5107.0 Uranium, Navajo, Policy and Health

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 12:30 PM
Uranium was extensively mined and milled on the Navajo Nation from the 1940s through the 1980s. While the lung cancers developed by miners have been clearly associated with mining exposures, there has not been a comprehensive evaluation of community health . Community members are concerned about potential health impacts because of the high prevalence of diabetes and existing chronic kidney disease in the population. Many mining-related wastes are still unremediated, and many in the communities haul water from unregulated water sources potentially containing high levels of uranium and other metals toxic to the kidneys. Community activitism raised awareness of the potential health impacts, causing the Eastern Navajo Health Board to seek assistance from a multidisciplinary coalition to help them answer the question of whether the uranium exposures might impact kidney health in their communities. As a result, a comprehensive community-based participatory research program, funded through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is in progress. The scope includes identification and modeling of environmental, health, socioeconomic, and cultural risk factors and utilizing the results to inform health care and prevention in the community. The session will include presentation from those involved in the research project, as well as from the health board and the community action that has resulted in a ban on future uranium mining on the Navajo Nation. How these efforts inteface in the community will be addressed, and the unique roles and activities of the partner organizations will be presented.
Session Objectives: 1. Learn of the history of uranium mining throughout the Navajo Nation and public health implications. 2. Learn of successful interactions between community organizations, health boards, policy makers, and researchers to identify and address public health concerns. 3. Learn of an integrated approach to the community-based participatory research methodology from multiple disciplines including geochemistry, biostatistics, epidemiology, toxicology, and clinical medicine and how these are being combined with community knowledge to answer community questions.
Johnnye L. Lewis, PhD, DABT
Johnnye L. Lewis, PhD, DABT

12:30 PM
Uranium mining and community exposures on the Navajo Nation
Chris Shuey, MPH, Sarah Henio-Adeky, Teddy Nez, Gerald R. Brown and Bernice Norton
12:45 PM
Geochemical controls on uranium mobility to inform human health exposure assessment in the Church Rock Mining District: Navajo Nation, NM
Jamie L. deLemos, MS, Margaret Menache, PhD, Doug Brugge, PhD, MS, John L. Durant, PhD, PE, Benjamin Bostick, PhD, Joshua D. Landis, BA, Christine George, Tommy Rock, BA and Johnnye L. Lewis, PhD, DABT
1:00 PM
Community-Based Survey Methods and Knowledge
Thomas L. Manning, Bess K. Seschillie, Jerry Elwood and Bernice Norton
1:30 PM
Evolution of the Navajo Uranium Assessment and Kidney Health Project: DiNEH Phase II
Johnnye L. Lewis, PhD, DABT, Mallery Downs, RN, Miranda Cajero, BCH and Donald Molony, MD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Peace Caucus, Occupational Health and Safety, Maternal and Child Health, American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing

See more of: Environment