A Company With An Animal In This Logo 94 Science versus Fiction: Have New Mexico Environmentalists Been Telling the Truth

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Science versus Fiction: Have New Mexico Environmentalists Been Telling the Truth

While it may be interesting to consider whether Chris Shuey has an influence on the reformed voices of Gallup, and other New Mexico, media, it appears that Mr. Shuey may have built the foundation for his work on the uranium-related disaster. . On the other hand, can anyone blame the ambulance chaser for trying to make a living, too? For lack of a Three-Mile-Island incident in Gallup, New Mexico, Chris Shuey helped establish the Southwest Research and Information Center into an “expert” site against the chemical industry through his apparently piggy backed the 1979 uranium mill tailings spill. near Church Rock. It was considered one of the worst tailings spills ever to have occurred in North America. We looked for conclusive evidence of deaths from this spill, but came up dry. Any published staff report that contradicts the previous statement will be welcomed.

Founded in 1971, the SRIC group developed significant media credibility by highlighting the “dire and grotesque” human and livestock health consequences of that spill. But where is the real damage in terms of human life and ecological disaster? We received the Executive Summary (available October 1982) of an NMEID report, entitled, “The Church Rock Uranium Mill Tailings Spill: A Health and Environmental Assessment.” The report’s authors concluded, “To summarize, the flow affected the Puerco River Valley area for a short period of time, but had little or no impact on the health of local residents.” This report was issued three years after the “largest single release of liquid radioactive waste in the United States” (some 94 million gallons of acidified effluent and tailings slurry).

Some may think that the newspaper reports published in 1979 about this launch have the noise and smell of shoddy, yellow newspaper. Others may wonder if those stories are only fit for the most laughable supermarket tabloids. If one believed what was written then, the entire population of Gallup, New Mexico should have been wiped off the face of the earth by now. Helping to fuel SRIC’s current hysteria over uranium mining, the environmental group argues that HRI’s proposed ISL uranium project, near the Church Rock border of the Navajo reservation, will cause groundwater contamination, perhaps with the same potential of the previous types. dumping Somehow, they seem to be recalling bad memories of that chaos. “He’s very good at using the media,” exclaimed Craig Bartels of HRI. “It’s a few people who are very happy,” explained Bartels as he described SRIC’s opposition to his company’s ISL work, “especially Chris Shuey, who presented himself as a journalist.”

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) doesn’t put much stock in local media coverage. The following is excerpted from their official report on uranium enrichment:

“The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in collaboration with the Red Rock community, has found no documented human consumption of river water. Six Navajo individuals likely to have been exposed to the release debris were selected by the CDC and tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where they were found to have levels of radioactive materials equivalent to those found in the human body.” Recommendation: No further action is required.

“No public, private or municipal wells that supply water for domestic use or livestock farming are affected by the spill. Wells that draw water only from sandstone or aquifers in the industry probably won’t be affected by contaminants.”

o “Based on the limited tests conducted by the CDC, the additional radiation risk from the consumption of local livestock is small. The risk is similar to the increased risk from atmospheric radiation caused by movement from sea level to the 5000 feet in elevation.”

o “Computer modeling recognizes inhalation as the most significant route of radiation exposure to humans from the spill. However, sampling of air dust along the Puerco River in Gallup shortly after the spill showed only after the level of radioactivity. Moreover, year just following the spills. , radioactivity levels in the Puerco River sediments were significantly reduced due to dilution with uncontaminated river sediments.”

The Rock incident was reported in the “Journal of Health Physics” (July 1984: Vol 47, No. 1) in an article entitled, “Evaluation of Human Exposure to Radionuclides from Uranium Mill Tailings and Mine Dewatering.” “This report was written by two staff members of the US Centers for Disease Control, two staff members of the New Mexico Health and Environment Department and one staff member of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Two strong conclusions arrived at in this report:

“A review of state and federal regulations related to ingestion rates calculated from the Church Rock data shows that no exposure limits are exceeded through spillage, or through chronic exposure to the dewatering mine.”

“According to the currently known incidence of cancer and the risk of death associated with the levels of radionuclides measured in Church Rock and Gallup, we decided that the exposed people were at least for the researchers to detect increases in cancer mortality with acceptable levels of statistical power. In fact. , it may be misleading to establish a (cancer) registry with the assumption of a low probability of detecting mortality increases.”

Despite these scientific reports, Chris Shuey continued to promote the “Puerco River Study” project as late as 1986. “The Gallup Independent” took a hand in promoting this panic, and headlined a story, “It didn’t take Puerco water.” In the May 8th (1986) article, originating (easily) from Albuquerque, where Chris Shuey lives, the reporter wrote, “The little water in the Rio Puerco these days should not be eaten by man or animal, according to You Southwest Research and Information Center of Albuquerque.”

Perhaps to strengthen his expertise as a health authority, Mr. Shuey pursued a Masters degree in Public Health at the University of New Mexico, across the street from the SRIC headquarters. In his thesis, Shuey wrote a critical review of the literature for “Creators of Kidney Disease – Challenges for Uranium Exposure Studies” (submitted on April 29, 2002). After presenting this paper, Shuey emerged with the unique conviction that uranium leads to kidney diseases.

On its website, the American Cancer Society lists smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle as the main risk factors that increase a person’s chances of getting kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma). Occupational exposure to certain chemicals can also increase risk. Scientific studies found that they may include: asbestos, cadmium (a type of metal), some herbicides, benzene, and personal substances, especially trichlorethylene. There is no mention by the American Cancer Society of uranium exposure leading to kidney cancer. Cadmium is another story, however.

The problem with concluding and then researching the facts to prove your preconceived notion contradicts the scientific process. For example, Shuey dances around the issue of cadmium throughout his report, but fails to match the pollution of the soil with the dangers of dioxins and cadmium when it comes to kidney-related problems and possible diseases. It seems that Shuey may have failed to include one of the largest sources of toxic air emissions, which occurred in New Mexico before May 1, 2004, as a potential cause of kidney toxicity: garbage burning. At the moment, New Mexico is one of the few states, which failed to ban the burning of electronic devices. Such waste burning is said to release high concentrations of cadmium into the air. Could it be that something as obvious as cadmium concentrations could be a risk factor leading to kidney cancer instead of the said uranium?

According to scientific researcher Dalway Swaine (Trace Elements in Coal, Butterworths: 1990), Cadmium is a toxic trace element in coal. Combustion of coal contributes about one-tenth of Cd to the atmosphere, the same as volcanic eruptions and is considered a minor source of atmospheric cadmium. The problem may not be uranium at all, but other chemicals. However, fundraisers to reduce cadmium emissions, let alone anti-coal mining fundraisers, may not result in popular desserts sold in Santa Fe.

It seems a little surprising that SRIC seems to be less concerned with public health than with their anti-nuclear agenda. Generally, the public reaction to an environmentalist is warm and fuzzy, “Wow, here’s someone who really cares about our future.” SRIC has worked closely with third-world nations like the Navajo Nation, which elicits immediate sympathy from a liberal individual. Indeed, when StockInterview.com interviewed Shuey, he was on the reservation at a meeting. His public concern for the Navajo is commendable. At the same time, one must also consider that if the most frequent cause of death among Navajo elders is alcohol abuse (often with driving), then why is SRIC not working more closely to reduce that public health issue?

Visit the outside of any reservation and you will see piles of beer, beer and wine bottles. A landfill near Crownpoint, New Mexico takes on the character of a landfill. Where is SRIC’s cry of compassion for the oppressed Navajo? More Navajos have died as a result of car accidents while drunk than from 50 years of uranium mining. But then again, that might be of little concern to an environmentalist group. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr. can put Mr. Shuey to good use by asking him, “Could you help us with the alcohol problem, instead?”

Copyright © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL rights reserved.

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