ABOUT THIS SERIES
From 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were dug and blasted from Navajo soil, nearly all of it for America's atomic arsenal. Navajos inhaled radioactive dust, drank contaminated water and built homes using rock from the mines and mills. Many of the dangers persist to this day. This four-part series examines the legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo reservation.
NOVEMBER 19: Unaware of the danger
NOVEMBER 20: Toxic water
NOVEMBER 21: Botched cleanup
NOVEMBER 22: New technology
NOTE ON SOURCES
The risk of lung cancer associated with the Holiday family hogan was calculated for The Times by radiation expert Andrew G. Sowder using Environmental Protection Agency models. Sowder, who took readings inside the home while on a research fellowship, said that someone who lived there for 10 years could be 32 times more likely to die of radon-induced lung cancer than someone exposed to the average U.S. residential radon level.
Internal documents of the EPA and Indian Health Service cited in this article were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Mine records came from the National Archives, the Bureau of Land Management and William L. Chenoweth, a former Atomic Energy Commission geologist.