Johannesburg sits atop the world's most productive gold reef -- a staggering 40,000 tons of the precious metal has been mined from it during a history tracing back 130 years. That legacy of riches has left behind a toxic inheritance: radioactivity from uranium hauled up in the mining process.
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. A soil sample taken by Bloomberg News and tested by government-certified WaterLab Ltd. from pumpkin roots grown a little more than a mile from a recently closed gold mine contained five times more uranium than background levels considered normal by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
FACIAL TREATMENT: Patience Mjadu, 44 inside her shack in Tudor Shaft informal settlement, with her face smeared with toxic soil from mining waste mixed with skin lotion and water. Mjadu believes the soil helps with her pimples and protects her face from the sun.