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American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Navajo Nation Grand Rounds on Hazards of Uranium Tailings

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Indian Health Service (IHS) develop a coordinated five-year plan to address the health and environmental impacts of uranium contamination in the Navajo Nation (NN). The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) have participated in congressional briefings on this subject.

In support of the 5 agency, 5-year plan, ATSDR conducted Grand Rounds training for medical professionals at the Navajo Nation. The subject of the training was uranium exposure, but also touched on arsenic in drinking water which is of concern to the tribe. The training was conducted through the Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine’s (DTEM) cooperative agreement with the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and included technical input from the ASTDR Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC) and the ATSDR Division of Regional Operations (DRO). A physician with board-certification in toxicology was selected by ACMT to conduct the training which took place in December 2008 at four IHS clinics located in the Navajo communities of Tuba City, AZ; Kayenta, AZ; Chinle, AZ; and Shiprock, NM. The development of this training was an interdisciplinary effort with input from the IHS, EPA, ACMT, NCEH, Navajo Nation, University of New Mexico (UNM), Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC), and others.

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