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Saturday, June 16, 2012


Half of the crew and eight people in the cast of the movie, The Conqueror, starring John Wayne, died of cancers that some people claim were a direct result of being exposed to radiation after the A-bomb tests held at the now infamous, Nevada Test Site.

A popular newspaper column that carries the motto, "Fighting ignorance since 1973 (it's taking longer than we thought)", written by Cecil Adams is called, “The Straight Dope”. This question-and-answer column, which is also available online, gets syndicated in both the United States and Canada. The author takes on questions from the general public surrounding a variety of subjects such as history and science, even reaching out to superstitions and urban legends. Mr. Adams often boasts to being able to answer any and all questions. In the article from 1984, Did John Wayne die of cancer caused by a radioactive movie set? a reader inquires about an incident regarding John Wayne, cancer, and a Nevada A-bomb test. The following is the actual question posed in the original article,

“My girlfriend says that half of the film crew and eight of the cast of the movie The Conqueror starring John Wayne died of cancer after an A-bomb test in Nevada. It can't be the truth — that many people — can it?” (Adams 1980)

However, there is nuance hidden in between the lines of that question posed by the reader which must be carefully examined, or there might be an impulse to draw connections based on assumption, rather than evidence.

Adams responds with some statements that are a bit misleading, take the following,

“Experts say under ordinary circumstances only 30 people out of a group of that size should have gotten cancer.” (Adams 1980)

A person seeking out to confirm any assumptions that would allow for them to make the connection between the actors and cancer just might take this face value as scientific evidence or simply find it to be convincing in itself. However, digging a bit deeper, one might find the absence of more than one expert making this claim. When in actuality, it is more like, “one expert says”.  

The other common denominator between most of these accounts is the reference to a People Magazine article by Karen G. Jackovich and Mark Sennet that was originally published in 1980 titled, The Children of John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Dick Powell Fear That Fallout Killed Their Parents. In this widely cited account regarding the connection between Nevada weapons testing and cancer developing as a result amongst these Hollywood stars, director of radiological health at the University of Utah and former Atomic Energy Commission researcher, Dr. Robert C. Pendleton makes the statement that,

"With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic. The connection between fallout radiation and cancer in individual cases has been practically impossible to prove conclusively. But in a group this size you'd expect only 30-some cancers to develop. With 91, I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up even in a court of law." (Jackovich, Sennet 1980)

Another portion from the People Magazine article that often gets pointed out as a reason for concern, mentions the issue surrounding some of the props used for the movie shoot, 

”About 60 tons of that dirt—still measurably radioactive, though now below danger levels—were actually brought back to the studio in Culver City for retakes.” (Jackvich, Sennet 1980)

But, Adams sums up what could have been a much shorter response to the question in the next statement,

“The cause? No one can say for sure…” (Adams 1980)

Precisely, “no one can say for sure.” That would have been a reasonable statement to make. Unfortunately, that is not complete quote, for it reads in its entirety as the following,

“The cause? No one can say for sure …but many attribute the cancers to radioactive fallout from U.S. atom bomb tests in nearby Nevada.” (Adams 1980)

This type of statement might seem harmless at a glance, but it can be misleading for others and there is a reflection of that with those who are convinced otherwise. Bob Harris writes in his article titled, The Conqueror and Other Bombs, for the independent news organization, Mother Jones,

“The town of St. George, where the cast and crew spent much of their time, and Snow Canyon, where most of The Conqueror was filmed, were about 100 miles downwind of the Nevada Test Site. That's where the U.S. government tested various atomic weapons. The government didn't bother to warn anybody about the fallout. So the cast and crew of The Conqueror spent three solid months immersed in contaminated air, food, and water. You can guess the result.” (Harris 1998)

In 2009, a writer for the Augusta Chronicle named Preston Sparks states in his story, Blast's ties to cancer unclear,

“Though the movie was shot in Utah, some maintain the location was covered by immense clouds of fallout that had settled after 11 atomic tests in Nevada three years before…Thirty years after Wayne's death from stomach cancer, the question still comes up at his birthplace site in Winterset, Iowa.” (Sparks 2009)

Actor Jeanne Gerson contracted skin cancer in 1965, but soon after was diagnosed with breast cancer, gets quoted in the widely circulated People Magazine story revealing a glimpse into a personal opinion about her particular situation,

"I've always been convinced that it's more than a coincidence." (Jackovich, Sennet 1980)

However, not everyone working on the set of the film, The Conqueror, was so quick to jump to any conclusions regarding a definitive connection between their specific cancers and nuclear fallout from the Nevada Test Site.* For example, take the following accounts from the same People Magazine article depicting the attitude that actors John Wayne and Pedro Armendariz had in regards to the news of them contracting cancer,

“The manners in which actors Wayne and Armendariz accepted the news of their fatal cancers was strikingly different except in one regard—neither man seems to have questioned how he contracted the disease or suspected that the atomic tests might have been responsible.” (Jackovich, Sennet 1980)

At this point, I found myself filled with more questions than answers into this controversial topic. The evidence proposed for supporting the claims that the film crew seemed rather inconclusive to me.

So, this prompts the next obvious question…

What do we really know about radiation, and the effects it has on the human body?

Our understanding of individual radionuclides, radiation dose, and related health risk comes into fruition from decades of studying the fallout from nuclear weapons tests and x-rays. The science surrounding the effects of radioactive fallout in human biology is so complex because it incorporates so many areas of research. Prior to 1980, nuclear weapon testing was being done while the public was still relatively unaware of the risks associated with radiation and fallout exposure. By studying those populations exposed to radiation, like Hiroshima and Nagasaki bomb survivors, data showed an increase in cancer risks.

The level of uncertainty surrounding the link between fallout and specific cancers was so high because the number of cancer cases involved was so small. Due to a lack of information on iodine-131 (I-131) exposure from nuclear fallout specifically, a larger body of existing data is used from similar forms of research, such as studying medical x-rays. Researchers Steven Simon, AndrĂ© Bouville and Charles Land suggest that the data supports the notion that certain types of cancer develop as a result of the specific type of radiation exposure. More information on their research and findings can be found here. 

Federal records shows excessive levels of radiation were detected in the uranium mines. According to the American Cancer Society, in the 1950’s and 1960’s the U.S. government confirmed that the cancers among people in a third party group were caused by exposure to the high levels of radon** (National Cancer Institute 2011).

For more additional information, read the rest of this entry ---> 

After looking into the claims about the actors and the film crew and going over some of the effects that radiation has on human biology, I still had one last question that would re-shape my entire investigation, “How did those third party groups get exposed to high levels of radon in the first place?”

-When it rains…it pours.-

The article titled, Valley of Death for the Navajo Uranium Miners, sets the backdrop to the scenario of this ordeal in one of the first lines of the written piece,

”Almost fifty years ago, young Navajo men and boys picked up mining drills and dynamite in an ordeal which would have them contributing to the nuclear defense of the nation” (Schneider 1993).

Publisher and co-editor for InMotion Magazine Nic Paget-Clarke conducted an interview with director of the Office of Navajo Uranium Workers, Timothy Benally Sr., on December 29, 1993, which also helped to serve as the basis for the article titled, Navajo Uranium Miners Fight for Compensation. In this piece, Benally gives both a historical look at how the situation back then might help explain how people became faced with the dangerous conditions today and also provides some additional details to describe the setting inside of a one of those mines located in the area,

“Mining here started as early as 1918 around the Carrizo Mountain area…They first mined vanadium and then they discovered uranium, more by accident. At that time, uranium was not the ore that was mined. They didn’t know what it was so they just kept a lot of the stuff around in those mines. One of my constituents says that they had uranium in gunny sacks stacked in the trading post at Belachito. It had been there for a number of years before they found out what it was.” (Benally 1993)

The mine owners and operators almost seemed to shrug off any ownership or responsibility to clean-up the conditions left behind as a result of the mining process. Even many miners found themselves being harmed by the loose soil found on mountain tops that contained radioactive particles. In some cases, the contaminated dirt was simply pushed off the cliff, leaving it to settle alongside the face of the cliff and lower ground. This is less than an ideal solution or circumstance to be in. When the rain falls, the water washes down the riverbeds, and along the way, it reaches many places where people have naturally established homes and farms that are in accordance with the stream. Needless to say, long after the boom of the uranium industry ended, the people living nearby where now also neighbors to radioactive contamination. The “yellow dirt” ended up in drinking supplies and even found its’ way into the walls and floors of people’s homes.    

According to the section titled, Addressing Uranium Contamination in the Navajo Nation, found on the U.S. EPA’s official website, “the Navajo Nation holds the largest uranium deposits in the United States.” Surveys under the authority of Superfund have concluded that the Navajo Nation holds more than five hundred abandoned Cold War era uranium mines (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011). The EPA also points out that,

“From 1944 to 1986, nearly four million tons of uranium ore were extracted from Navajo lands under leases with the Navajo Nation. Many Navajo people worked the mines, often living and raising families in close proximity to the mines and mills. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011)

Native Networks is a website that got its start from individuals at the Video and Film Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Part of their mission entitles providing a network for those interested in accessing specific information into the various forms of “Native media” produced throughout the Americas. One of the profiles featured on the site presents film director Jeff Spitz. His documentary The Return of Navajo Boy premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and has been screened internationally. However, most people who have seen the film did so during the broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. The film has been attributed to as being the trigger of the federal investigation into the uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation. On his profile page, Spitz leaves the following statement,   

"I entered the world of indigenous film suddenly without any previous contact with Native Americans. I just tried to find the people in an old film from the 1950s called Navajo Boy. My search for them took me into Monument Valley and into an astonishing Navajo family history involving Hollywood, uranium mining, and a missing baby. The Cly family accepted me and made me feel like I belonged—we had no idea where the documentary process was going to lead us. I feel blessed in many ways, particularly because I got to join in this family's struggle and help them reunite with a long lost brother. But even now it is hard for us to figure out what to do about the revelations of uranium contamination and the appalling health hazards that we put on screen. The Return of Navajo Boy has stunned people all over the world and affected all of us involved in it. We want to share the film with others in a positive way." (Spitz 2005)

The film chronicles an extraordinary chain of events, beginning with the appearance of a 1950s film reel, leading the return of a long lost brother to his Navajo family and triggering a federal investigation into uranium contamination on the Navajo reservation. It chronicles the painstakingly slow struggle for miners’ compensation, and the tragic no-win situation families are put in, knowing their homes are contaminated, but having no where else to go. In 1997, a Caucasian man from Chicago identifying himself as Bill Kennedy showed up in Monument Valley with a silent film called, The Navaho Boy, which he says his late father produced in the 1950s. Seeking to understand his father’s work on the Navajo reservation, Kennedy returned to the film’s original location with hopes of showing it to the people starring in it. On the website for the documentary, The Return of the Navajo Boy, the following is also provided under the description of the film,  

“When the Cly family’s matriarch, Elsie Mae Cly Begay, watched the film, she was amused to see herself as a young girl and delights in identifying other members of her family. Elsie recognizes her late mother in the old film as well as her infant brother, John Wayne Cly, who was adopted by white missionaries in the 1950s and never heard from again.” ( 2012)

When John Wayne Cly learns about the film from in a New Mexico newspaper, he contacts the family mentioned in the article in hopes that they are his family. As he tells his story, The Return of Navajo Boy, takes on a more literal tone, setting in motion the unforgettable return of the long lost brother to his blood relatives in an emotional reunion amongst the backdrop of the majestic Monument Valley. Even after the impact of the documentary was being felt and U.S. EPA’s Comprehensive Five-Year Plan did not include Ms. Begay’s backyard, until she traveled with this film to Washington, DC and screened it on Capitol Hill in September, 2008.

The first YouTube video is a featured webisode chronicling the aftermath beyond the story of Elsie Mae Begay, whose history is depicted by the images revealed through the form of film and media. While this account has greatly served the ongoing struggle for environmental justice, Elsie’s story is merely a strand in a complex web. It states in the videos, "In 2000, Army Corps of Engineers sample drinking water for the EPA. Radiation levels, 75 to 100 times the accepted EPA levels." (Navajo Boy Webisode #1: EPA Uranium Investigation 2010) The protections taken against exposure are listed by the following from the EPA’s site, “Health physicists generally agree on limiting a person's exposure beyond background radiation to about 100 mrem per year from all sources. Exceptions are occupational, medical or accidental exposures. (Medical X-rays generally deliver less than 10 mrem). EPA and other regulatory agencies generally limit exposures from specific source to the public to levels well under 100 mrem.  This is far below the exposure levels that cause acute health effects.” However, the EPA also makes note to point out that, “There is no firm basis for setting a ‘safe’ level of exposure above background for stochastic effects.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011)

"January 2000, Jeff Spitz asked the EPA top investigate Elsie’s house for uranium contamination. The readings were 80 times the allowable amount." (Navajo Boy Webisode #1: EPA Uranium Investigation Groundswell Films)

Once Navajo officials understood the scope and seriousness of the situation, they became distraught with how to find the additional resources to manage such a project. 

In the New York Times article from 2009, Uranium Contamination Haunts Navajo Country, a public information officer with the Navajo Nation EPA named Lillie Lane described the difficulty of watching families, particularly the elders, leaving homes they lived in for years” (Frosch 2009). 

-2001-Actual clean-up process begins (flip video short #2)

"15 months later, in 2001, the EPA returned to demolish Elsie’s unsafe home." In the video, it shows that “the uranium waste piles were right in Elsie’s backyard”, quite literally.

Featured in the next presented short video clip is Paul Robinson, research director at Southwestern Research and Information Center, a non-profit science and education organization based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They provide research, education and technical assistance to communities affected by resource development. (Navajo Boy Webisode # 6: It's not just Elsie's Backyard 2010)

Navajo Boy webisode #6: It’s Not Just Elsie’s Backyard

Judy Pasternak has received numerous awards for her groundbreaking work in environmental and investigative journalism. In the hopes to heave some attention and affect some sort of change towards improving the EPA guidelines, much like Spitz did with his documentary, Pasternak also would use the power of the media to bring this issue into the forefront with a pivotal article titled, A peril that dwelt among the Navajos, published in the Los Angeles Times on November 19, 2006. The following section is from the L.A. Times article, which begins with a narrative establishing the background of a character that is all too familiar to our story; the villain in this case is better known as, the hogan.

Mary and Billy Boy Holiday bought their one-room house from a medicine man in 1967. They gave him $50, a sheep and a canvas tent. For the most part, they were happy with the purchase. Their Navajo hogan was situated well, between a desert mesa and the trading-post road. The eight-sided dwelling proved stout and snug, with walls of stone and wood, and a green-shingle roof. The single drawback was the bare dirt underfoot. So three years after moving in, the Holidays jumped at the chance to get a real floor. A federally funded program would pay for installation if they bought the materials. The Holidays couldn't afford to, but the contractor, a friend of theirs, had an idea. He would use sand and crushed rock that had washed down from an old uranium mine in the mesa, one of hundreds throughout the Navajo reservation that once supplied the nation's nuclear weapons program. The waste material wouldn't cost a cent...As promised, the 6-inch slab was so smooth that the Holidays could lay their mattresses directly on it and enjoy a good night's sleep. They didn't know their fine new floor was radioactive. (Pasternack 2006)

This is the same hogan that is seen being torn down in one of the later Navajo Boy Webisodes (#6). The story of Jeff’s accidental discovery that Elsie had lived in a uranium house also gets told in Chapter 13 of Pasternack’s book on the subject titled, Yellow Dirt.

It is largely due to the powerful messages sent through the work of Spitz and Pasternack that the efforts of concerned U.S. citizens got the EPA to take action and demolish the hogan of Elsie’s aunt, Mary Holiday in 2001. Resources and publications written with Native Americans in mind that might be living in these types of situations now became available to them. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1993) But, it would soon be realized that the fight wasn’t over for Jeff and Elsie because there was another nearby piece of land that also was found to be filled with contaminated waste from an old abandoned mine located at the top of an adjacent mesa. In 2011, the cleanup process began to take course.

Harry Allen III and Harry Allen IV are a father and son duo, who both works in the same field for the U.S. EPA's Superfund program, placing them on the front lines of protecting human health and the environment. Mr. Allen III leads the EPAs section for emergency response in San Francisco, as well as in the governments’ efforts in this particular endeavor in the Navajo Nation. In the N.Y. Times article written by Dan Frosch, the author provides some updates to what is going on now with the ongoing clean-up process on the reservation in the following quote from Mr. Allen,

”The EPA has started sifting through records and interviewing family members to figure out whether mining companies that are operated on the reservation are liable for any damages.” (Frosh 2009) 

So that is where the story leaves off. Many are simply stuck waiting through a dragged out painstakingly slow process of the bureaucratic government system at work, not to mention the vast cost to effectively clean-up such a wide area.

-Superfund/ CERCLA-

“Superfund” is name that has been used for the EPA's program which is responsible for identifying, investigating and cleaning up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites throughout the United States. The program was established in 1980 when Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Some of the programs that fall under Superfund include the following; EPA Region 9's Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response activities under Superfund law, the Community Right to Know Act, the Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan Regulations, and the Clean Water Act as amended by the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011). The EPA provides some basic information on what the Superfund program initially found with following section from their website,

“With the support of our states, tribes and communities, the Superfund program in Region 9 has identified more than 5000 hazardous waste sites. Of these, 124 sites have been placed on the National Priorities List and have been or are being cleaned up under EPA's authority.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011)

The EPA initially targeted 250 high-risk sites for further evaluation by developing a useful tool, the Comprehensive Database and Atlas, to provide researchers with the information needed to rank all 520 mines based upon risk analysis. 

The Use of Unregulated Water Sources Represents the Greatest Public Health Risk Associated with Drinking Water for the Navajo Nation (U.S. EPA 2011)

While the policy of the Navajo Nation prohibits the use of unregulated water sources for human consumption, interviews with some Navajo residents indicate that it still goes on quite widespread due to not having access to suitable water sources in the more remote regions of the Navajo Nation. Under the Contaminated Water Sources portion of the U.S. EPA website it states that,

“Navajo Nation EPA estimates that up to 30% of its population is not served by a public water system. This represents approximately 54,000 people. These residents either haul water from unregulated sources, such as livestock wells, springs, or private wells, or from regulated watering points. The number of unregulated water sources is not known, but is estimated to be in the low thousands.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011)

The EPA’s website provides an example of the advisory signs (PDF) (1 pg, 355K) which they post at contaminated water sources.

Since 2006 EPA and Center for Disease Control sampled over 235 regulated water sources. Of these, 28 were found to exceed standards for radionuclides. The water from most of these sources is being used for human consumption. Most are located within 10 miles of a safe alternative supply. (Environmental Protection Agency 2012) 

So, the Navajo Nation EPA plans to implement a community-based water project to provide these homes that are most high at risk with safe drinking water.

One of the more recent series of articles published by The New York Times in April of 2012, written by Leslie Macmillan titled, Uranium Mines Dot Navajo Land, Neglected and Still Perilous, provides an update to where the change of focus has gone by highlighting a specific mine in Arizona called the Cameron site,

“The abandoned mine here…joins the list of hundreds of such sites identified across the 27,000 square miles of Navajo territory… that are the legacy of shoddy mining practices and federal neglect.” (Macmillan 2012)

While the article that Macmillian presents does mention some of the efforts being done to clean-up the uranium mines on the reservation, such as the Skyline Mine in Utah, describing the process as “surgically scraped” (Macmillan 2012). According to the official EPA website, the Northeast Church Rock Mine (NECR) takes precedence as being the most concerning situation stating that,

“In 2011, EPA announced its approval and commitment to clean up the Northeast Church Rock Mine, the largest and highest priority uranium mine on the Navajo Nation.” (Environmental Protection Agency 2012) 

-Vast costs of the clean-up-

Just to provide a brief example of just how vast the problem is and some further insight into the root cause of the financial disparity felt by tribal officials once the magnitude set in, the EPA presents this bit of information on the section of their website, Addressing Uranium Contamination in the Navajo Nation,

“After identifying a large volume of radium-contaminated soil, in 2007 EPA took emergency action to remove 6,500 cubic yards of soils from around four residences with the highest contamination levels. EPA spent $990,000 on the excavation, and required UNC to safely dispose of the soils at an additional cost of $1.3 million.” (Environmental Protection Agency 2012)

Efforts plagued by failures to take responsibility by any party. Priorities of the EPA are to address the sites nearest to people's homes.

-If the federal government can track down a responsible party…it could require it to pay for remediation-

The federal government has been somewhat successful racking down the former uranium mining companies to hold them accountable, but most of the mining companies that operated on the reservation have long since gone out of business. Whenever the government cannot locate a responsible party, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy split up the work between them by consulting with the tribal authorities.

In 1990, the U.S. issued a formal apology to the families of miners who were injured or killed by radiation in the government mines and promised to compensate. However, since many elderly Navajo’s do not speak English, the responsibility falls on the children to do the research necessary to persuade a tribal law judge to issue a validation certificate of a tribal marriage. Most of the widows of the Navajo uranium miners were married during a time when tribal ceremonies were not documented, as they are now, in comparison to the 1930’s and 1940’s.

I started off my own personal journey through finding out what this term Downwinder meant and exploring the world behind the history of where it originated. At first, I associated the term with the iconic figure of John Wayne, but after piecing together the story from exploring these different accounts, that initial picture I started off with in my head has now seemed to have undergone its own form of erosion.

The Navajo people have sacrificed not just their own land and personal health for the United States, but the following generation to come as well. The governments’ desperate press for nuclear weapons has forever changed the lives of all of those who labored at these uranium mines. This process to acquire uranium at all costs was repeated in communities across the reservation, despite the warnings from doctors and scientists that long-term exposure could be harmful, even potentially fatal, which resulted in thousands of miners working unprotected.

Government officials attribute most of the cause to the delay of the clean up process to the complexity of the situation, like figuring out how to prioritize which mines and mills pose a greater health risk, and there are also others who make the argument that it is more about money and politics. But, one cannot help but pose the glaring question staring out of all of this, “If these levels of radioactivity were found closer to a suburb, would the response be different?” In any case, more and more advocates, some scientists, and even politicians are starting to ask similar questions, even though…

“many companies are seeking to mine again in the southwest, in the anticipation of rising prices in the near future.” (Lydersen 2009)

*Nevada Test Site (NTS) was used for surface and above-ground nuclear testing from early 1951 through mid-1962. Eighty-six tests were conducted at or above ground level, and 14 other tests that were underground involved significant releases of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

**Radon an odorless, invisible radioactive gas produced from the decay of radium in uranium ores found in uranium mines.

To join Groundswell and Navajo Communities in this mission to continue filming and raising awareness until all Navajo communities impacted by more than one thousand abandoned uranium mines are cleaned up, you can follow this link to their web page.


Adams, Cecil. 1984. Did John Wayne die of cancer caused by a radioactive movie set? The Strait Dope. (October 26).

American Cancer Society. 2012. American Cancer Society, Inc. (January 6). Last medical review (November 4, 2010).

Benally, Sr. Timothy. 1993. Navajo Uranium Miners Fight for Compensation. InMotion Magazine. (December 29).

Frosch, Dan. 2009. Uranium Contamination Haunts Navajo Country. New York Times. (July 26).  

Groundswell Educational Films. 2012. About The Award Winning Documentary. The Return of Navajo Available online at

Harris, Bob. 1998. The Conqueror and Other Bombs. Mother Jones. (June 9). Available online at

Jackovich, Karen G., and Mark Sennet. 1980. The Children of John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Dick Powell Fear That Fallout Killed Their Parents. People Magazine. (November 10). Vol. 14. No.19. Available online at,,20077825,00.html.

Lydersen, Kari. 2009. Native American Uranium Miners Still Suffer, As Industry Eyes Rebirth. Working In These Times. (October 24).Available online at

Macmillan, Leslie. 2012. Uranium Mines Still Dot Navajo Land, Neglected and Still Perilous. New York Times. (March 31). A version of this article appeared in print on April 1, 2012 on page A18 of the New York edition. Available online at

National Cancer Institute. 2011. Radon and Cancer. National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet. (Last reviewed December 06). Available online at

Navajo Boy Webisode #1: EPA Uranium Investigation. Groundswell Films. (2010). YouTube. (March 19). Available online at

Navajo Boy Webisode #2: Contaminated Home Removal. Groundswell Films. (2010). YouTube. (March 20). Available online at

Navajo Boy Webisode # 6: It's not just Elsie's Backyard. Groundswell Films. (2010). YouTube. (April 23). Available online at

Pasternack, Judy. 2006. A peril that dwelt among the Navajos. Los Angeles Times. (November 19). Available online at,0,5351917.story.

Schneider, Keith. 1993. A Valley of Death for the Navajo Uranium Miners, New York Times. (May 3). Available online at

Sparks, Preston. 2009. Blast’s Ties to Cancer Unclear. Augusta Chronicle. (March 16). Available online at

Spitz, Jeff. 2005. Native Networks. Smithsonian: National Museum of the American Indian. (November). Available online at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2011. Addressing Uranium Contamination in the Navajo Nation. EPA Pacific Southwest, Region 9. (December 28). Available online at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2011. Addressing Uranium Contamination in the Navajo Nation. Contaminated Water Sources. Last updated (October 04). Available online at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2011. Health Effects. Radiation Protection. Last updated (July 08). Available online at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1993. Learning About Radon - A Part of Nature (PDF) (20 pp., 3 MB). Publications and Resources. Available online at