by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Radiation Programs, Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility in Montgomery, AL .
Written in English
|Statement||U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Radiation Programs.|
|Contributions||United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Radiation Programs., Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility (U.S.)|
|The Physical Object|
|Pagination||3 v. :|
EPA / POTENTIAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS OF URANIUM MINE WASTES A Report to the Congress of the United States in Response to Public Law J U.S Environmental Protection Agency Office of Radiation Programs Washington, D.C. that some exposure to radioactivity from uranium mining waste occurs in these areas. The reduction of such exposure should be achieved through environmental remediation measures. However, as radio nuclides in uranium mining and milling waste are very long lived and their potential to cause health hazards . Therefore, with emphasis on the direct and indirect impacts of uranium mining and associated environmental and health impacts, some cases have also been discussed in the present chapter. Keywords Uranium Mining legacy Environmental hazards Human health Mine tailings Radiotoxic wastesCited by: 2. Uranium Mining in Virginia: Scientific, Technical, Environmental, Human Health and Safety, and Regulatory Aspects of Uranium Mining and Processing in Virginia. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: /
Uranium mining and processing are associated with a wide range of potential adverse human health risks. Some of these risks arise out of aspects of uranium mining and processing specific to that enterprise, whereas other risks apply to the mining sector generally, and still others are linked more broadly to large-scale industrial or construction activities. Generally, the highest potential radiation-related health risk for uranium mining or processing facility workers is lung cancer associated with inhaling uranium decay products (more specifically, radon decay products), as well as other non-lung-cancer risks associated with gamma radiation exposure on-site. Report to Congress on the Potential Health and Environmental Hazards of Uranium Mine Wastes (U.S. EPA a, b, c), as required by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 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.
More recent estimated quantities of mine waste are as follows: • The world’s iron, copper, gold, lead, and bauxite (aluminum) mines together generated 35 × 10 9 t of waste in alone .. The South African gold mining industry produced × 10 5 t of gold tailings in the decade from to , that is, ×10 4 t a −1 .. All gold mining waste produced in the past century. On Decem , President Richard M. Nixon signed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of (Public Law ). This law was enacted to protect the health of the coal worker and to guard the miner's safety in his underground work environment. This practice has caused problems, including on Navajo lands where more than half of the small, abandoned uranium mines from the middle of the 20 th century and their wastes remain. Wind can blow radioactive dust from the wastes into populated areas and the wastes can contaminate surface water used for drinking. 2. Assessment and cleanup of legacy uranium mines: Beginning in through the present, Bureau of Land Management and state agencies have surveyed uranium mines within the study area. Most recently the New Mexico Environment Department began screening of mines within the Poison Canyon area in These screenings will be used to identify sites.