Study Finds Contaminated Dust in Area Surrounding LANL
Elevated and potentially harmful levels of radioactivity were detected in environmental samples collected from the area surrounding Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Detected contaminants include plutonium-239 and 240 and strontium-90. The Government Accountability Project performed the study, with technical assistance from Boston Chemical Data, Inc.
In November 2006, samples were collected from a variety of locations, including farm fields, homes, vacuum cleaners and local businesses. The study found that indoor dust samples had higher radiation levels than surrounding soils. Radioactive contaminants collect in residential dusts and can remain there for long periods unless cleaned up. The dusts are easily inhaled, increasing the risk from exposure.
Dusts made up only 20 out of the total of 79 samples examined in this study. However, almost all the highest radiation levels were detected in dusts.
The study's author, Marco Kaltofen, of Boston Chemical Data, Inc., said, "we are concerned that a number of the random samples we collected contained potentially harmful levels of radioactivity. This study indicates that a broader and more extensive study is needed" before conclusions can be made about the exposure to the public.
In a white paper response to the report, LANL scientists attributed the detections to naturally occurring uranium, radon gas and fallout from above ground nuclear detonations.
Residential dusts collected in close proximity to the Picuris Land Grant and from the San Ildefonso Pueblo were among those with more elevated radiation levels.
Kathy Sanchez, of Tewa Women United and a resident of San Ildefonso Pueblo, said, "This is a continuation of our knowing that our health was impacted long ago by the nuclear business at LANL. This nuclear business must be stopped and LANL must stop making its neighbors homeland casualties of war. We need more intensive, independent testing related to these impacts."
Jean Nichols, living outside the southern border of Picuris Land Grant, said, "the wind from Los Alamos blows across the valley to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and spreads though all our mountain villages, our irrigation systems and our lives.... These lands are priceless. Pueblo and northern New Mexico culture is priceless."
For more information visit the Government Accountability Project website at www.whistleblower.org.
Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone Spiritual Leader, Passed Away
Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone spiritual leader and healer passed away on July 10, 2007. Harney had a profound impact on the national and international nuclear abolitionist movement. The Western Shoshone ancestral land is the location of the Nevada Test Site where the U.S. Government performs nuclear tests and dumps nuclear waste.
A statement released by Harney's immediate family said, "He had dedicated his life to fighting the nuclear testing and dumping. That battle claimed his life through cancer. Before he passed, he said to remember: 'We are one people. We cannot separate ourselves now. There are many good things to be done for our people and for the world. It is important to let things be good. And it is important to teach the younger generation so that things are not lost.'"
For information about the memorial service visit the Shundahai Network website at www.shundahai.org.