The Health Impacts of Mining REEs – A Human Rights Violation!
Health impacts of rare earth elements themselves are generally not well understood, but preliminary research indicates that lung and respiratory disease, liver disease, cardiac disease, and cancer can result from exposure to rare earth elements. Nervous system and reproductive system damage have also been documented in animals, and rare earths have been shown to accumulate in plants, soil, and water, as well as in hair, bone, and tumors of humans. The health impacts of heavy metal poisoning and radioactive contamination are well documented, including lung disease, cancers, kidney disease, reproductive issues, and damage to cardiovascular, endocrine, muscular, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.
As previously mentioned, one of the villages nearby Bayan Obo rare earths mine in China is referred to as a “death village” because of all the cancer-related deaths in the early 2000s.
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