African American religious leaders back uranium ban

A group of ministers and pastors from the African-American community in Roanoke, southwest Virginia, have lent their collective support to efforts to keep uranium mining banned throughout the state.

WDBJ7 reports that the group made their stance on the issue public on Friday, calling for the statewide moratorium on uranium mining to be upheld as well as for the imposition of a permanent ban.

17 religious leaders from the southwest Virginia area signed a resolution which will be sent to the state capital of Richmond.

The group believe uranium mining poses risks for the Africa-American community which far outweigh any economic benefits, citing a study conducted in South Carolina which found that African Americans could be more susceptible to uranium's carcinogenic effects.

"Scientific research on groundwater uranium and cancer incidence in South Carolina found that African Americans may be more likely than European Americans to develop cancer as a result of consuming groundwater containing high levels of dissolved uranium," said Roanoke City Councilman and minister Sherman Lea.