Update on Environmental Health Initiative on Wind River Looks at Cancer

Oct 15, 2012

A public meeting today will present preliminary results of an Environmental Health Initiative study being conducted on Wind River Indian Reservation. The Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center initiative aims to assess environmental risks on the reservation, and develop remediation strategies. Communities on the Wind River Reservation complained of high cancer rates. Folo Akintan directs the Epidemiology Center and says they distributed surveys on the reservation and in communities immediately surrounding it, and reviewed national and local data going back up to fifty years.

The current update is not conclusive, but Akintan  says she has analyzed some of the data.

"Concerns about cancer are quite true, and I just wanted to let them know that. And I did not think that it’s a fallacy or it’s a miss, and I will show them that in the statistics."

She says it’s too early to say whether health issues in the community can be linked to uranium contamination in the region. She hopes to finish collecting and analyzing the data in the next six months before presenting a final report.

The meeting starts at 6:30 at the St. Stephens Indian School.