There has been a lot said on the issue of uranium mining which has been a bone of contention for most states who have tried to bring it forth. This has been clearly seen in Meghalaya which is still disputing whether it would be a good idea or not. There are numerous reasons as to why environmental groups react negatively to the idea of uranium mining.
Here are a few ‘must know’ facts about Uranium Mining.
- Uranium ore usually contains only a small percentage of pure uranium. As long as it remains outside the body, lower grades of this ore pose little health risk. However, if uranium is inhaled or ingested, its radioactivity can trigger the development of lung cancer and bone cancer.
- Uranium mining eventually results in radioactive contamination of the environment which will include not just soil but also rivers and all surrounding water bodies. In the case of uranium mining, processing, reclamation, and waste handling, exposure pathways to living organisms, including people, may exist for chemical and radiological materials via inhalation, ingestion, absorption through the skin, and gamma radiation which has its own deleterious consequences.
- Uranium mining contaminates the air, water and earth with radioactive chemicals and heavy metals that can never be properly cleaned up. This generally stems from solid waste products from mining operations which consists of the original ore and most of the radioactivity in it. Besides this are run-offs from the mine stockpiles and waste liquors from the milling operation.
- Uranium mining is very closely associated with cancer, however, low level radiation has seen to cause birth defects, high infant mortality and chronic lung, eye, skin and reproductive illnesses. This has been clearly seen in Jharkhand where the Jaduguda mine has caused children to be born with swollen heads, blood disorders and skeletal distortions.
- Contamination is widespread and it doesn’t only affect human beings but also animals who suffer from rare diseases. The birth abnormalities in both humans and animals are also long term with future generations also at risk of abnormalities.
featured image: internet