Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Health effects of uranium mining in India

Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), an affiliate of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize recipient International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, conducted a health survey in 2007 that looked at 2,118 families within 2.5 km of the mines.It found that 9.5 percent of newborns die each year due to extreme physical deformities…….

Uranium mines afecting health of workers and local communities, India Info Online, 20 Sept 10, AT BANDUHURANG, there are no prohibitory signs, no warnings about radiation, no barbed wire and no demarcation of territory. At mid-day, a time when blasts are carried out, several workers could be spotted in casual clothing, with no helmets, not even a breathing mask. This includes the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel who were guarding the site. CISF’S GB Rao, who apprehended the TEHELKA team for entering the “prohibited area”, had hardly any clue about the safety measures that he was supposed to take, even for his own good. Contrary to UCIL claims, the open-cast mine is not being managed any better than an illegal coal mine in private hands.

The waste lies scattered in mounds of radioactive rocks and dust, sometimes inside the villages surrounding the mine. The radioactive waste water released from the mines simply joins a stream flowing through the villages where children were found bathing and women washing clothes. One can see trucks carrying uranium ore loosely covered with plastic sheets, radioactive dust flying in the wind. Moreover, it is easy for the public to access a ‘tailing pond’ (dumping ground for liquid radioactive waste) of a major mine.

These wastes emit radon, a gas that contains alpha particles. If inhaled, these particles radiate inside our bodies, especially lungs, invading the cells and causing cancer. Though radon has a radioactive lifecycle of just three days, the slurry flow into the pond is constant, making it a perpetual health hazard. The local community goes about its daily routine alarmingly close by – women can be seen collecting firewood from the vicinity and children play hide-and-seek and football.

If this is how the public sector organises itself, there is much trouble ahead. In the past three years, UCIL has been eyeing uranium deposits in Nalgonda, Lambapur and Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh, Gogi in northern Karnataka, Kyelleng-Pyndengsohiong, and Mawthabah in Meghalaya. Almost all these projects are lined up for clearance within a year………….

“We have seen too many deaths due to cancer and tuberculosis, too many deformed children, too many miscarriages among women. Too much sorrow. Our lives are governed by radiation. There is no escape from it,” says Ghanshyam Biruli, with the paleness of someone who has been repeating the same lines for a lifetime.

Over the past decade, nuclear physicist MV Ramana of Princeton University, Professor Hiraoki Koide of Kyoto University and Dr Sanghamitra Gadekar of the anti-nuclear journal, Anumukti – who have studied the health conditions of locals in Jaduguda – have all voiced grave concerns about radiation-related hazards on several platforms. Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), an affiliate of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize recipient International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, conducted a health survey in 2007 that looked at 2,118 families within 2.5 km of the mines.

It found that 9.5 percent of newborns die each year due to extreme physical deformities…….

Uranium mines afecting health of workers and local communities

September 20, 2010 - Posted by | uranium | , , , , , ,

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