Uranium Mining and HEALTH – theme for April 2012
Mining is a dangerous industry. The presence of radioactive substances makes it even more so. Despite assurances and safeguards, the nuclear industry cannot stop workers from exposure, illness and even death due to the nature of the element they are working with.
There are also many instances of corporatenegligence and human error leading to workers accidents, and the nature of their work means that many insurance companies may refuse to give them personal or health insurance
The three main dangers to workers are risk of inhaling radon gas, inhaling Uranium dust and external radiation
Mining uranium and mineral sands creates radioactive dust and radon gas. When breathed into the lungs, the dust and gas release their radiation at close range where it does the most damage to the lining of the lung and increases the risk of developing cancer. Radiation exposure can affect men and women’s reproductive health and is also associated with lower testosterone levels, chromosomal abnormality, skin, lung, kidney and bone cancer and bronchitis and emphysema.
workers are still expected to tolerate a higher level of exposure than others, between 20 and 5 mSv, compared to 0.1
for everyone else.
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