To the editor:
In response to the recent Letter to the Editor from Shawn Carlson titled "Sisu Award winner deserve," I would like to make the following comments, although I appreciate his congratulations.
Mr. Carlson misrepresents my position on uranium in the U.P. I have never claimed that there was uranium "ore" present. My point is that there is uranium in the U.P., and it does have health consequences.
The Western U.P. Health Department has a uranium advisory about well water in the Jacobsville and Freda sandstone areas In Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Gogebic and Ontonogon Counties. They recommend well water testing, and installation of reverse osmosis systems to remove uranium, if wells are above the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Limit of 30 micrograms per liter. An earlier study of uranium in well water in the area had shown numerous wells with levels above the limit.
Radioactive decay of underground uranium emits a colorless, odorless gas called radon that seeps out of the ground. It can accumulate in buildings, and people are advised to test for the gas in their basements, and to ventilate to remove it. Radon exposure is a major cause of lung cancer. In the early 1990s Republic, Mich. was identified as a radon "hot spot." and an elementary school needed to be remediated for radon contamination.
Uranium is here. I hope "ore" will never be found and mined.