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Yellow Dirt

Yellow dirt By Lee Camp

The last time I was at our local library I noticed the book Yellow Dirt, An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed by Judy Pastenak (HERE)  in the recently published display. I was looking for books on gardening and herbs so I was going to pass it by but I figured I would not find it again so I checked it out.  It sat unread in my house for a couple of weeks but once I started it I finished it in a weekend.  (Autism has freed us from large Thanksgiving weekend gatherings with family and friends.)

Yellow Dirt is the story of how corporations extracted uranium for the US Government and for decades exposed the Navajo Indians to uranium, heavy metals in the ore and compounds used to extract the uranium. According to the book, virtually no safety procedures were employed to protect the workers at the mine or the larger environmental area.  When mining was complete the mines were shutdown with essentially no clean up.  This resulted in contaminated soil and water.

The participation of a long list of state and federal agencies is described in Yellow Dirt. The Public Health Service studied the Navajo miners as they got sick and started dying but did nothing and said nothing even to the sick miners.  The Environmental Protection Agency spent decades not cleaning up contaminated areas including homes. And the CDC is almost never present despite skyrocketing rates of cancer, miscarriages and birth defects.  Does this feel familiar to you?


The topic in the book that seemed the most similar to the autism experience was “Navajo Neuropathy”.  There were Navajo children that were very sick.  The experts decided that the disorder was genetic in origin.  The disorder caused injury to the children’s’ hands, feet, eyes and livers.  Most did not live to adulthood.  One attorney who saw the affected Navajo children compared them to Japanese children near Minimata bay.  Even after some of the Navajo families received compensation, admittedly small, from a mining company settling a suit due to the exposure of the children’s mothers to water contaminated by uranium mining during their pregnancies, the research for a genetic cause continued.  Some of the genetic researchers theorized that reduced mitochondrial levels might be involved.  A few researchers allowed for an environmental trigger. But the genetic focus continued even as occurrences apparently decreased as use of contaminated water decreased

Before publishing this book, Ms Pasternak wrote a series of articles about this subject that had been published in the L.A. Times.  A congressman from California led hearings in Washington and brought about at least a partial clean up of the Navajo sites.  I hope that one day a congressman or senator will be “incensed” about the causes of the Age of Autism and “…pursue this issue until we get it right”.

Lee Camp is the  parent of a 19 year old son with a long list of diagnosis codes from a DAN doctor but that simply put has ASD.  Autism has affected the lives of each member of his immediate family. He continues to look for solutions to the puzzle and stands behind the Warrior Moms and Dads that fight for our kids.


asbestos poisoning

We need a new candidate for president who isn't afraid to state his/her position on this issue. Anything less, and we're in for another four years of poisoning.


Autism Grandma
Thank you for all the links to the zonolite tragedy. It is not just poisoning people with vaccines that these protection agency is ignoring but -- just poisoning people - period - They are not doing their job, and from reading history they never have done thei job.


Sorry Patrons99 I just don't know. He seems to be a man of ethics. There were a lot of pointless, silly issues during the campaign that kept the real issues in the dark - a lot of silly unimportant things about some kind of youthful, college faternity pranks! I am not kidding! It made a lot of people mad that this kept coming up and wasting our time!

I will wait a bit to write him, but I can assure you that he has more compassion in his little finger than the other senator whose place he is taking.


Benedetta - What about the new Senator from Kentucky?

Does anyone know where Rand Paul, the new Senator from Kentucky, stands on the mercury autism connection? One might think that if anyone can "see" the problem, the tip of the iceberg, it would be an opthalmologist.

Here's an interesting link re: Rand Paul's "crazy" associations:

"Crazy"? NOT AT ALL! I just pray that Washington does not corrupt him! There's no vaccine to prevent "Potomac Fever"! :>)

Autism Grandma

Re Post by Benedetta:
"Today a whole town is riddled with cancer, not from asbestos but from a more recent attic blown insulation called zonalite. It was still in use in 1998! The role of the EPA was as usually to hide it, delay the recogonition of what was happening."

I read all of these articles recently and saved the links. [See below] We should all check our homes for Zonalite insulation in the attic and walls because we certainly don't want ourselves and especially our children who are so vulnerable to be exposed to this highly dangerous form of asbestos.

A KILLER in the Attic:
Government Refuses to Act on Cancer-Causing Insulation [Part 1 of 4]

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more than a decade, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Andrew Schneider has followed the saga of the tiny town of Libby, Mont., the asbestos-tainted vermiculite that was mined there and W.R. Grace, the company that shipped the lethal ore throughout the world. Schneider broke the story while with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and followed it in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Baltimore Sun. Schneider and David McCumber authored "An Air That Kills." In this four-part report, AOL News' senior public health reporter examines the government's history of neglect in informing the public about the dangers of a killer than lurks in the attics and walls of millions of homes.

Cancer Patient's Home a 'Living Laboratory' for Deadly Fibers [Part 2]

'In Libby, There Was No Maybe' About Dangers [Part 3]

Asbestos Dangers Known Centuries Ago, but Battle Continues [Part 4]


Duff Wilson won many awards for his exposure of the soil criminals (Hanford waste) in WA state-google "Fear in the Fields" and the book that followed "Fateful Harvest", which you can buy for under a dollar on many used book sites. Wiorthy reading. I had the pleasure of working with the hero- and main character in the book- Patty Martin. Excellent reading- and not too hard on the brain:)


President is one man, he can direct attention to a problem but it takes more than one Congressman to do something.

We don't need just one or two Congressmen, we need a lot of Congressmen.

Our Congressman from Kentucky once upon a time have polio, he recovered, played baseball and became a Congressman. Can I or any of us get him to understand that vaccines needs to be looked at with suspision after his bout with polio? Or his he prejudiced by his experience?

I have written him many times, I get a very polite response - even calling me on the phone. His office workers listen politely and say they will pass it on. Does he have enough empathy to understand that what he once thought was an answer for his tragedy may also be the cause of another person's or family's tradegy?


The regulatory agencies are acting with both legislative power (handed to them by congress) and executive power. Our presidents have essentially chosen to appoint corporate employees/friends to run these agencies for how long now? These somewhat corporate run agencies essentially decide how to "regulate" themselves, which has been convenient for congress--they can pass the blame on unpopular or immoral actions/inactions to these unelected officials and by "legislating" more changes to these agencies they are often only putting on a show of doing something about it (kind of like the Combating Autism Act is only shaping up to be), but it is congress who is responsible for the unsafe but "FDA approved" or "CDC recommended" exposures that occur. These are ultimately acts of congress, and I suppose the government sanctioned actions that violate the existing laws are acts of the presidency. That's where the constitutional responsibility lies.

Bob Moffitt

@ nhokkanen

"To the bureaucrats, we are populations, not people. We are not victims of disease for them to protect, but instead potential carriers to be neutralized."

With all due respect .. to TODAY's bureaucrats .. our FAMILIES .. are considered their "HERD" .. and .. THEY are not ashamed to say so.

Somehow .. WE have to re-take control of the federal bureaucrats who have TURNED OUR FAMILIES INTO MEMBERS OF THEIR HERD.

We OWE it to future generations.


Off topic, but interesting: Huffington Post has an article in their health section today about autism and mitochondrial disease and antioxidation.


We have had very, very strong advocates in Congress including an MD - Dr. Dave Weldon as well as Dan Burton - grandparent of a child who regressed after vaccines.

No politician aside from the president is powerful enough to take on the vaccine industry. Opharma has already let us down, repeatedly.

We need a new candidate for president who isn't afraid to state his/her position on this issue. Anything less, and we're in for another four years of poisoning.

If we don't hold our president accountable for this travesty, then there's something wrong with us.


Looking into the rate of rheumatoid arthritis in Pima and Pueblo Indians, I became aware of the astonishing number and variety of mines in south and west Arizona. I didn't know about uranium mining in Navajo country.

I look forward to reading _Yellow Dirt_.


You state, "The Public Health Service studied the Navajo miners as they got sick and started dying but did nothing and said nothing even to the sick miners."

That horrifying truth illustrates the U.S. public health administrators' policies toward the citizens whom they disenfranchise.

To the bureaucrats, we are populations, not people. We are not victims of disease for them to protect, but instead potential carriers to be neutralized.

No amount of PR can overcome an ongoing record of negative actions and inactions resulting in medically testable human health damage.


I would like to add although I know I made my point already.
But the asbestos, mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer! It only takes 10 minutes of exposure to cause this cancer. It took years and thousands upon thousands of people exposed. But oh that was long ago, something these federal protection agency could not have foreseen.
Today a whole town is riddled with cancer, not from asbestos but from a more recent attic blown insulation called zonalite. It was still in use in 1998! The role of the EPA was as usually to hide it, delay the recogonition of what was happening. Just now in this month of Dec 2010 is it coming out.

I am powerless, helpless citizen, but this citizen agrees with Autism and Anti-Vaccine Advocate they are not working and we need to cut them to the bone, fire them all, and try to figure out how we can get protective agencies together that really do work????

I have no ideas of what to replace these cash rich, burden to society protection agencies, that are not working. I suppose that perhaps they should not be hired but elected like the rest of the politicians? After all they are acting like a politic entity - so perhaps we should treat them as one?


If you like this book try reading a text book for environmental health course in college.

My favorite is: "Our Global Environment a Health Perspective" by Anne Nadakavukaren.

She tells of the incident of the Native American uranian miners.

She tells about how the people of southeast Kentucky that traveled a little bet to the north to Cincinnati for cancer treatment were instead used without their knowledge or consent in an experiment to find out how many rads of radiation does what to the human body. To this day no one from this area thinks about going to Cincinnati for medical treatment.

She talks about Love Canal and how it went on for so very long. How stuff ozzed out of the school playgrounds, and the high rare cancer levels aroung that area. No federal agencies came rushing in like it was protrayed.

She talks about PCBs, in the rice of the Japanese, and how low levels are probalby connected to many hormonal diseases, but as of yet the federal government can find no link to PCBs and health problems. Try living along the Tibbawassee River in Michigan, letting your children hatch out some tame geese as a distraction for up-rooting them in their teens and moving them to Michigan. When those goslings hatched out 1/3 of them had crossed, and cooked beaks!

The book talks about mental retarded children that ended up in state custody being fed radition tainted cereal.

She dryly sites the stats on low IQ levels, and cancer rates around nuclear power plants. Something that people might want to remember when the government wants to exchange coal powered electrical plants (using scrubbers in their chimneys) to those so very clean nuclear plants.

She talked about the towns around the areas were the nuclear bombs were tested that died out - and she does mean died out - you can find them in the grave yards near these dead towns.

Of course the tobbaco stuff is in there.

Up untill almost the very end - there is a clear pattern that emerges - at least for me. The federal government not only does not stop this posioning but in many incidences is behind it!!! And if not behind it, then beside the people and industries that are doing it.

If the federal government does get involved easily it is because they can tax and get money out of it.

At the end of the book , she begins to talk about ozone holes or hole (there is only one at the South Pole), and too much CO2 in the atomsphere from burning fuels. These last two are scams created by creative people in our government agencies.
Ozone control requires a tax on air conditioning, and CO2 requires a fancy, changing of hands lots of money in a cap and trade game/scam.

Oh, I wish we could cut these agencies to the bone, for their history of protection is horrible.

Bob Moffit you have it exactly right!

Jim Thompson

p.s. The corrected link is

And our request to Congress members--ban mercury in vaccines.

Bob Moffitt

The more I see .. read .. hear .. about federal protection agencies .. such as .. the EPA, CDC, FDA, NSTA .. on and on .. the more I realize their primary duty is NOT to protect the public .. but .. instead .. to provide DAMAGE CONTROL .. while protecting the vested interests of private corporations or their own bureaucratic empires.

So it really does not matter which political party controls our Congress or the White House .. what really matters is who controls our incompetent, morally bankrupt .. federal protection agencies.

Jim Thompson


Thank you. It will take a member of Congress.

Our personal experience (probably familiar to many readers) is that some of our Congress members are willing to listen but then no action is taken.

After face to face meetings in Washington, DC, with follow-ups of emails and phone calls, the standard response is a polite and inert “thank you for your interest” response message from the staff.

David Kirby went to Congress to help inform staffers and Henry Waxman, the Grand Exhausted Rooster of the Ministry of Truth, sent out a memo afterwards to Congressional members trying to downplay his visit. “I am writing to let you and your staff know that there are a number of resources available to understand what the science says about whether vaccines could contribute to autism”


It seems that it will take a unique person in Congress to pursue this, to look underneath the slick tobacco science spewed by Pharma, and to take action for our children.

Autism and Anti-Vaccine Advocate

A very good reason why the budgets of the Dept of HHS and the EPA should be cut to the bone. As taxpayers we should hold our representatives in Washington DC feet to the fire to do that. Otherwise we aren't serious about punishing these criminals at both agencies. They need to be unemployed!!!!

More money for these bastards is not the answer.....less is called for!!!

Adam M

History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. - Mark Twain


"I hope that one day a congressman or senator will be “incensed” about the causes of the Age of Autism and “…pursue this issue until we get it right”."

Amen! Wonderfully expressed. Only one lawmaker will be required to take up the causes.


Julie Leonardo

When it involves inconveniencing the government in any way, an illness will always be "genetic." It especially applies to populations who are "expendable" as Native people have always been. Now our children are expendable. Nothing has changed. As it is said, "Sure you can trust the government....just ask an Indian."

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