The Spokesman-Review

Letters to the Editor

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014

Uranium decay a danger

I read the following on the Internet, “Bald Eagles Are Dying of Lead Poisoning, and Hunters Are to Blame.” I believe that bald eagles are dying of lead poisoning, but I do not believe that hunters are to blame. With all the open pit uranium mines left open with the uranium decaying, I feel this is where the real blame lies.

When uranium decays, it passes through 12 radioactive forms called daughter products, each one causing some form of cancer. Radon is the first of those 12 steps, before reaching the final chemical form of lead. When lead is taken up by the body, it accumulates in the bones, liver and kidneys. Even in small amounts, lead can cause kidney damage and suppress the immune system. Children are most vulnerable to lead toxicity. Lead poisoning can affect an infant in utero and jeopardize the development, growth and behavior of infants.

LaVerne Kautz

Spokane Valley



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