A Public Service of Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Babies Showing High Levels of Uranium Shed New Light on Largest US Uranium Spill

News Maven

New Mexico experienced the single largest uranium spill in the country, the Churchrock Uranium Spill but few people know this because it goes as unseen as the people it affects, the indigenous - suffering everything from kidney disease to lung cancer, from the old to a now third generation - babies showing high levels of uranium in their urine. Starting in the 1940's with The Manhattan Project and moving into the Cold War, uranium has been mined throughout the Southwest due to being the second largest uranium ore resource in the United States.  There was a brief hault in mining and production on tribal lands through the mandate of Navajo Nation President Joseph Shirley Junior, following the exposure of their high levels of contamination but experiencing a revival as private industry moves its way back in. While children once unknowingly played in its left-over pilings and families equally drank, bathed in and cooked with contaminated water and shared it with their sheep who died off by the flock numbers, (one born hairless only to die shortly after birth) - they also discovered their homes were also contaminated via the soil they were constructed with. It is not an issue of the past, but rather one of simply invisibility. And hits to the heart of environmental injustice. Families have been broken apart not just via death but also relocation and separation. Today, three generations later, this remains as relevant an issue as it ever has been-only still as invisible. Wake Up Call Segment Host/Producer MK Mendoza speaks with Susan Gordon, Coordinator of the Multi-cultural Alliance for a Safe Environment with a recent update of where things stand and why this remains such a vital yet overlooked issue.