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UK government waits for nuclear test veterans to die, covers up research on genetic effects

Tory Defence Secretary breaks promise and refuses study on nuclear test guinea pigs’ families https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-break-promise-refuse-tests-13876749

Gavin Williamson has been accused of betrayal just six months after promising campaigners he’d help, By Susie Boniface,19 JAN 2019, The Tories have refused to order a study into genetic ­damage suffered by children of servicemen in the British nuclear tests.

Defence Secretary Gavin ­Wil­­liamson’s decision came days after his department finally admitted it never warned the men used in Cold War radiation experiments that their families might have been harmed.

Children of the 1950s veterans report 10 times the normal rate of birth defects. But six months after he met campaigners and ­promised to help, Williamson has been accused of betrayal.

Shirley Denson, 84, who told the minister her ­hus­­band Eric was ordered to fly through the mushroom cloud of a massive H-bomb, said: “I’m disgusted the man who seemed to lis­­ten so carefully has let us down so badly.

“A fifth of the children and grandchildren Eric and I had have de­­­formities, including missing and extra teeth. Our family is just one of thousands and Williamson knows this.”

Eric killed himself after years of crippling headaches, and Shirley later uncovered proof he had been exposed to 165 years’ worth of background radiation to his brain in just 6 minutes.

Campaigners and cross-party MPs had asked for research into all the children’s health problems, but instead Williamson has spent a six-figure sum on repeating an old study into the veterans’ cancer rates.

It is expected to take a year to report back, and in the meantime veterans, who are mostly in their 80s, are dying at the rate of one a week.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who is backing the vets’ campaign for justice, said: “The earlier study failed to note the miscarriages, ill health, infant mortality and childhood illness which so many veteran families experienced. As a result it showed few problems, when the veterans’ experience was very different.

“By raising their hopes then dashing them with science de­­­signed to fail, the Defence Secretary has shown scant regard for the survivors, widows and children he promised to help.”

The announcement followed an admission in Parliament the MoD had never warned the men that exposure to radiation might damage their DNA.

Junior minister Tobias Ellwood confessed after a search of the archives that he was “unable to locate” any proof servicemen were made aware of the dangers.

Yet there are documents showing those in charge knew of the risks.

The Medical Research Council reported in 1947 that “even the smallest doses of radiation produce a genetic effect.”

A 1953 memo stated chiefs of staff wanted to “discover the detailed effect of various types of explosion on equipment, stores and men, with and without various types of protection”.

Another states Downing Street considered how “to limit the genetic hazards”.

And a No10 letter discovered in the archives proves that in 1955, when warned about the genetic dangers, PM Anthony Eden responded: “A pity, but we cannot help it.”

When he met campaigners Mr Williamson also promised them a speedy review into a medal for the veterans’ exceptional service.

But 6 months later, a medal review committee has yet to be formed and neither the MoD nor Cabinet Office, which is in charge of honours, can give a timescale for when it will meet to hear the veterans’ evidence.

Just before Christmas, thousands of bomb test documents were removed from the National Archives without explanation.

Some had been scheduled for immediate release under Freedom of Information requests by campaigners.

 

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January 21, 2019 Posted by | health, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Be aware of the radiation risks of CT scans

Scannell: The radiation risk posed when you undergo CT scans. The Mercury News, 18 Jan 19 
Researchers estimate that nearly 2 percent of future cancers could be related to computerized tomography, 
It’s often said, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” But I’ve never understood the rationale behind that. In fact, as a doctor, I’d argue otherwise — that what you don’t know can harm you a great deal.

I’m thinking of this in light of recent studies concerning radiation exposure from medical imaging tests like computerized tomography (CT) scans. Many of us don’t know that we’re exposed to ionizing radiation when we undergo a CT scan, that ionizing radiation is a carcinogen or that data links an increased risk of cancer to low-level doses that are commonly used in CT imaging.

And while that increased risk may be small, it’s also cumulative over time — a concern for patients who receive multiple scans.

The benefits of CT scans in diagnosing disease and saving lives are indisputable. But, like any medical test or treatment, CT scans entail potential risks that should be balanced against expected benefits. Unfortunately, we’ve paid little attention to the radiation risks.

Putting the risk in perspective is difficult, considering the various yardsticks by which meaningful radiation exposure and cancer risks are measured. But, in broad terms, we can consider the constant background radiation from natural sources that we’re exposed to every day. While a chest X-ray exposes us to a 10-day dose of background radiation, a chest CT scan delivers about 2 years’ worth. And the average 3-year dose we get from a CT of the abdomen and pelvis more than doubles when the scan is repeated with and without contrast.

It’s important to remember that the increased cancer risk from a single CT scan remains low for most individuals. Still, the risk accumulates with additional scanning, and it constitutes an unnecessary risk if the scan isn’t medically necessary.

That latter point deserves underscoring because about 30 percent of CT scans performed in the U.S. are unnecessary, according to estimates. And, given that we perform over 80 million CT scans annually, it’s gob-smacking to consider the extraordinary unnecessary risk we’re assuming as a population. In fact, taking this population perspective, researchers have estimated that nearly 2 percent of future cancers could be related to CT scans.

Given the risks, our causal attitude toward CT scans is surprising. But they’ve become the Big Mac staple of modern medical fare. As a matter of perceived need or convenience, too many doctors order them and too many patients demand them when they aren’t medically needed.

Radiation risk reduction could be pursued through various strategies, beyond the obvious one of reducing unnecessary scans. Another obvious tactic involves minimizing the amount of radiation per scan without sacrificing image quality………..https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/01/18/opinion-the-radiation-risk-posed-when-you-undergo-ct-scans/

January 19, 2019 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Many sick former uranium workers still missing out on compensation

Uranium workers can face illnesses decades later. Many workers don’t know that help is available.Star Tribune, Heather Richards 307-266-0592, Heather.Richards@trib.com, Jan 14, 2019 

Four times a year, Angela Hays Carey visits Wyoming to find former uranium workers who could qualify for federal health benefits.

Every year, she finds some who didn’t know about federal compensation and health care support, or who never realized their illness was tied to exposure decades ago from their work in uranium mining, milling or transportation of ore……..

Hays Carey is the community outreach manager for Nuclear Care Partners, a group that assists former uranium and atomic workers with the red tape of federal benefits from the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Program Act and offers in-home care for former atomic workers who suffered serious illness from exposure.

Cold war mining

There are hundreds of Wyomingites who worked in uranium mining, milling and ore hauling prior to 1972, and as such, may qualify for one of the branches of coverage offered by the federal government. The benefits are tied to federal employment, but not directly. Most miners and atomic workers pre-1972 were essentially subcontractors for the federal government, she said.

The federal government has a number of compensation programs for former workers whose sickness today is tied to the Cold War arms race and the atomic bomb studies that fueled the uranium and atomic industries. A number of initiatives have attempted to secure compensation for uranium miners, millers and ore haulers following the 1972 cutoff.

There are nearly 30,000 former workers receiving benefits nationally, and more than 300 Wyomingites who have filed claims, Hays Carey said.

But every year there are more workers that Hays Carey runs into in Wyoming. She is based in Idaho, but travels to Wyoming for programs such as Wednesday’s luncheon in Casper.

Many of the workers she meets are aware of the benefits but have been denied.

That’s usually what I deal with when I come,” she said. “They didn’t file correctly; they didn’t turn in the right information. I love to look at those because it is easy to get the right information.”

Lying in wait

The health concerns tied to exposure to radiation and other toxins can be severe, but they can also lie dormant. People get older, they have health issues and they don’t always realize that the root cause could be from their past jobs, Hays Carey said.

Someone will come down with pneumonia and their lungs can’t properly fight it. That’s when the doctor may notice a more serious underlying issue……

Chronic lung issues, cancer and fibrosis are among the most common illness tied to historic uranium mining, inhaling uranium decay products or repeated exposure to gamma radiation.

There are a handful of states where the mining, milling and ore hauling workers mostly resided. Wyoming is one of those states, along with Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. To a lesser extent, mining was also happening in North Dakota and Idaho……..https://trib.com/business/energy/uranium-workers-can-face-illnesses-decades-later-many-workers-don/article_9765ea6c-cb6f-5209-8527-20e6863f1aa6.html

 

January 15, 2019 Posted by | health, Uranium, USA | 1 Comment

Dr Gordon Edwards explains the background to former NRC chairman’s opposition to nuclear power

Nuclear Regulatory Commission ex-Chairman Gregory Jaczko is adamantly opposed to the idea of keeping existing nuclear reactors running as a way to offset climate change, because each reactor is like a time bomb ready to explode if the cooling is cut off by a total station blackout, by equipment failure, by major pipe breaks, or by acts of warfare, sabotage, or terrorism. The societal dislocation caused by the spread of radioactive material over wide areas, affecting drinking water, food and habitation for decades or centuries, is as bad as the ravages of climate change for the communities so affected.
As Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the time of the Fukushima disaster, Jaczko has a unique insight into the factors that make nuclear power plants dangerous even after so-called “safe” shutdown. The Ex-NRC regulator argues against nuclear energy as a tactic to fight climate change 4 knows, too, that the arguments levied against renewables are ultimately incorrect, as technology to store energy and to rechannel it is growing by leaps and bounds. Investing tens or hundreds of billions of dollars into maintaining old nuclear reactors, which are becoming increasingly dangerous as they age, is simply stealing money away from investments in the renewable revolution that is our best hope for a sustainable energy future.     
Ex-NRC regulator argues against nuclear energy as a tactic to fight climate change 1 Background:  by Dr Gordon Edwards, http://www.ccnr.org/Jaczko_nixes_nukes_2019.pdf January 11, 2019 Commercial nuclear power plants are water-cooled. They are fuelled by ceramic uranium fuel pellets stacked inside long narrow rods made of zirconium metal. A number of these rods are bound together into a fuel assembly — in Canada such an assembly is called a fuel bundle.
Heat is produced by splitting uranium atoms. That heat is transported by the liquid water coolant which flows past the zirconium tubes containing the fuel. The heat is used to produce steam that will turn the blades of a steam turbine to generate electricity.
As the uranium fuel undergoes nuclear fission (splitting uranium atoms), hundreds of varieties of intensely radioactive byproducts build up inside the fuel. These are (1) broken fragments of uranium atoms, called “fission products”; (2) heavier-than-uranium elements, including plutonium, called “transuranic actinides”. These byproducts are millions of times more radioactive than the original fuel.
  Loss of Cooling During a severe nuclear accident, the cooling is lost. Even if the reactor has been safely shut down just beforehand, and the fission process has been totally arrested, the temperature of the fuel will still soar to destructive levels without adequate cooling.
 The problem is that radioactivity cannot be shut off. The radioactive byproducts created during nuclear fission remain in the fuel, and they continue to generate heat. In the case of a 1000 megawatt reactor, immediately following shutdown, over 200 megawatts of heat continue to be generated by the ongoing atomic disintegrations of the radioactive waste byproducts. After one hour this drops to about 30 megawatts of heat, which is still a tremendous rate of thermal energy release.
If the coolant is no longer circulating — perhaps because of a station blackout, as at Fukushima, or due to a large pipe break followed by a failure of emergency cooling — that “residual heat” or “decay heat” will not be removed from the core of the reactor.
Make no mistake, even 30 megawatts is a lot of heat — unless it is rapidly removed, that heat is more than enough to melt the fuel and surrounding structural materials of a nuclear reactor at a temperature of 2800 degrees C (5000 degrees F). That’s more than twice the melting point of steel. It’s the beginning of a partial or total core meltdown.
Hydrogen Gas Buildup At about 1800 degrees C (3300 degrees F), long before the fuel melts, the solid zirconium “cladding” surrounding the fuel starts to melt. Any failure of the zirconium cladding allows the escape, under high pressure, of dozens of radioactive waste byproducts that were previously trapped inside the fuel. The superheated steam that now fills the reactor vessel is suddenly infused with a multitude of radioactive gases, vapours, aerosols and ashes, all ready to be expelled into the atmosphere if there is any failure of containment.
At an even lower temperature, 700-800 degrees C, steam reacts chemically with the zirconium metal. Recall that water molecules are combinations of hydrogen and oxygen atoms (H2O). The blistering hot zirconium metal strips the oxygen out of the steam, forming zirconium oxide, while releasing all the left-over hydrogen. Hydrogen gas mixes with the steam-filled radioactively contaminated air to form an explosive mixture. Any spark will detonate the hydrogen in a devastating blast, more powerful than a natural gas explosion.
Such hydrogen gas explosions almost always accompany a nuclear meltdown. There were several such explosions during the partial meltdown of the NRX reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, in 1952; during the Three Mile Island partial meltdown in Pennsylvania in1979; and during the triple meltdown at Fukushima Dai-ichi in Japan in 2011. Such explosions will often damage the containment envelope of the nuclear reactor, spewing highly radioactive materials into the outer atmosphere.
Radioactive Exposures People, animals and plants are irradiated from above by “skyshine” from gamma-radiation-emitting gases passing overhead. Metallic radioactive vapours such as cesium-137, iodine-131 and strontium-90 will condense on vegetation, soil, buildings, skin, clothing, and surfaces of all kinds, leaving a lasting legacy of radioactive contamination, irradiating living things by “groundshine”. And these radioactive materials gradually work their way into the food chain, sometimes re-concentrating along the way, yielding contaminated crops, meat, fish, water, milk, mushrooms, berries, and much else besides. Ingesting or inhaling such materials will lead to the internal irradiation of people and animals by radioactive materials that lodge in the lungs, the bones, the blood, or the soft organs of the body.
For example, radioactive iodine condenses on pastureland, and the concentration of radioactive iodine in the grass becomes about 100 times greater than in the air above the pasture. The concentration of radioactive iodine in cow’s milk is about 100-1000 times greater than it is in the grass they eat. Then, when a young child drinks the cow’s milk, the concentration of radioactive iodine in the child’s thyroid gland is about 7-10 times greater than it is in the contaminated milk. So, a child’s thyroid can be exposed to radioactive iodine levels that are several orders of magnitude greater than that found in the contaminated air that they might breathe.
Radioactive cesium accumulates in meat and fish, often making them unsuitable for human consumption. Even today, hunters in Germany and the Czech Republic are compensated by their respective governments if they kill a wild boar, because they cannot eat the meat due to radioactive cesium contamination from the Chernobyl accident 33 years ago. In Japan, wild boars in the Fukushima forested areas have levels of radioactive cesium in their bodies that are 10 to 150 times greater than the maximum permissible levels for human consumption. Boars love mushrooms, and fungi are especially adept at concentrating radioactivity.
 Nuclear Regulatory Commission ex-Chairman Gregory Jaczko is adamantly opposed to the idea of keeping existing nuclear reactors running as a way to offset climate change, because each reactor is like a time bomb ready to explode if the cooling is cut off by a total station blackout, by equipment failure, by major pipe breaks, or by acts of warfare, sabotage, or terrorism. The societal dislocation caused by the spread of radioactive material over wide areas, affecting drinking water, food and habitation for decades or centuries, is as bad as the ravages of climate change for the communities so affected.
As Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the time of the Fukushima disaster, Jaczko has a unique insight into the factors that make nuclear power plants dangerous even after so-called “safe” shutdown. The Ex-NRC regulator argues against nuclear energy as a tactic to fight climate change 4 knows, too, that the arguments levied against renewables are ultimately incorrect, as technology to store energy and to rechannel it is growing by leaps and bounds. Investing tens or hundreds of billions of dollars into maintaining old nuclear reactors, which are becoming increasingly dangerous as they age, is simply stealing money away from investments in the renewable revolution that is our best hope for a sustainable energy future.

January 12, 2019 Posted by | radiation, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

Cancer risk in overuse of radiation-based medical imaging 

Radiation in the ICU: How much is too much?  https://www.wndu.com/content/news/Radiation-in-the-ICU-How-much-is-too-much-504012981.html   By Maureen McFadden | , Jan 07, 2019  

The use of radiation-based imaging has risen dramatically in the past decade, and medical radiation now accounts for a significant proportion of all radiation exposure in the U.S.

Critically ill patients are often subjected to many CT scans and X-rays, but who is keeping track of when enough is enough?

When he noticed one of his patients had undergone 100 X-rays, Cleveland Clinic Dr. Sudhir Krishnan was concerned.

“I said, surely, someone is keeping track of this, some regional, local, or national authority is keeping track on the amount of radiation exposure a patient typically gets,” he said. “And I realized that wasn’t the case. There’s nobody.”

There is a standard federal limit for radiation dosage, but a recent Cleveland Clinic study revealed something shocking.

“Some exceeded a number of more than 100 milisiverts within these six days,” Krishnan said. “By Federal Occupational Standards, that dose cannot be exceeded in five years, and we have that happening in six days.”

As patients move from different facilities, the information about the radiation they have received isn’t transferred, which could lead to bad results.

“Patients could develop a certain kind of cancer because they’ve been exposed to a certain amount of radiation,” Krishnan said.

X-rays, CT scans and fluoroscopic surgery are the most common sources of radiation. But Cleveland Clinic Dr. Charles Martin says something needs to change

“Improving communication amongst the multiple specialties to see if there’s one way to get many pieces of information from one study [is necessary],” Martin said.

Talk to your doctor about it and be sure to ask, as Krishnan suggests, “if there is no suitable alternative and is absolutely necessary, then one would have to weigh the benefits versus risk and proceed with what’s required.”

The Cleveland Clinic is working to develop a tool that tracks radiation doses and uses our electronic medical records as a home for all of this information.

RESEARCH SUMMARY
TOO MUCH RADIATION IN THE ICU?
REPORT #2597

BACKGROUND: Radiation may be defined as energy traveling through space. Non-ionizing radiation is essential to life, but excessive exposures will cause tissue damage. All forms of ionizing radiation have sufficient energy to ionize atoms that may destabilize molecules within cells and lead to tissue damage.
Radiation sources are found in a wide range of occupational settings. If radiation is not properly controlled it can be potentially hazardous to the health of workers. Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. Non-ionizing radiation includes the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF). Lasers commonly operate in the UV, visible, and IR frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled. Ionizing radiation sources may be found in a wide range of occupational settings, including health care facilities, research institutions, nuclear reactors and their support facilities, nuclear weapon production facilities, and other various manufacturing settings, just to name a few. These radiation sources can pose a considerable health risk to affected workers if not properly controlled.
(Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation/ and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiationionizing/index.html)

January 10, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

How does plutonium affect human health?

TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR PLUTONIUM , Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine/Applied Toxicology Branch,  Atlanta, Georgia

” …….Plutonium may remain in the lungs or move to the bones, liver, or other body organs. It generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissues to radiation. Lung, liver, and bone cancer You may develop cancer depending on how much plutonium is in your body and for how long it remains in your body. The types of cancers you would most likely develop are cancers of the lung, bones, and liver…….

The risks of mortality and morbidity from bone and liver cancers have also been studied in Mayak workers. Increasing estimated plutonium body burden was associated with increasing liver cancer mortality, with higher risk in females compared to males…….

Cardiovascular Effects. Epidemiological Studies in Humans. Possible associations between exposure to plutonium and cardiovascular disease have been examined in studies of workers at production and/or processing facilities in the United Kingdom (Sellafield)……..  within a cohort of Sellafield workers   morality rate ratios for plutonium workers were significantly elevated for deaths from circulatory disease and ischemic heart disease . ….

the Mayak studies provide evidence for increased risk of cancer mortality (bone, liver, lung) in association with increased internal plutonium-derived radiation dose and/or body burden, with approximately 4-fold higher risks in females compared to males…….

Risks of mortality and morbidity from bone and liver cancers have also been studied in Mayak workers ….. Increasing estimated plutonium body burden was associated with increasing cancer mortality, with higher risk in females compared to males…..

U.K. Atomic Energy Authority and Atomic Weapons Establishment Workers. ………..The mortality rate ratio was significantly elevated for breast cancer  and cerebrovascular disease  in a cohort of female Sellafield workers identified as plutonium workers……..

Comparisons of mortality rates between plutonium workers and other radiation workers yielded significantly elevated mortality rate ratios for all deaths , all cancers , breast cancer, circulatory disease , and ischemic heart disease.

GENOTOXICITY Abundant information is available regarding the genotoxicity of ionizing radiation……….Although epidemiological studies do not provide conclusive evidence that plutonium produces genetic damage in humans, results of some studies provide suggestive evidence of dose-related increases in chromosomal aberrations in plutonium workers with measurable internalized plutonium……. ……https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp143.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1iffNMF8xj33aBhDW-zhtFzPejF0eNlQ5QUaIgxBhCcujUKU0XRC8NvMc

January 8, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Reference | 1 Comment

USA Veterans Dept refuses disability benefits to nuclear worker despite their own doctors diagnosing radiation-caused throat cancer

Navy veteran with throat cancer continues uphill fight with VA for disability benefits, https://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/national/navy-veteran-with-throat-cancer-continues-uphill-fight-with-for-disability-benefits/h0fNaZPOwP3O5AMATcTFCN/ By WSOCTV.com,  January 05, 2019


Charlotte veteran Dan Parks has been fighting with the Department of Veterans Affairs for five years to get disability benefits.”This has been an uphill battle all the way,” Parks said. Parks showed WSOC-TV paperwork from multiple doctors who determined his throat cancer was caused by exposure to ionizing radiation during his service in the Navy.

He took care of guns and ammunition in the early 1970s, including in an area that housed nuclear torpedo heads.

Now, because of the cancer, his larynx and thyroid were removed.

Twenty-four years after his diagnosis, he still has side effects and takes 18 pills a day, and the VA denies his disability benefits. “If the VA won’t respect their own doctors’ decisions, who does a guy turn to?” Parks asked.

“I’m not trying to bother anybody out of anything,” Parks said. “I just want what is owed to me.”

Parks has received help from both Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Alma Adams.

He’s hoping they can help again as he starts the process for benefits all over.

The VA has not yet responded to WSOC-TV.

Parks has been in the appeals process, but just in the past month, he received a letter from the VA that states it couldn’t find his transcript and he has to start over in his request for disability benefits.

“You feel like a criminal. You served your country,” Parks said.

Because of the burden from medical bills and ongoing health needs, Parks has trouble paying his bills every week and says disability benefits would make a huge difference.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | health | Leave a comment

Uranium mining brings disease, deaths, deformities to Jharkhand, India

 By 2050 the government intends to meet 25% of its electricity needs from nuclear power JADUGUDA, JHARKHAND: Nestled in the mountainous district of East Singhbhum, this tiny dot on India’s vast map has become a virtual cancer ward for its residents, following years of dangerous radiation being emitted from uranium mines and tailing ponds in the area.

Jaduguda (or Jadugora) made its tryst with the hazardous byproducts of ‘clean’ nuclear power just 20 years after independence, when the country launched its nuclear programme.

Meeting 25 percent of India’s uranium needs, the town is in the news again as the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) recently announced that it would soon resume its excavation operations here, following the renewal of its land lease for another 50 years.

Will Jaduguda’s residents still be able to live there 50 years from now?

As part of its indigenous nuclear power programme, India aims to generate 14.6 GWe (gigawatts electrical) of power through nuclear reactors in the next seven years – and 63 GWe by 2032.

By 2050 the Indian government intends to meet 25% of its electricity needs from uranium-based nuclear power, as against 5% at present.

This ambition, however, may annihilate a large number of Adivasi citizens resident in Jaduguda – from the Ho, Birhore, Santhal, Kora, Beiga, Munda, Malpahari and Mahali communities – who already are paying very dearly for uranium mining.

Due to the dangerous fallout of radiation, they are suffering from a plethora of clinical problems which were unheard of in the area before the public sector UCIL began excavating uranium ores in 1967.

People in the area suffer disproportionately from congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions, cancers and a plethora of other serious diseases known to be caused by radiation and industrial pollution.

Despite the low risk and damage done by wind and solar renewable energy generation, large, destructive hydel projects and nuclear reactors with highly toxic byproducts continue to be a part of India’s energy generation plans – not to mention the use of fossil fuels which continues unabated.

Jaduguda’s residents inhale toxic air. They drink poisoned water. They consume vegetables and cereals laced with radioactive iodine. They are exposed to radiation 24×7.

As you enter the hamlets located around UCIL’s mines and tailing ponds, where radioactive elements are dumped, the gory sight of deformed children playing innocently with their homemade toys meets your eyes.

The culprit is uranium, the highly radioactive mineral used in making nuclear warheads and for generating electricity.

Uranium is a sleeping monster. An estimated 99.28% of mined uranium ore is effectively waste – referred as tailings. These wastes are very highly radioactive with a centuries’ long half life.

In India the process of neutralising the toxicity of tailings is still done in a rudimentary manner, with simple lime, with the wastes carried through pipes to tailing ponds.

Of course, nowhere in the world is there a safe way to permanently dispose of nuclear waste, or render it harmless. In Jaduguda, though the tailings are treated at an effluent treatment plant for the removal of radium and manganese, solid radioactive matter settles in the ponds, allowing toxic iodine to vitiate the entire atmosphere.

Radioactive elements also leak out of the tailing ponds and enter the earth and water during floods, affecting people, livestock, rivers, forests and agricultural produce in and around Jaduguda.

Yellowcake or urania, processed from uranium, is the lifeblood of any nuclear programme. Jaduguda uranium ore can be enriched to 0.065-grade, making it highly valuable for nuclear power generation. The yellowcake produced Jaduguda is sent to nine nuclear reactors in India.

To obtain about 65 grams of usable uranium, UCIL needs to mine, grind and process 1000 tonnes of uranium ore. The waste is thrown into the tailing ponds.

As mentioned these tailings undergo radioactive decay to produce other radioactive substances, such as radium-226 which in turn produces radon-222 gas, a highly toxic cancer-causing gas, which emits high-energy alpha and gamma particles that can shred genetic material in our cells, leading to cancer and other illnesses.

For instance, radon-222 gas damages the air passages in our lungs. It remains radioactive for 1,600 years.

Some 36,000 to 40,000 citizens – mostly Adivasis – live within 5 kilometres of Jaduguda’s tailing ponds. So you can imagine what the extent of this “radiation trap” would be, given that uranium has been excavated and enriched here almost without a break since 1967.

The ores go through several process of purification. At each and every process, the ores emit radiation and other carcinogens.

Since the mining is carried out at depths as great as 880 metres, the miners also endanger their lives.

As long as uranium remains buried deep inside the earth, it does not pose any danger to living beings. But the moment it is brought out to the surface of the earth and ground, levels of radioactivity become hazardous in the ways described above.

Inside the Cancer Ward

On visits to villages in the Jaduguda uranium mine area, whether Chatikocha or Dungridih or others, several times this writer came across unusually large numbers of deformed children. They were born deformed.

According to an official estimate by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, nearly 3 percent of Indians suffer from physical disabilities, with congenital deformity being one of them.

In Jaduguda the rate is 50 percent higher, at 4.49 percent.

Cases of impotency, frequent abortions, infant mortality, Down’s syndrome, cancers, thalassemia and other serious diseases have made Jaduguda their home.

Some 9,000 people here – almost a quarter of the population – are suffering from congenital deformities, leukemia, and various forms of cancer. Cancer deaths are commonplace here, and do not surprise locals at all now.

Now uranium mining is set to resume here, despite this public health catastrophe. Jaduguda’s citizens are slowly being choked to death before our eyes.

January 7, 2019 Posted by | health, India, Uranium | Leave a comment

High Iodine distribution, low intake among children after Fukushima nuclear accident

 https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/thyroid/news/in-the-journals/%7B33ecf315-c68e-474b-aeda-81c5271d2371%7D/high-iodine-distribution-low-intake-among-children-after-fukushima-nuclear-accident    Despite a high distribution rate of stable iodine after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, only 63.5% of parents reported children took the tablets, with many citing safety concerns in questionnaires, according to findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism.

The intake of stable iodine after a nuclear emergency is a key strategy for preventing childhood thyroid cancer, along with evacuation and other measures, Yoshitaka Nishikawa, MD, a physician and medical researcher in the department of internal medicine at Hirata Central Hospital in Fukushima, Japan, and colleagues wrote in the study background. The timing of iodine administration is optimally between 24 hours before and up to 2 hours after the expected onset of exposure, they noted; however, iodine is still reasonably effective when taken up to 8 hours later. To date, there is limited information about the acceptability and feasibility of implementation of iodine distribution in actual cases, they wrote.

“To prepare for future nuclear emergencies, investigations of the operational issues in an actual case are needed,” the researchers wrote.

In a retrospective, observational study, Nishikawa and colleagues analyzed data from 961 children from Miharu, a town in Fukushima prefecture, who underwent biennial thyroid screenings at Hirata Central Hospital between August and November 2017 (median age at time of accident, 5 years). In addition to the Fukushima Health Management Survey, Miharu has continued thyroid screenings for all primary and secondary school students.

In Miharu, health care professionals distributed stable iodine to 3,134 households (94.9% distribution rate) after explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused by the 2011 earthquake in eastern Japan, along with instructions provided by the local government. Screening and questionnaire records included age of participants at the time of the nuclear accident, sex, region of residence before the accident, whether the participant was evacuated, whether the child and parents took stable iodine orally after the accident and dietary habits, including iodine intake. Researchers used logistic regression models to identify factors associated with stable iodine intake.

Within the cohort, 610 children (63.5%) had taken stable iodine, according to questionnaire data.

Researchers found that children were more likely to take stable iodine provided after the accident if their parents took stable iodine (OR = 61; 95% CI, 37.9-102.9). Compared with preschool and school-aged children, infants (aged 2 years or younger) were less likely to take stable iodine (OR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.11-0.36).

In assessing questionnaire data from parents who reported children did not take stable iodine (n = 351), concern about safety was the most frequent reason provided (n = 164; 46.2%), followed by evacuation to other areas, no national or prefectural instruction and iodine not being delivered.

“Qualitative analysis revealed that concern about safety was the major reason for avoiding intake,” the researchers wrote. “Other issues related to distribution methods, information about the effects and adverse events and instruction about intake. In future nuclear disasters, it would be important to explain to both children and parents the effects and adverse effects of iodine intake and to provide detailed instructions about the intake of iodine by infants.” – by Regina Schaffer

DisclosuresThe authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | children, Japan, Reference | Leave a comment

Radioactive fallout killed up to 690,000 Americans from 1951 to 1973.

In the 1950s, the U.S. government downplayed the danger of radioactive fallout, asserting that all radioactivity was confined to the Nevada test site. Despite this, a national estimate attributed 49,000 cancer deaths to nuclear testing in the area.

But the results of new research suggest that this number is woefully inaccurate. Using a novel method, and today’s improved understanding of radioactive fallout, Keith Meyers from the University of Arizona discovered that U.S. nuclear testing was responsible for the deaths of at least as many — and likely more — as those killed by the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Specifically, between 340,000 and 690,000 Americans died from radioactive fallout from 1951 to 1973.

At least 340,000 Americans died from radioactive fallout between 1951 and 1973 https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/new-estimate-deaths-from-us-nuclear-tests?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2 Domestic nuclear testing wreaked havoc on thousands of families.   

  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. But new research shows that domestic U.S. nuclear tests likely killed more.
  • The new research tracked an unlikely vector for radioactive transmission: dairy cows.
  • The study serves as a reminder of the insidious and deadly nature of nuclear weapons.

When we think of nuclear disasters, a few names probably come to mind. There’s the Chernobyl disaster, which killed around 27,000 people, although estimates are fuzzy. After Fukushima, there were no deaths due to radiation poisoning, but this event occurred relatively recently, and radiation poisoning often kills slowly over decades. When the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, estimates put the death toll at around 200,000 people, but again, exact numbers are difficult to calculate.

One name that almost certainly didn’t come to mind is Nevada. When the Soviet Union detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949, the U.S. was shocked into action. America’s prior nuclear testing had been carried out in the Pacific, but it was logistically slow and costly to conduct tests there. In order to maintain dominance over the growing Soviet threat, the U.S. selected a 1,375 square-mile area in Nye County, Nevada.

This was an ideal spot for several reasons. It was closer than Bikini Atoll. The weather was predictable and very dry, reducing the risk that radioactive fallout would be dispersed by rainstorms. It was sparsely populated. There was an understanding that there would be some amount of risk posed to nearby civilians, but it was deemed acceptable at the time. The trouble is, our understanding of radioactive fallout was still in its infancy. It was a catch-22; the only way to learn more was to test nuclear weapons.

In the 1950s, the U.S. government downplayed the danger of radioactive fallout, asserting that all radioactivity was confined to the Nevada test site. Despite this, a national estimate attributed 49,000 cancer deaths to nuclear testing in the area.

But the results of new research suggest that this number is woefully inaccurate. Using a novel method, and today’s improved understanding of radioactive fallout, Keith Meyers from the University of Arizona discovered that U.S. nuclear testing was responsible for the deaths of at least as many — and likely more — as those killed by the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Specifically, between 340,000 and 690,000 Americans died from radioactive fallout from 1951 to 1973.

Prior studies generally looked at the areas surrounded the Nevada test site and estimated the deaths caused by fallout from the area. This number was relatively low, owing to the dry, predictable weather mentioned earlier. However, the bulk of the deaths were actually dispersed throughout the country, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast regions. These deaths were caused by an unfortunate synergy between meteorology, radiation, and — perhaps oddly enough — cows.

Out of all the radioactive elements produced by a nuclear explosion, iodine-131 was the biggest killer. I-131 has an eight-day half-life, tends to accumulate in the thyroid gland, and emits beta and gamma radiation. While alpha radiation is generally weak and doesn’t penetrate material very well, beta and gamma radiation are highly energetic and shoot through clothing and flesh, ripping up DNA as it goes along.

Prior studies had examined the radioactive fallout dispersed by low-altitude winds, which would generally settle around the Nevada test site. However, a significant amount of I-131 was caught up in high-altitude winds. These winds carried the radioactive particles to other regions of the U.S., where it mixed with rain clouds.

The now-radioactive rain fell onto the grasslands in the Midwest and Northeast. Then, cows ate the now-radioactive grass. The cows then produced radioactive milk. Dairy practices during the study period were different than they are today — most people drank milk that had recently been extracted from local cows.

Thanks to a National Cancer Institute database that contains broad data on radiation exposure, Meyers was able to track the amount of I-131 found in local milk and compare this with the number and nature of deaths on a county level. In this way, Meyers was able to determine that a significant number of these deaths were due to drinking poisoned milk. These civilians would have had no idea that the milk they were drinking had been irradiated by nuclear explosions hundreds of miles away.

Ironically, the area around the Nevada test site didn’t have this problem. Although they too drank fresh milk from local cows, they imported hay from other parts of the country. Since their cows weren’t eating irradiated hay, the local Nevadans took in significantly less radioactive material than their less-fortunate, distant countrymen.

Although our understanding of radiation and nuclear fallout is much improved since the dawn of the nuclear age, the study serves as a warning of the insidious nature of nuclear weapons. Containing nuclear fallout is challenging, even when you know where all of the vectors of radioactive transmission are. The complexity and intertwining nature of our ecological and social systems means that words like “clean,” “precise,” or “surgical” will likely never apply to nuclear weapons.

 

 

December 15, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA, weapons and war | 2 Comments

TRUMP WANTS TO RECLASSIFY RADIOACTIVE WASTE FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO ‘LOW LEVEL’ SO DISPOSAL IS CHEAPER

December 13, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Assessing the effects of planetary electromagnetic pollution

Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196%2818%2930221-3/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email

Priyanka Bandara
David O Carpenter

Open AccessPublished:December, 20   As the Planetary Health Alliance moves forward after a productive second annual meeting, a discussion on the rapid global proliferation of artificial electromagnetic fields would now be apt. The most notable is the blanket of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, largely microwave radiation generated for wireless communication and surveillance technologies, as mounting scientific evidence suggests that prolonged exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation has serious biological and health effects. However, public exposure regulations in most countries continue to be based on the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which were established in the 1990s on the belief that only acute thermal effects are hazardous. Prevention of tissue heating by radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is now proven to be ineffective in preventing biochemical and physiological interference. For example, acute non-thermal exposure has been shown to alter human brain metabolism by NIH scientists, electrical activity in the brain, and systemic immune responses.

Chronic exposure has been associated with increased oxidative stress and DNA damage  and cancer risk.
 Laboratory studies, including large rodent studies by the US National Toxicology Program and Ramazzini Institute of Italy, confirm these biological and health effects in vivo. As we address the threats to human health from the changing environmental conditions due to human activity, the increasing exposure to artificial electromagnetic radiation needs to be included in this discussion.
Due to the exponential increase in the use of wireless personal communication devices (eg, mobile or cordless phones and WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices) and the infrastructure facilitating them, levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation around the 1 GHz frequency band, which is mostly used for modern wireless communications, have increased from extremely low natural levels by about 1018 times (figure). Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is also used for radar, security scanners, smart meters, and medical equipment (MRI, diathermy, and radiofrequency ablation). It is plausibly the most rapidly increasing anthropogenic environmental exposure since the mid-20th century, and levels will surge considerably again, as technologies like the Internet of Things and 5G add millions more radiofrequency transmitters around us.
Unprecedented human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from conception until death has been occurring in the past two decades. Evidence of its effects on the CNS, including altered neurodevelopment and increased risk of some neurodegenerative diseases, is a major concern considering the steady increase in their incidence. Evidence exists for an association between neurodevelopmental or behavioural disorders in children and exposure to wireless devices, and experimental evidence, such as the Yale finding, shows that prenatal exposure could cause structural and functional changes in the brain associated with ADHD-like behaviour. These findings deserve urgent attention

At the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association, an independent scientific organisation, volunteering scientists have constructed the world’s largest categorised online database of peer-reviewed studies on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation and other man-made electromagnetic fields of lower frequencies. A recent evaluation of 2266 studies (including in-vitro and in-vivo studies in human, animal, and plant experimental systems and population studies) found that most studies (n=1546, 68·2%) have demonstrated significant biological or health effects associated with exposure to anthropogenic electromagnetic fields. We have published our preliminary data on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, which shows that 89% (216 of 242) of experimental studies that investigated oxidative stress endpoints showed significant effects.

This weight of scientific evidence refutes the prominent claim that the deployment of wireless technologies poses no health risks at the currently permitted non-thermal radiofrequency exposure levels. Instead, the evidence supports the International EMF Scientist Appeal by 244 scientists from 41 countries who have published on the subject in peer-reviewed literature and collectively petitioned the WHO and the UN for immediate measures to reduce public exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields and radiation.

Evidence also exists of the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on flora and fauna. For example, the reported global reduction in bees and other insects is plausibly linked to the increased radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation in the environment.

Honeybees are among the species that use magnetoreception, which is sensitive to anthropogenic electromagnetic fields, for navigation.

Man-made electromagnetic fields range from extremely low frequency (associated with electricity supplies and electrical appliances) to low, medium, high, and extremely high frequency (mostly associated with wireless communication). The potential effects of these anthropogenic electromagnetic fields on natural electromagnetic fields, such as the Schumann Resonance that controls the weather and climate, have not been properly studied. Similarly, we do not adequately understand the effects of anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on other natural and man-made atmospheric components or the ionosphere. It has been widely claimed that radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, being non-ionising radiation, does not possess enough photon energy to cause DNA damage. This has now been proven wrong experimentally. Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation causes DNA damage apparently through oxidative stress, similar to near-UV radiation, which was also long thought to be harmless.
At a time when environmental health scientists tackle serious global issues such as climate change and chemical toxicants in public health, there is an urgent need to address so-called electrosmog. A genuine evidence-based approach to the risk assessment and regulation of anthropogenic electromagnetic fields will help the health of us all, as well as that of our planetary home. Some government health authorities have recently taken steps to reduce public exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation by regulating use of wireless devices by children and recommending preferential use of wired communication devices in general, but this ought to be a coordinated international effort.
We declare no competing interests. We thank Alasdair Philips for assistance with the figure and Victor Leach and Steve Weller for assistance with the ORSAA Database, which has enabled our overview of the scientific evidence in this area of research.

References……

December 11, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium – the cancer-causing weapon still taking its toll in Iraq

Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq Counter Punch, by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR , DECEMBER 7, 2018, At the close of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was denounced as a ferocious villain for ordering his retreating troops to destroy Kuwaiti oil fields, clotting the air with poisonous clouds of black smoke and saturating the ground with swamps of crude. It was justly called an environmental war crime.

But months of bombing of Iraq by US and British planes and cruise missiles has left behind an even more deadly and insidious legacy: tons of shell casings, bullets and bomb fragments laced with depleted uranium. In all, the US hit Iraqi targets with more than 970 radioactive bombs and missiles.

It took less than a decade for the health consequences from this radioactive bombing campaign to begin to coming into focus. And they are dire, indeed. Iraqi physicians call it “the white death”-leukemia. Since 1990, the incident rate of leukemia in Iraq has grown by more than 600 percent. The situation is compounded by Iraq’s forced isolations and the sadistic sanctions regime, recently described by UN secretary general Kofi Annan as “a humanitarian crisis”, that makes detection and treatment of the cancers all the more difficult.

We have proof of traces of DU in samples taken for analysis and that is really bad for those who assert that cancer cases have grown for other reasons,” said Dr. Umid Mubarak, Iraq’s health minister.

Mubarak contends that the US’s fear of facing the health and environmental consequences of its DU bombing campaign is partly behind its failure to follow through on its commitments under a deal allowing Iraq to sell some of its vast oil reserves in return for food and medical supplies.

The desert dust carries death,” said Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, an oncologist and member England’s Royal Society of Physicians. “Our studies indicate that more than forty percent of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima.”

Most of the leukemia and cancer victims aren’t soldiers. They are civilians. And many of them are children. The US-dominated Iraqi Sanctions Committee in New York has denied Iraq’s repeated requests for cancer treatment equipment and drugs, even painkillers such as morphine. As a result, the overflowing hospitals in towns such as Basra are left to treat the cancer-stricken with aspirin.

This is part of a larger horror inflicted on Iraq that sees as many as 180 children dying every day, according to mortality figures compiled by UNICEF, from a catalogue of diseases from the 19th century: cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, e. coli, mumps, measles, influenza.

Iraqis and Kuwaitis aren’t the only ones showing signs of uranium contamination and sickness. Gulf War veterans, plagued by a variety of illnesses, have been found to have traces of uranium in their blood, feces, urine and semen.

Depleted uranium is a rather benign sounding name for uranium-238, the trace elements left behind when the fissionable material is extracted from uranium-235 for use in nuclear reactors and weapons. For decades, this waste was a radioactive nuisance, piling up at plutonium processing plants across the country. By the late 1980s there was nearly a billion tons of the material.

Then weapons designers at the Pentagon came up with a use for the tailings: they could be molded into bullets and bombs. The material was free and there was plenty at hand. Also uranium is a heavy metal, denser than lead. This makes it perfect for use in armor-penetrating weapons, designed to destroy tanks, armored-personnel carriers and bunkers.

When the tank-busting bombs explode, the depleted uranium oxidizes into microscopic fragments that float through the air like carcinogenic dust, carried on the desert winds for decades. The lethal dust is inhaled, sticks to the fibers of the lungs, and eventually begins to wreck havoc on the body: tumors, hemorrhages, ravaged immune systems, leukemias.

In 1943, the doomsday men associated with the Manhattan Project speculated that uranium and other radioactive materials could be spread across wide swaths of land to contain opposing armies. Gen. Leslie Grove, head of the project, asserted that uranium weapons could be expected to cause “permanent lung damage.” In the late, 1950s Al Gore’s father, the senator from Tennessee, proposed dousing the demilitarized zone in Korea with uranium as a cheap failsafe against an attack from the North Koreans.

After the Gulf War, Pentagon war planners were so delighted with the performance of their radioactive weapons that ordered a new arsenal and under Bill Clinton’s orders fired them at Serb positions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. More than a 100 of the DU bombs have been used in the Balkans over the last six years.

Already medical teams in the region have detected cancer clusters near the bomb sites. The leukemia rate in Sarajevo, pummeled by American bombs in 1996, has tripled in the last five years. But it’s not just the Serbs who are ill and dying. NATO and UN peacekeepers in the region are also coming down with cancer. As of January 23, eight Italian soldiers who served in the region have died of leukemia.

The Pentagon has shuffled through a variety of rationales and excuses. First, the Defense Department shrugged off concerns about Depleted Uranium as wild conspiracy theories by peace activists, environmentalists and Iraqi propagandists. When the US’s NATO allies demanded that the US disclose the chemical and metallic properties of its munitions, the Pentagon refused. It has also refused to order testing of US soldiers stationed in the Gulf and the Balkans.

If the US has kept silent, the Brits haven’t. A 1991 study by the UK Atomic Energy Authority predicted that if less than 10 percent of the particles released by depleted uranium weapons used in Iraq and Kuwait were inhaled it could result in as many as “300,000 probable deaths.”

The British estimate assumed that the only radioactive ingredient in the bombs dropped on Iraq was depleted uranium. It wasn’t. A new study of the materials inside these weapons describes them as a “nuclear cocktail,” containing a mix of radioactive elements, including plutonium and the highly radioactive isotope uranium-236. These elements are 100,000 times more dangerous than depleted uranium.

Typically, the Pentagon has tried to dump the blame on the Department of Energy’s sloppy handling of its weapons production plants. This is how Pentagon spokesman Craig Quigley described the situation in chop-logic worthy of the pen of Joseph Heller.: “The source of the contamination as best we can understand it now was the plants themselves that produced the Depleted uranium during the 20 some year time frame when the DU was produced.”

Indeed, the problems at DoE nuclear sites and the contamination of its workers and contractors have been well-known since the 1980s. A 1991 Energy Department memo reports: “during the process of making fuel for nuclear reactors and elements for nuclear weapons, the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant… created depleted uranium potentially containing neptunium and plutonium”

But such excuses in the absence of any action to address the situation are growing very thin indeed. Doug Rokke, the health physicist for the US Army who oversaw the partial clean up of depleted uranium bomb fragments in Kuwait, is now sick. His body registers 5,000 times the level of radiation considered “safe”. He knows where to place the blame. “There can be no reasonable doubt about this,” Rokke told Australian journalist John Pilger. “As a result of heavy metal and radiological poison of DU, people in southern Iraq are experiencing respiratory problems, kidney problems, cancers. Members of my own team have died or are dying from cancer.”

Depleted uranium has a half-life of more than 4 billion years, approximately the age of the Earth. Thousand of acres of land in the Balkans, Kuwait and southern Iraq have been contaminated forever. If George Bush Sr., Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Bill Clinton are still casting about for a legacy, there’s a grim one that will stay around for an eternity.

This article is adapted from Been Brown So Long, It Looked Like Green to Me.   https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/07/cancer-as-weapon-of-mass-destruction-poppy-bushs-radioactive-war-on-iraq/

 

December 10, 2018 Posted by | environment, health, Iraq, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Link between 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and thyroid cancer cases

December 4, 2018 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Thyroid cancer impact on children and teens following Fukushima nuclear accident

More than 3,600 people died from causes such as illness and suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy. OVER 180 TEENAGERS and children have been found to have thyroid cancer or suspected cancer following the Fukushima nuclear accident, new research has found. 

A magnitude 9.0 quake – which struck under the Pacific Ocean on 11 March 2011 – and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage in Japan and took the lives of thousands of people……..

Cancer concerns 

The accident at the nuclear power station in 2011 has also raised grave concerns about radioactive material released into the environment, including concerns over radiation-induced thyroid cancer.

Ultrasound screenings for thyroid cancer were subsequently conducted at the Fukushima Health Management Survey.

The observational study group included about 324,000 people aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident. It reports on two rounds of ultrasound screening during the first five years after the accident.

Thyroid cancer or suspected cancer was identified in 187 individuals within five years – 116 people in the first round among nearly 300,000 people screened and 71 in the second round among 271,000 screened.

The overwhelming common diagnosis in surgical cases was papillary thyroid cancer – 149 of 152 cases.

Worker death

In May, Japan announced for the first time that a worker at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has died after being exposed to radiation, Japanese media reported.

The man aged in his 50s developed lung cancer after he was involved in emergency work at the plant between March and December 2011, following the devastating tsunami.

The Japanese government has paid out compensation in four previous cases where workers developed cancer following the disaster, according to Jiji news agency.

However, this was the first time the government has acknowledged a death related to radiation exposure at the plant, the Mainichi daily reported.

The paper added the man had worked mainly at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and other atomic power stations nationwide between 1980 and 2015.

Following the disaster, he was in charge of measuring radiation at the plant, and he is said to have worn a full-face mask and protective suit.

He developed lung cancer in February 2016. https://www.thejournal.ie/thyroid-cancer-fukushima-nuclear-4364292-Dec2018/

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, health | 1 Comment