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Uranium Pollution

Klee Benally of Navajo Nation and Clean Up the Mines participates in a protest at the EPA.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say federal research shows that about a quarter of Navajo women who participated in a study of uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems.

Dr. Loretta Christensen, the chief medical officer for Indian Health Service facilities that serve the Navajo Nation, cited the research at a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque.

The Monday hearing centered on the atomic age's legacy on Native American communities. Cleanup of abandoned uranium mines continues decades after they closed.

Christensen says the research also shows some babies born in recent years had high concentrations of uranium. She says research is ongoing.

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U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, says Native Americans were disproportionately affected by uranium mining and nuclear testing for Cold War weaponry.

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