this image and the complete document, click on the link below.Uranium is a metal that exists naturally in the earth. There are small amounts of uranium in almost all the soil, rock, and water in the world. It can move through the environment in rain, wind, and other natural processes. People have used uranium for building military shielding, weapons, planes and helicopters. It’s also used to fuel nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

People can come in contact with uranium, radiation, or both on the Navajo Nation by spending time at abandoned uranium mines, living in a home that was built with material from a mine or mill site, drinking unregulated water, or not following good water hauling practices. Everyone comes in contact with low levels of uranium because it’s in the environment. But coming in contact with higher levels of uranium can be harmful to your health.

The documents below provide information about uranium, how you can avoid contact with it and how it can affect your health.

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