Research conducted by North West University research professor Frank Winde in conjunction with scientists from Germany found high levels of uranium exposure in Johannesburg residents, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Hair samples collected from Johannesburg residents found that exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances was a major problem in certain areas, and could be attributed to mine tailings dams, which store by-products of mining operations.
Winde found that levels of uranium in Johannesburg residents were similar to those found in European uranium miners, creating grave concern over the health impact of the mining industry on city-dwellers.
Samples were collected from barbers in the West Rand and the south of Johannesburg, with the results indicating that the toxicity was widespread, affecting areas with a high concentration of gold mines as well as suburbs far away from mining operations.
SA Medical Research Council