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Schoolchildren around the world “on strike” demanding action on climate change

‘Fridays for future’ marches for climate change going global | DW News

It’s our time to rise up’: youth climate strikes held in 100 countries https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/15/its-our-time-to-rise-up-youth-climate-strikes-held-in-100-countries Sandra LavilleMatthew Taylorand Daniel Hurst, Sat 16 Mar 2019 

School and university students continue Friday protests to call for political action on crisis  From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike.

The event was embraced in the developing nations of India and Uganda and in the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change – as tens of thousands of schoolchildren and students in more than 100 countries went on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency. Continue reading

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March 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change | Leave a comment

Changes in Congenital Anomaly Incidence in West Coast and Pacific States (USA) after Arrival of Fukushima Fallout 

https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VuSFAXQrkCs.twitter  Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:336KB) PP. 76-89    [multiple references supplied]

ABSTRACT

Radioactive fallout after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown entered the U.S. environment within days; levels of radioactivity were particularly elevated in the five western states bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation exposure, and the ability of radioisotopes to attach to cells, tissues, and DNA raise the question of whether fetuses/newborns with birth defects with the greater exposures suffered elevated harm during the period after the meltdown. We compare rates of five congenital anomalies for 2010 and 2011 births from April-November. The increase of 13.00% in the five western states is significantly greater than the 3.77% decrease for all other U.S. states combined (CI 0.030 – 0.205, p < 0.008). Consistent patterns of elevated increases are observed in the west (20 of 21 comparisons, 6 of which are statistically significant/borderline significant), by state, type of birth defect, month of birth, and month of conception. While these five anomalies are relatively uncommon (about 7500 cases per year in the U.S.), sometimes making statistical significance difficult to achieve, the consistency of the results lend strength to the analysis, and suggest fetal harm from Fukushima may have occurred in western U.S. states.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | children, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Eight Years on, Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Still Poses Health Risks

https://havanatimes.org/?p=149927  March 9, 2019 By Akio Matsumura HAVANA TIMES – On March 11, we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. To an outside observer, this anniversary passes as a technical progress report, a look at new robot, or a short story on how lives there are slowly returning to normal.

Yet in Japan, the government has not figured out how to touch or test the irradiated cores in the three crippled reactors, which continue to contaminate water around the site of the melt down. The government does not know where it will put that radioactive material once it can find a way to move it.

Meanwhile, the government and site operator are running out of room to store the contaminated water, which is filling up more and more tanks. The cleanup is estimated to take forty years and the cost is estimated at $195 billion.

The latest publicly released findings of radiation levels are from 2017, when Tokyo Electric Power Company had to use a remote-controlled robot to detect the levels in Reactor 2, since no human can approach the crippled reactor.

The rates read 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the March 2011 meltdown. We have no reason to believe that they have fallen since then. Remote-control robots are being used in the other reactors as well, indicating that radiation levels are similarly high there.

Even using the robot, work can only be carried out for very short times, since the robots can only stand 1000 sieverts of exposure – less than two hours in this case.

This is an extremely high amount of radiation. After TEPCO published the rate, the Asahi Shimbun reported that “an official of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.”

The Japan Times quoted Dr. Fumiya Tanabe, an expert on nuclear safety, who said that the “findings show that both the preparation for and the actual decommissioning process at the plant will likely prove much more difficult than expected.”


Fukushima’s Children Need International Attention

There have been many victims of this disaster. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. Local fishermen are worried that the government will proceed with its plan to dump the storage tanks of contaminated water into the ocean.

Others worry that the flow of the radioactive wind and contaminated water are reaching North America and will continue to do so for the next forty years.

Above all of these important issues, it is the children of Fukushima who most need our attention. They are at risk of higher rates of cancer because of their exposure to the contamination from the initial explosion. In Chernobyl, the only comparable case we have, more than 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer were found in children according to the UN through 2005.

There is evidence that thyroid cancer rates are higher among Fukushima’s children than the national population, but it is a latent disease: it is still too early to tell what the full impact will be. But it is clear the case needs action.

Scientists will always offer different opinions, swayed first by uncertainty, but also, sadly, by politics, money, and ambition.

Some will claim that the evidence has been exaggerated, underestimated, or that perhaps we’re at too early a stage to be certain. Or that we need more time to clarify the results. I have seen many instances of these arguments at the United Nations and international science conferences. Why do we wait and make another mistake?

Helen Caldicott, a medical doctor and founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, part of a larger umbrella group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, wrote: “The truth is that most politicians, businessmen, engineers and nuclear physicists have no innate understanding of radiobiology and the way radiation induces cancer, congenital malformations and genetic diseases which are passed generation to generation. Nor do they recognize that children are 20 times more radiosensitive than adults, girls twice as vulnerable as little boys and fetuses much more so.”

UNICEF Can Lead

We face many complex challenges of climate change, poverty alleviation, and national security. The health and welfare of children must always be our top priority. They are our future; our deepest purpose is to care and provide for them. By deciding not to fully investigate the effects of Fukushima, we fail them.

We all agree with that personally, but which institution is best positioned to carry out the mission? To me, UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is the only answer. Indeed, putting children above national security is at UNICEF’s core.

Maurice Pate, an American humanitarian and businessman who joined UNICEF at its inception in 1947, agreed to serve as the Executive Director upon the condition that UNICEF serves the children of “ex-enemy countries, regardless of race or politics.” In 1965, at the end of Pate’s term, the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize.

To this day, its mission includes a commitment to “ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.” The children of Fukushima deserve the protection of UNICEF.
——
*Akio Matsumura is also the Secretary General of the Global Forum Moscow Conference hosted by President Gorbachev at the Kremlin in 1990 as well as of the Parliamentary Earth Summit Conference hosted by Brazil National Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 1992

March 10, 2019 Posted by | children, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Rising temperatures threaten health of fetuses, researchers say

March 6, 2019  By Ruth SoRelle, Texas Climate News  Climate change evokes images of people swimming out of their flooded neighborhoods, cars bumper-to-bumper as drivers flee burning homes, merciless sun that dries up rivers and lakes. However, climate change is more than these very visible disasters. Of equal or greater danger is the silent, unseen damage that may occur in the gestating fetus – damage that can last a lifetime.

In a recent article in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an international group of researchers concluded that higher temperatures caused by climate change may result in up to 7,000 additional infants with congenital heart defects in Texas and seven other representative states over an 11-year period.

The researchers combined a multi-state database of birth defects with another of population. They integrated that with maps of temperatures across the nation and projected temperature increases from 2025-2035 to predict an increase in the numbers of infants born with serious heart defects.

In Texas and Arkansas (which the researchers defined as the South), for example, they foresee as much as a 34 percent increase in newborns with certain malformations such as tetralogy of fallot (a combination of four defects that affects the flow of blood) and as much as a 35 percent increase in another type involving a hole in the wall between the heart’s chambers.

In the Northeast they predict a 38.6 percent increase in atrial septal defect (a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart). The Midwest is expected to have the highest increases of heat exposure to pregnant women, excessively hot days, heat-event frequency and heat event duration, when compared to the baseline period.

This study is a continuation of a 2018 study that first linked long duration of hot weather with heart defects, particularly in the southern and northeastern United States.

Scientists believe that when pregnant women are exposed to heat early in pregnancy, two problems can occur – fetal death or interference with the process in which cells generate new proteins, inducing severe fetal malformation. In the newer study, those problems appear associated with congenital heart defects……. http://texasclimatenews.org/?p=16061

March 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change | Leave a comment

Radioactive poisoning by the world’s military – the scandalous case of Sardinia

How paradise island Sardinia was poisoned by the world’s military | Foreign Correspondent  

 

Italian military officials’ trial ignites suspicions of links between weapon testing and birth defects in Sardinia https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-29/sardinia-military-weapons-testing-birth-defects/10759614

Key points:

  • Eight former commanders of a bombing range are before Italian courts
  • Locals living near Quirra firing range describe multiple cases of deformities and cancer as “Quirra syndrome”
  • Italy’s army has dismissed a report linking exposure to Depleted Uranium to disease suffered by the military
  • Watch the full episode on ABC iview

“She died in my arms. My whole world collapsed. I knew she was sick, but I wasn’t ready.”

Her daughter, Maria Grazia, was born on the Italian island of Sardinia with part of her brain exposed and a spine so disfigured her mother has never allowed her photo to be published.

This was only one of many mysterious cases of deformity, cancer and environmental destruction that have come to be called the “Quirra syndrome”.

Eight Italian military officers — all former commanders of the bombing range at Quirra in Sardinia — have been hauled before the courts.

It’s unprecedented to see Italian military brass held to account for what many Sardinians say is a scandalous coverup of a major public health disaster with international consequences.

Bombs and birth defects — is there a link?

In the year baby Maria Grazia was born, one in four of the children born in the same town, on the edge of the Quirra firing range, also suffered disabilities.

Some mothers chose to abort rather than give birth to a deformed child.

In her first television interview, Maria Teresa told Foreign Correspondent of hearing bombs exploding at the Quirra firing range when she was pregnant.

Enormous clouds of red dust enveloped her village.

Later, health authorities were called in to study an alarming number of sheep and goats being born with deformities.

Shepherds in the area had routinely grazed their animals on the firing range.

“Lambs were born with eyes in the back of their heads,” said veterinary scientist Giorgio Mellis, one of the research team.

“I had never seen anything like it.”

One farmer told him of his horror: “I was too scared to enter the barn in the mornings … they were monstrosities you didn’t want to see.”

Researchers also found an alarming 65 per cent of the shepherds of Quirra had cancer.

The news hit Sardinia hard. It reinforced their worst fears while also challenging their proud international reputation as a place of unrivalled natural beauty.

The military hit back, with one former commander of the Quirra base saying on Swiss TV that birth defects in animals and children came from inbreeding.

“They marry between cousins, brothers, one another,” General Fabio Molteni claimed, without evidence.

“But you cannot say it or you will offend the Sardinians.”

General Molteni is one of the former commanders now on trial.

Years of investigation and legal inquiry led to the six generals and two colonels being charged with breaching their duty of care for the health and safety of soldiers and civilians.

After repeated attempts, Foreign Correspondent was refused interviews with senior Italian military officials and the Defence Minister.

Governments earning money by renting out ranges

Sardinia has hosted the war games of armed forces from the west and other countries since sizable areas of its territory were sectioned off after World War II.

Rome is reported to make around $64,000 an hour from renting out the ranges to NATO countries and others including Israel.

Getting precise information about what has been blown up, tested or fired at the military sites and by which countries is almost impossible, according to Gianpiero Scanu, the head of a parliamentary inquiry that reported last year.

Many, including current Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta, have previously accused the Italian military of maintaining a “veil of silence”.

Speaking exclusively to the ABC, chief prosecutor for the region, Biagio Mazzeo, said he is “convinced” of a direct link between the cancer clusters at Quirra and the toxicity of the elements being blown up at the defence base.

But prosecuting the case against the military comes up against a major hurdle.

“Unfortunately, proving what we call a causality link — that is, a link between a specific incident and specific consequences — is extremely difficult,” Mr Mazzeo said.

What is being used on the bases?

A recent parliamentary inquiry revealed that 1,187 French-made MILAN missiles had been fired at Quirra.

This has focussed attention on radioactive thorium as a suspect in the health crisis.

It’s used in the anti-tank missiles’ guidance systems. Inhaling thorium dust is known to increase the risk of lung and pancreatic cancer.

Another suspect is depleted uranium. The Italian military has denied using this controversial material, which increases the armour-piercing capability of weapons.

But that’s a fudge, according to Osservatorio Militare, which campaigns for the wellbeing of Italian soldiers.

“The firing ranges of Sardinia are international,” said Domenico Leggiero, the research centre’s head and former air force pilot.

Whatever is blown up on the island’s firing ranges, it’s the fine particles a thousand times smaller than a red blood cell that are being blamed for making people sick.

These so-called “nanoparticles” are a new frontier in scientific research.

They’ve been shown to penetrate through the lung and into a human body with ease.

Italian biomedical engineer Dr Antonietta Gatti gave evidence to four parliamentary inquiries.

She has suggested a possible link between disease and industrial exposure to nanoparticles of certain heavy metals.

The World Health Organisation says a causal link is yet to be conclusively established and more scientific research needs to be done.

Dr Gatti said armaments had the potential to generate dangerous nanoparticles in fine dust because they are routinely exploded or fired at more than 3,000 degrees Celsius.

Inquiry confirms causal links

In what was labelled a “milestone”, a two-year parliamentary investigation into the health of the armed forces overseas and at the firing ranges made a breakthrough finding.

“We have confirmed the causal link between the unequivocal exposure to depleted uranium and diseases suffered by the military,” the inquiry’s head, then centre-left government MP Gianpiero Scanu, announced.

The Italian military brass dismissed the report but are now fighting for their international reputation in the court at Quirra where the eight senior officers are now on trial.

The ABC understands commanders responsible for another firing range in Sardinia’s south at Teulada could soon also face charges of negligence as police conclude a two-year investigation.

Until now the military has been accused of acting with impunity.

Perhaps their reckoning has come.

 

February 4, 2019 Posted by | children, depleted uranium, Italy, Reference, thorium | 1 Comment

Genetic effects of radiation, and other pollutants, in children of Gulf War veterans

January 29, 2019 Posted by | children, UK, weapons and war | 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

Study suggests a possible ill effect of smartphones on teenagers’ brains

RF Safe Public Awareness Campaign: Study Shows Smartphone Radiation Triggers Memory Loss In Right-handed Teenagers https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/rf-safe-public-awareness-campaign-study-shows-smartphone-radiation-triggers-memory-loss-in-right-handed-teenagers-1027737591

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire PHOENIXNov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The study titled, A Prospective Cohort Study of Adolescents’ Memory Performance and Individual Brain Dose of Microwave Radiation from Wireless Communication was published on 23 July 2018 found that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year had a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents, confirming prior results published in 2015.

Figural memory is mainly located in the right brain hemisphere, and the association with cell phone radiation exposure was more pronounced in adolescents using the mobile phone on the right side of the head. “This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations, ” said Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.

It took just one year’s worth of cell phone radiation exposure to damage the part of the brain that interprets images and shapes — and right-handed teens are worse affected.

Swiss radiation expert Martin Röösli studied the phone habits of 700 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, before making them do memory tests.

The conclusion of the study states, “Our findings for a cohort of Swiss adolescents require confirmation in other populations but suggest a potential adverse effect of RF-EMF brain dose on cognitive functions that involve brain regions most exposed during mobile phone use.”

According to John Coates, CEO of RF Safe Corporation, “RF Safe headsets with air tube technology are designed to keep potentially harmful radiation away from your head. Using an air-tube to conduct the sound to your head, there are NO electrical components conducting sound to your head. Much like a Doctors stethoscope, only an air tube is used to conduct sound to the earpiece.”

“It is important parents recognize that children have smaller brains, thinner skulls, softer brain tissue, and a higher number of rapidly dividing cells, which makes them more susceptible to damage from cell phone exposure than adults,” Coates, said.

RF Safe has a focus that supports forward progress of the wireless industry and governmental agencies in standardization for safer cell phones with a goal of accelerating the pace that cell phone users are properly informed and able to attain safer wireless technologies “at the point of sale.”

ABOUT RADIO FREQUENCY SAFE – CELL PHONE RADIATION SAFETY

RF SAFE is a world-leading provider of cell phone radiation protection accessories and informational safety data. Since 1998 RF (Radio Frequency) Safe has been dedicated to evolving the wireless industries safety standards, by engaging in the business of design, testing, manufacture, and sale of safety technologies to mitigate harmful effects of cell phone radiation.    SOURCE RF Safe  Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Young children will suffer the most from health risks of a changing climate

Children are highly vulnerable to health risks of a changing climate https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/cums-noc080618.php, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH , August 6, 2018

Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and the onus is on adults to provide the protection and care that children need, according to research by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In a paper published in PLoS Medicine, researchers set out some specific challenges associated with the impacts of climate change on the world’s 2.3 billion children and suggest ways to address their underprioritized needs.

“Because of their anatomic, cognitive, immunologic, and psychologic differences, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to climate change-related events like floods, droughts, and heatwaves than adults,” says Madeleine Thomson, PhD, a research scholar in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, faculty member at Columbia’s Earth Institute, a guest editor in PLOS One Medicine’s Special Issue on Climate Change and Health in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Because of their small surface-to-body ratio, infants and children are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and heat stress. During heat waves, children are more likely to be affected by respiratory disease, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalance, and fever. Heat waves have also been shown to exacerbate allergens and air pollution which impact children more severely than adults because of their underdeveloped respiratory and immune systems and because they breathe at a faster rate than adults.

The authors write that hotter temperatures may also expand the range of vector-borne diseases, including the Zika virus which, following the 2015 epidemic, has profoundly affected the lives of children and their families across Latin America and the Caribbean. Even children who were asymptomatic at birth may develop problems later in life.

After Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017 medical responders encountered increases in gastroenteritis, asthma exacerbations and skin infections. Children were also at increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and Dengue, as well as leptospirosis through the drinking of contaminated water. Flood waters from Hurricane Harvey a few weeks earlier dropped record breaking rain. Most of the Harvey-related toxic releases were never publicized and the long-term implications for children’s health is unknown. Studies suggest that climate change is increasing the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes and the likelihood that the severe consequences for children’s health will grow.

In rural households droughts can have significant impacts on child development through increased food insecurity and dietary changes [17]. Droughts may also contribute to conflict and forced migration in resource poor settings, thereby increasing children’s vulnerability to a wide range of health issues.

To begin to address the specific needs of children confronted with climate-change related health disasters, Thomson and colleagues are proposing the following:

  1. Establish an international consortium of experts to develop adoptable medical and behavioral protocols and to set research agendas to address the unmet child specific needs that arise from climate-related natural disasters.
  2. Develop best practice guidelines for climate-change related event planning that incorporates strategies for addressing the health-related needs of children.
  3. Fund mechanisms designed to help the most vulnerable nations prepare for and respond to climate related disasters must consider funding the development of responses that specifically address the unmet needs of children’s health.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | children, climate change | Leave a comment

Radiation from smartphones could be affecting memory performance in teenagers

Study suggests mobile phone radiation could affect teenagers’ memory performance https://www.irishnews.com/magazine/science/2018/07/20/news/study-suggests-mobile-phone-radiation-could-affect-teenagers-memory-performance-1388073/, 20 July, 2018 18:31

Radiation from smartphones could be affecting memory performance in teenagers, a new study has warned.

Scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) have found that increased exposure to mobile phones over the course of a year negatively affects the figural memory – which refers to the human ability to understand images, shapes, patterns and objects – of adolescents.

According to the researchers, youngsters who hold their phone next to their right ear are more likely to be affected as figural memory is located in the right hemisphere of the brain.

The Swiss TPH team studied nearly 700 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, looking to see if there was a link between regular exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) – which are produced by mobile phone technologies and other wireless devices – and memory performance.

They found that RF-EMF absorbed by the brain to be associated with a negative effect on figural memory performance.

Sending text messages, playing mobile games and browsing the internet were found to “cause only marginal RF-EMF exposure to the brain and were not associated with the development of memory performance”, the researchers said.

The study follows up a report in 2015 and more recent information on the absorption of RF-EMF in adolescents’ brains during different types of wireless communication device use.

Martin Roosli, head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH, said that further research is needed to rule out other factors.

He said: “For instance, the study results could have been affected by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the participant’s cognitive and behavioural state.”

While the potential effects of RF-EMF exposure to the brain is a relatively new field of scientific research, Dr Roosli advises that using headphones or turning on the phone’s loudspeaker could help reduce the exposure to RF-EMF.

He said: “It is not yet clear how RF-EMF could potentially affect brain processes or how relevant our findings are in the long-term.

“Potential risks to the brain can be minimised by using headphones or the loudspeaker while calling, in particular when network quality is low and the mobile phone is functioning at maximum power.”

The research is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

July 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Children’s eyes need protection from ultraviolet radiation

Get Your Sunglasses Out: UV-Radiation and Eye Health https://www.advancedsciencenews.com/get-your-sunglasses-out-uv-radiation-eye-health/ Bette Nijboer  July 19, 2018  

July 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

High levels of radioactive Caesium in Ukraine region around Chernobyl a threat to children

Ukrainian villages still suffering legacy of Chernobyl more than 30 years on https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uoe-uvs060718.php  UNIVERSITY OF EXETER 

Milk in parts of Ukraine has radioactivity levels up to five times over the country’s official safe limit, new research shows.

Scientists from the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter and the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology sampled cow’s milk from private farms and homes in the Rivne region, about 200km from the site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion in 1986. They found levels of radioactive caesium in milk above Ukraine’s safe limit for adults of 100 Becquerel per litre (Bq/L) at six of 14 settlements studied, and above the children’s limit of 40 Bq/L at eight sites.

The highest levels found were about 500 Bq/L – five times over the limit for adults and more than 12 times that for children.

“More than 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, people are still routinely exposed to radioactive caesium when consuming locally produced staple foods, including milk, in Chernobyl-affected areas of Ukraine,” said Dr Iryna Labunska, of Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter.

“Many people in the area we studied keep cows for milk, and children are the main consumers of that milk.

“Though the level of soil contamination in the studied areas is not extremely high, radioactive caesium continues to accumulate in milk and other foods, such that the residents of these villages are chronically exposed to radioactivity that presents health risks to almost every system in the body – especially among children.”

The researchers say that some simple protective measures could be taken to bring radiation exposure levels below limits at a cost of less than 10 euros per person per year for the 8,300 people living in the six villages with the highest contamination.

Such measures include applying a caesium binder, called Ferrocyn, to cows, mineral fertilisation of potato fields and feeding pigs with uncontaminated fodder.

The cost of this would decrease each year as radiation levels fall – but if no action is taken, the experts warn that milk contamination will continue to exceed the 100?Bq/L adult limit in parts of Ukraine until at least 2040.

“The Ukrainian government has taken some of these measures in the past, but that stopped in 2009,” Dr Labunska said.

“Government and international monitoring needs to take place, along with help for people affected by this radiation.

“This situation should also act as a warning and a reminder of just how long the legacy of nuclear accidents can be.

“Without adequate countermeasures, what may now seem a purely historical event will remain a daily reality for those communities most impacted.”

###

The paper, published in the journal Environment International, is entitled: “Current radiological situation in areas of Ukraine contaminated by the Chernobyl accident: Part 1. Human dietary exposure to Caesium-137 and possible mitigation measures.”

June 8, 2018 Posted by | children, environment, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Cancers in children near nuclear sites , and the risks to embryos

Ian Fairlie  London N8 https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n07/thomas-jones/diary  Vol. 40 No. 8 · 26 April 2018

Thomas Jones digs up Carol Barton’s research article from 2001, in which she relayed her findings that, between 1972 and 1996, the risk of child leukaemia within ten kilometres of Aldermaston and Burghfield was double the rate for the UK as a whole (LRB, 5 April). Barton was then a consultant haematologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. ‘Until the cause of cancer is fully understood, and what the part of radiation in the process could be,’ she wrote, ‘no firm measures can be taken to redress the balance.’

Research has moved on since then. More than sixty epidemiological studies worldwide have examined the incidence of cancer in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most indicate increases in leukaemia. These include the landmark 2008 KiKK study commissioned by the German government, which found relative risks of 1.6 in total cancers and 2.2 in leukaemias among infants living within five kilometres of all German NPPs.

A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain these findings. One is that the increased cancers arise from the exposure of pregnant women near NPPs to radiation. However, any theory has to account for the greater than a thousand-fold discrepancy between official estimates of radiation doses from nuclear emissions and the observed increases in cancer risk. It may be that radiation exposures from spikes in NPP radionuclide emissions are significantly larger than the averages recorded in official estimates. In addition, the risks to embryos and foetuses from radiation exposure are much greater than to adults, and the blood-forming tissues in embryos and foetuses are even more radiosensitive.

 

May 2, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, Reference | Leave a comment

United Nations report finds Chernobyl radiation has caused many cases of thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer link to Chernobyl radiation  https://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/story/5366901/thyroid-cancer-link-to-chernobyl-radiation/ Australian Associated Press, 26 Apr 18

Since the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Soviet Chernobyl reactor, one in four thyroid cancer cases has been caused by radiation in the region, UN scientists report in their first such estimate.

After reviewing various statistics and existing studies, the Vienna-based UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation said around 20,000 such cancers were registered between 1991 and 2015 in the area surrounding the reactor, which takes in all of Ukraine and Belarus, as well parts of Russia.

 This figure covers people who were younger than 18 years at the time of the nuclear accident.

“Thyroid cancer is a major problem after the Chernobyl accident and needs further investigation to better understand the long-term consequences,” UNSCEAR chairman Hans Vanmarcke said in a statement on Wednesday.

Based on limited data covering only the 1991-2005 period, UNSCEAR had previously put the total number of registered thyroid cancers in the region at 7000, but had not estimated the share that can be linked to radiation exposure.

The overall number of cases has increased nearly threefold to 20,000, not only because of radiation effects, but also because the group of people being monitored has been getting older, which has increased their natural risk of getting cancer.

In addition, the high awareness about thyroid cancer in the region and improved diagnostic methods have allowed doctors to detect a higher number of cases, UNSCEAR says in its paper.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | children, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Caring for Chernobyl’s children

Linda Walker’s healing touch,

Her Chernobyl Children’s Project UK helps the young seek respite and joy https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/04/22/healing-chernobyl-kids/, By Linda Pentz Gunter

When a deadly nuclear power plant accident spreads radiation across the world, you can’t take it back.  That contamination, from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, hit neighboring Belarus the hardest. Not only those living there at the time, but children born since, have suffered the health effects of exposure to long-lasting radioactive fallout.

The long-term solution, of course, is to rid the world of nuclear power plants, ensuring that no one need suffer from their deadly poison again. But in the short-term, solutions are also needed to help those suffering today.  That is where Linda Walker stepped in.

Linda started her charity Chernobyl Children’s Project UK in 1995, inspired by Chernobyl Children International, founded in 1991 in Ireland by Adi Roche. Linda quickly realized that in addition to bringing children from Chernobyl-affected areas to the UK for so-called “radiation vacations,” something more was needed. She decided that her group needed to be active on the ground as well, in particular in Belarus.  She has been traveling to the country on a frequent basis ever since.

CCP(UK) began with just two local groups — in Glossopdale, Derbyshire and Littleborough, Lancashire.  In the summer of 1995, the first group of children arrived for a holiday.  Before that, however,  money was raised to send a reconditioned and aid-laden ambulance to Belarus — the first of many to follow.  By the end of the year, CCP(UK) had also sent a 40-foot trailer packed with humanitarian aid to Belarus.

By 1997, Linda’s work had already received such recognition in Belarus that she was made a member of the Order of Franciska Skarina, one of the country’s highest awards.  She was one of the first foreigners to receive it and accepted it on behalf of everyone involved with the work of CCP(UK).

There was much more to come. Under Linda’s leadership, CCP(UK) has supported children’s hospices;  trained orphanage staff; and routinely delivered ambulances and humanitarian aid to Belarus. CCP (UK) runs a foster care training program which has helped to get children out of the orphanages and into local families; and organizes a major program of educational visits to the UK, supported by the Department for International Development and UNICEF.

CCP UK) has worked closely with Zhuravichi Boarding Home for children with disabilities, providing them with toys, wheelchairs and mobility aids, taking their children for an annual holiday within the country and encouraging the authorities to improve the children’s education and care.

In 2000 CCP(UK) set up a home for four young adults with physical disabilities who had grown up at Zhuravichi; two years later CCP(UK) established a foster family home in Rogachev for five young children they had taken from Zhuravichi; and in 2004 Linda and her team opened the Mayflower Centre in Gomel.  This is the first 24-hour respite care centre in Belarus and supports many families with severely disabled children, so they can continue to care for them at home.  CCP(UK) has worked for many years with an association of such families in Rogachev and helped them, with support from the British Embassy in Minsk, to set up a Centre for their children.

The recuperative holiday program for children quickly expanded from Glossopdale and Littleborough to sites around the UK.  At first the program was available only to healthy children, but Linda and her team quickly saw the benefits to two children who participated who were in remission from cancer.  From then on,  children were also invited for recuperative holidays from the Children in Trouble Minsk-based charity which supports the families of children with cancer.

Willing to learn at every step, Linda then recognized that some children who had been ill, but were now well enough to travel to her UK program, were too young to go abroad alone.  So in 1997 a new CCP(UK) initiative was established that allowed the children’s mothers to travel with them.  Linda saw that these mothers had also been through a highly stressful time as their children fought cancer, and were almost if not as much in need of a holiday as the children. The mothers dubbed this the “Dream Come True” program.

Linda and her colleague also recognized that older children are even more refreshed and rejuvenated by her recuperation vacations.  She noted that when children fall ill in their early teens, by the time they are well enough to travel, there are few charities willing to invite them. So CCP(UK) stepped in to accommodate youngsters up to 20 years old as well. For the last 20 years 18 teenagers in remission from cancer have visited the UK every year.

Today, all the children CCP brings to the UK are in remission from cancer.

Linda also saw opportunity for similar respites within Belarus itself. In 1998 she arranged for 50 children from Zhuravichi Boarding Home and 50 from Garadyets Special School who had never had the chance of a holiday before, to travel across the country to a Holiday Camp at Neman, a beautiful site on the Polish border, near to Grodno.

To support this now annual effort, Linda has encouraged specialists to lend their services, sending medical students, physiotherapists, teachers, early years workers and many others who have raised their own air fares and then given two weeks of hard work.

In a March 30, 2006 article in The Guardian, marking the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Linda reminded readers that more needs to be done to address the dreadful legacy left by the nuclear catastrophe.

“Regular visitors to Belarus cannot fail to be aware of the many health problems which, even today, seem to be more acute in the contaminated parts of the country,” she wrote.  “Twenty years on, young parents are giving birth to babies with disabilities or genetic disorders, or who develop serious diseases in their early months. But as far as we know, no research is being conducted into these issues.”

That same year, Linda was awarded a well-deserved MBE.

Linda Walker has not only called out the problems of Chernobyl.  She has come up with practical and meaningful solutions to at least alleviate some of the suffering. In doing so, she has drawn on-going attention to the terrible ravages of nuclear energy and the ever more urgent need to abolish it.

For more, see the Chernobyl Children’s Project UK website.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | children, Ukraine | Leave a comment