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Environmental Factor, February 2014

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This month in EHP

February 2014 EHP Issue

The February issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)( highlights the health impacts on the Navajo population of uranium mining, and radioactive consequences of fracking.

Once Upon a Mine: The Legacy of Uranium on the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation is home to hundreds of abandoned uranium mines, ranging from small holes dug by a single prospector into the side of a mesa, to large commercial mining operations. Within decades of the arrival of prospectors in the 1940s, Navajo miners were being diagnosed with lung cancer, a relatively rare disease in this largely nonsmoking population. Today the Navajo population remains at high risk for kidney disease as a result of uranium exposure, as well as potentially associated hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases.

Radionuclides in Fracking Wastewater: Managing a Toxic Blend

Extracting gas from the multi-state Marcellus shale formation usually entails a practice known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Fracking brings up more than gas from the depths; the wastewater that flows to the surface contains radioactive materials that must be managed and disposed of. Fracking in the Marcellus has advanced so quickly that public understanding and research on its radioactive consequences have lagged behind, and there are many questions about the extent and magnitude of the potential risk to human health.

Featured research and related news articles this month include:

  • F2RL3 Methylation as a Biomarker of Current and Lifetime Smoking Exposures — A Smoking Gun? Epigenetic Markers of Tobacco Use History
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Fish Consumption Advisories: Modeling Prenatal, Postnatal, and Childhood Exposures to Persistent Organic Pollutants — Fish Consumption Caveat: Advisories May Not Help with Long-Lived Contaminants
  • Environmental Noise Pollution in the United States: Developing an Effective Public Health Response — Fighting Noise Pollution: A Public Health Strategy
  • Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals and Menopause among Women 20-65 Years of Age (NHANES) — PFCs and Early Menopause: Association Raises Questions about Causality

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