ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For much of the 20th century, New Mexicans were not warned about the health effects of working or living near uranium mines or nuclear test sites. Radiation exposure still affects residents today, including a disproportionate number of Native Americans.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., served as chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing in Albuquerque to examine radiation exposure effects in Indian Country. Udall was joined by U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Deb Haaland for the hearing at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute.
Udall has introduced legislation in the Senate to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). The amended law would include post-1971 uranium workers and “downwinders” of nuclear radiation in New Mexico. Luján has introduced similar amendments in the House.