Environment | National

Navajo Nation woman spurs initiative to clean up uranium site

A 71-year-old Navajo Nation woman has spent more than 30 years fighting for the cleanup of an abandoned uranium mining site in Utah.

Elsie Mae Begay grew up in a traditional hogan on the reservation. It had to be torn down in 2001 when tests showed radiation levels at 100 times the acceptable limit.

Begay raised her family in the hogan. Two of her sons died -- one of lung cancer and the other from a tumor.

Begay herself has been treated for thyroid cancer."They never can tell me" if it is related to uranium, she tells the Associated Press. "It might have been."

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency are spending $7.5 million to remove uranium waste from Begay's homesite.

Get the Story:
Navajo woman helps prompt uranium mine cleanup (AP 9/5)

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