A Senator from Colorado is trying to pass legislation that would provide better workers’ compensation for the families of miners. Working in the mining and nuclear industry can lead to serious sickness and even death; exposure to toxic chemicals such as uranium can be extremely hazardous for workers’ health.
The Senator’s concern stems from Colorado residents who are also concerned about a possible uranium mine in West Colorado. The mill has been proposed and will likely be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. But those in opposition are concerned how the mine will affect workers and those near the mine.
It appears that the EPA is operating under outdated regulations regarding radon emissions. There have already been two environmental groups in Colorado that want the EPA to hold off on approving the mine until it takes a closer look at how the radon emissions will impact people’s health.
There had been a previous incident where a uranium mine has significantly endangered the public’s health. This new proposed mine is the first in the nation in over 30 years. Shouldn’t the EPA be taking a closer look at whether the mine could cause serious illness or even death?
Workers who are sickened from working in uranium mines could face high medical bills for treatment and medication, not to mention the wages lost during the recovery period. For families who have lost loved ones due to sickness contracted from working in the uranium mines are faced with additional funeral costs.
If the Senator’s workers’ compensation acts are passed, miners and their families could be better provided for in the event of an illness or death due to the hazardous emissions in the mines.
Source: The Colorado Independent online, “Bennet in letter to EPA warns of ‘potential toxic effects’ of uranium mining,” David O. Williams, 17 May 2011