In an interview with eNCA (above), David van Wyk, Lead Researcher at Bench Marks Foundation said that mine dumps were one of the major sources of the radioactive materials in the city…
Uranium (a radioactive metal) is one of the waste products of gold mining. People living near to mine dumps now suffer from many medical issues that are believed to be associated with the radioactive dust that blows off of the dumps.
Watch the video above for more details from Van Wyk.
This is not the first time the organisation has spoken out about the dangerous uranium deposits around Johannesburg. Bench Marks released a study in 2017 on the health impacts of uranium in the city. The study examined the household health and wellbeing of four communities impacted by mining in Soweto.
“Researchers found many cases of dangerously high Geiger counter readings in mine waste during their study, indicating the presence of uranium and its by product, radon gas,” according to the organisation.
Bench Marks called for the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) to enforce exclusion zones and the fencing, securing and signposting of all radioactive tailings waste facilities.
Bench Marks is not the only organisation raising its concerns around the radioactivity in Johannesburg.
Earthlife Africa also believes that the city is “the most radioactive city on the planet,” according to a September 2020 interview with IOL. The organisation works with communities who are battling lung and stomach cancers, leukaemia, and birth defects that may be linked to the radio-active mine dumps. Read more about the City of Johannesburg’s response to the issue HERE.
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