In central and eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, prevailing economic and political conditions resulted in a rapid closure of many uranium mining and processing activities. These closures have left a long-lived human health impact. In countries and regions of relatively sparse economic resources, it is essential to understand the true significance of arising impacts and the financial consequences of their mitigation. A pilot study performed at a former site of uranium mining in the Slovak Republic illustrates a methodology to evaluate human health and environmental impact. The main findings are:* The former mining site shows complexity typical of an area in which there is diffuse contamination arising from leaching from waste heaps, and uncontrolled discharges from adits into water courses. In particular, significant hazards occur at the sites due to the presence of uranium ore and its progeny at the surface, which may result in radiological exposure via direct irradiation, ingestion and inhalation of dust or radon. * Site characterization considered both traditional areas of sampling and analysis (rock, soil, dust, radon and water) and identification of those activities and groups or individuals directly or potentially affected by exposure to contamination at the site. These ranged from workers occupying offices and workshops on one of the waste rock heaps, to house builders using waste rock (and potentially ore) for construction purposes, to a range of people exposed due to their recreational activities at the sites (hikers, mineral collectors, rock climbers and gatherers of wild produce). * Historical recultivation measures performed at the site in the 1980s were generally ineffective at curtailing the whole range of radiological hazards. Measures were taken at most sites to bury exposed ore to minimize external irradiation. However, in those cases in which recultivation of heaps was successful, it did little to reduce the impact of radon emanation. Instead, recultivation appeared to have the surprising consequence of reducing the potential dose to the public, via an unrelated route, by making waste rock/ore more difficult to remove for the purpose of construction. * When the importance of all the hazards were ranked, the most significant risk factor arose from inhalation of radon emanating from foundations built from waste rock material. * Of all of the liabilities, a partially water-filled waste rock pit resulted in the highest dose rates. When time spent at this relatively remote site was taken into account, the potential doses received remained to be comparatively high. The most at risk groups were those working, in buildings, on the waste rock heaps and those people who have removed waste rock/ore for building purposes. * Mitigation measures to reduce doses experienced by the exposed groups can be summarized as:-- prevention of the use of waste rock material for the purpose of house building; -- reducing the overall accessibility to the sites, using barriers; -- restricting the recreational value of the sites, by placement of warning signs/fencing (short term); -- relocation of offices and laboratories on the heaps or improvement of the overall ventilation of the working areas.