Navajo Nation Sheep Dip Vat Project
During the period from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, the Navajo Nation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) used toxaphene and lindane-based solutions to control external parasites on sheep. During this sheep dipping period, approximately 250 sheep dip vats were built throughout the Navajo Nation. Although these vats were lined with concrete, no containment was provided at the entry pads and the used pesticide solutions were drained into unlined pits or
local intermittent streams (washes). Thus, over a 50-year period, high concentrations of toxaphene and lindane were suspected of contaminating areas surrounding sheep dip vats, adjacent water supplies and local washes.