The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the results of their five-year, $100 million project to address uranium contamination in the Navajo Nation.
The EPA reduced the risk of contamination by stabilizing 34 contaminated homes, providing clean drinking water to 1,825 families, neutralizing nine abandoned mines and performing assessments of nearly 800 homes and buildings throughout the 27,000 square mile Navajo territory of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
Nearly four million tons of radioactive uranium ore were mined from the Navajo Nation from 1944 to 1986 to fill the demand for atomic power and weapons in the wake of World War II.
The hazards of uranium contamination include lung and bone cancer and impaired kidney function.
Image: Structure near a mine site in the Navajo Nation (Credit: EPA)