2019 Humboldt and the Web of Life
Johannesburg is considered the most uranium-contaminated city in the world. Waste dumps from around 600 abandoned mines sit next to residential communities, blowing polluted dust into homes and contaminating the soil and water supplies. Scientists have found uranium quantities in rivers west of the city to be as much as 4,000 times natural levels and in tap water as much as 20 times higher, while residents of Johannesburg and surrounding communities live among an estimated 600,000 metric tons of uranium buried in waste rock. To get a sense of the sheer extent of the problem, Martin Boudot and his team of researchers investigate. Equipped with a Geiger counter, they uncover some dangerous realities.