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SANOSTEE — A grassroots effort to help uranium mine workers’ children affected by diseases and birth defects is picking up steam on the Navajo Nation.The Navajo Nation Dependents of Uranium Workers Committee will meet for the second time in a month to update community members and hear feedback from residents who suffer from cancer, kidney disease, birth defects and other illnesses resulting from prolonged radon exposure from uranium mines.
The health problems date back to work in the 1950s and ’60s, said Phil Harrison, Council Delegate for Red Valley/Cove Chapter of the Navajo Nation. During that time, uranium mine workers were exposed to high levels of radon, which has caused inter-generational bouts of illnesses in communities across the Navajo Nation.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about this in the public,” Harrison said.