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The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Survivor Studies: Discrepancies Between Results and General Perception

Chris Busby published an answering to this paper. As soon as I am getting it, I will add it here below this paper.

By Bertrand R. Jordan – Unité Mixte de Recherche 7268 ADÉS, Aix-Marseille Université/Etablissement Français du Sang/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Espace éthique méditerranéen, Hôpital d’Adultes la Timone, 13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France

ABSTRACT The explosion of atom bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 resulted in very high casualties, both immediate and delayed but also left a large number of survivors who had been exposed to radiation, at levels that could be fairly precisely ascertained. Extensive follow-up of a large cohort of survivors (120,000) and of their offspring (77,000) was initiated in 1947 and continues to this day. In essence, survivors having received 1 Gy irradiation ( 1000 mSV) have a significantly elevated rate of cancer (42% increase) but a limited decrease of longevity ( 1 year), while their offspring show no increased frequency of abnormalities and, so far, no detectable elevation of the mutation rate. Current acceptable exposure levels for the general population and for workers in the nuclear industry have largely been derived from these studies, which have been reported in more than 100 publications. Yet the general public, and indeed most scientists, are unaware of these data: it is widely believed that irradiated survivors suffered a very high cancer burden and dramatically shortened life span, and that their progeny were affected by elevated mutation rates and frequent abnormalities. In this article, I summarize the results and discuss possible reasons for this very striking discrepancy between the facts and general beliefs about this situation.

THE first (and only) two A-bombs used in war were deto-nated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. Casualties were horrendous, approximately 100,000 in each city including deaths in the following days from severe burns and radiation. Although massive bombing of cities had already taken place with similar death tolls (e.g., Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo, the latter with 100,000 casualties on March 9, 1945), the devastation caused by a single bomb was unheard of and remains one of the most horrifying events in the past century. The people who had survived the explosions were soon designated as Hibakusha and were severely discrim-inated against in Japanese society, as (supposedly) carriers of (contagious?) radiation diseases and potential begetters of malformed offspring. While not reaching such extremes, the dominant present-day image of the aftermath of the Hiroshima/ Nagasaki bombings, in line with the general perception of radiation risk (Ropeik 2013; Perko 2014), is that it left the sites heavily contaminated, that the survivors suffered very serious health consequences, notably a very high rate of cancer and other debilitating diseases, and that offspring from these sur-vivors had a highly increased rate of genetic defects. In fact, the survivors have been the object of massive and careful long-term studies whose results to date do not support these conceptions and indicate, instead, measurable but limited det-rimental health effects in survivors, and no detectable genetic effects in their offspring. This Perspectives article does not provide any new data; rather, its aim is to summarize the results of the studies undertaken to date, which have been published in more than 100 papers (most of them in interna-tional journals), and to discuss why they seem to have had so little impact beyond specialized circles.

Bombings and Implementation of Cohort Studies

Characteristics of the bombs and the explosions

 

1.jpg

Figure 1 Number of solid cancers ob-served up to 1998 in the exposed group; the white portion indicates the excess cases associated with radiation (compar-ison with the unexposed group). Data are from Preston et al. (2007).

The device used at Hiroshima was based on enriched uranium and exploded at an altitude of 600 m with an estimated yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of high explosive. The bomb at Nagasaki was based on plutonium and exploded at 500 m with a yield of 21 kilotons. The major effect of both bombs was an extreme heat and pressure blast accompanied by a strong burst of gamma radiation and a more limited burst of neutrons. The heat blast set the (mostly wooden) buildings on fire in a radius of several kilometers and resulted in an extensive fire-storm centered on the explosion site (also called the hypocen-ter). People were exposed to the combined heat and radiation blasts, with little shielding from the buildings; most of those located within 1.5 km of the hypocenter were killed. The contribution of fallout from these explosions, which occurred mostly as “black rain” in the following days, is not precisely known: few measurements were taken due to scarcity of equipment, and investigations in the first months were per-formed by the US army and subsequently classified. It was probably limited: the bombs exploded at a significant altitude, the resulting firestorm carried the fission products into the high atmosphere, and the eventual fallout was spread over a large area. In addition, a strong typhoon occurred 2 weeks after the bombings and may have washed out much of the materiel. The major health effects (other than the heat blast and accompanying destruction) were almost certainly due to the gamma and neutron radiation from the blasts themselves, and these doses can be quite reliably estimated from the dis-tance to the hypocenter. Thus studies on the survivors can ascertain the health effects of a single, fairly well-defined dose of gamma radiation with a small component from neutrons.

The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation

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November 4, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , , | 6 Comments

Radiation has affected Fukushima’s monkeys: smaller bodies, smaller brains, anaemia

Forbes 30th Oct 2017, Fukushima City is 50 miles northeast of the Fukushima-Daiichi Power Plant, so the radiation levels have been lower there than in the restricted areas, now reopening, that are closer to the plant. Hayama was unable to test monkeys in the most-contaminated areas, but even 50 miles from the plant,he has documented effects in monkeys that are associated with radiation.

He compared his findings to monkeys in the same area before 2011 and to a control population of monkeys in Shimokita Peninsula, 500 miles to the north. Hayama’s findings have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature.

Among his findings: Smaller Bodies — Japanese monkeys born in the path of fallout from the Fukushima meltdown weigh less for their height than monkeys born in the same area before the March, 2011 disaster, Hayama said. “We can see that the monkeys born from mothers who were exposed are showing low body weight in relation to their height, so they are smaller,” he said.

Smaller Heads And Brains — The exposed monkeys have smaller bodies overall, and their heads and
brains are smaller still. “We know from the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that embryos and fetuses exposed in utero resulted in low birth weight and also in microcephaly, where the brain failed to develop adequately and head size was small, so we are trying to confirm whether this also is happening with the monkeys in Fukushima,” Hayama said.

Anemia
— The monkeys show a reduction in all blood components: red blood cells,
white blood cells, hemoglobin, and the cells in bone marrow that produce
blood components.    https://forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/10/30/three-ways-radiation-has-changed-the-monkeys-of-fukushima-a-warning-for-humans/#49c032266237

November 4, 2017 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution finds radioactivity from 9146-1958 nuclear bomb tests is still lingering

The WHOI research team also compared the radioactive contamination at the Marshall Islands to the contamination found today near Fukushima in Japan in the aftermath of the Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster.  “In contrast to Fukushima, where cesium is the most abundant radionuclide of concern, in these atolls, the focus should be on plutonium, given its significantly high levels,” said WHOI radiochemist Ken Buesseler.  

Radioactivity Lingers from 1946-1958 Nuclear Bomb Tests http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/radioactivity-lingers-from-1946-1958-nuclear-bomb-tests   Scientists sample remote Pacific atolls with new tools to measure ongoing releases, OCTOBER 30, 2017

Scientists have found lingering radioactivity in the lagoons of remote Marshall Island atolls in the Pacific Ocean where the United States conducted 66 nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

Radioactivity levels  at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls were extensively studied in the decades after the testing ended, but there has been relatively little work conducted there recently. A team of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reported that levels of radioactive cesium and plutonium have decreased since the 1970s, but these elements continue to be released into the Pacific Ocean from seafloor sediments and lagoon waters.

The levels of plutonium are 100 or more times higher in lagoon waters compared to the surrounding Pacific Ocean and about two times higher for a radioactive form of cesium. Despite these enrichments, they do not exceed U.S. and international water quality standards set to protect human health, the scientists reported Oct. 30, 2017, in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

To determine the source of these radionuclides in lagoon waters, the WHOI scientists measured the amounts and flow of radioactive material entering the ocean from groundwater seeping from the islands. They found that groundwater was a relatively low source of radioactivity.

In particular, they found that radioactive groundwater was not leaking much from beneath one suspected potential source: the Runit Dome on the island of Runit—a massive 350-foot-wide concrete lid that covers 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil and debris that were bulldozed into a bomb crater and sealed over. It was constructed in the late 1970s by the U.S. government to contain contaminated waste from the nuclear tests. The bottom of the Runit Dome is not lined and below sea level, so scientists and others have been concerned that tidal action could move water through the buried radioactive material and bring it out to sea.

“The foundations of these island atolls are ancient coral reefs that have the porosity of Swiss cheese, so groundwater and any mobilized radioactive elements can percolate through them quite easily,” said WHOI geochemist Matt Charette. Though that does not seem to be happening now, the scientists advise that the Runit Dome area should be continuously monitored as sea level rises and the dome deteriorates.

Using isotopes of plutonium that act like a fingerprint to pinpoint sources, the WHOI scientists found that the seafloor sediments around Runit Island seem to be contributing about half of the plutonium to the lagoon.  “Additional studies examining how radioactive plutonium moves through the environment would help elucidate why this small area is such a large source of radioactivity,” Buesseler said.

The WHOI scientists who conducted the study and wrote the report included Ken Buesseler, Matthew Charette, Steven Pike, Paul Henderson, and Lauren Kipp. They sailed to the islands aboard the research vessel Alucia on an expedition funded by the Dalio Explore Fund.

The team collected sediments from the lagoon with poster tube-sized collectors that were inserted by divers into the seafloor’s sediments, filled with mud, capped. Back in WHOI laboratories, the cores were sliced into layers and analyzed to reveal a buried record of local fallout from the nuclear tests. The scientists also collected and analyzed samples of lagoon waters .

On the islands, they collected groundwater samples from cisterns, wells, beaches, and other sites. They analyzed these samples for the levels of radioactive cesium and plutonium from weapons tests. For the first time on these islands, the scientists also measured isotopes of radium, a naturally occurring radioactive “tracer” that give scientists key information to determine how much and how fast groundwater flows from land into the ocean.

The WHOI research team also compared the radioactive contamination at the Marshall Islands to the contamination found today near Fukushima in Japan in the aftermath of the Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster.  “In contrast to Fukushima, where cesium is the most abundant radionuclide of concern, in these atolls, the focus should be on plutonium, given its significantly high levels,” said WHOI radiochemist Ken Buesseler.

The U.S. conducted 66 nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1958 at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls, each a ring of low-lying reef islands that surrounds a larger lagoon. Bikini has 26 islands; Enewetak had 42 islands, but three were bombed out of existence. They became known as the western part of the “U.S. Pacific Proving Grounds.”

Bikini and Enewetak are among 29 atolls that make up the Republic of the Marshall Islands, located in the equatorial Pacific, about 2,500 miles west of Hawaii. The collective land area of the thousands of small islands is equivalent to the area of Washington, D.C. but they are spread across an ocean area that exceeds the size of Alaska.

The work holds particular significance to the atolls’ indigenous populations which were evacuated before the tests and thus far have only been allowed to return to one small island in the Enewtak Atoll.

This research was funded by the Dalio Foundation and the Dalio Explore Fund.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | OCEANIA, radiation, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump administration set to unravel protection rules on ionising radiation?

EPA Says Higher Radiation Levels Pose ‘No Harmful Health Effect’Bloomberg, By Ari Natter, 

  • Trump administration guidelines may be  prelude to easier rules
In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels. The EPA’s determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama.
It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say. “It’s really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe,” said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s program on environmental and nuclear policy.
“The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/epa-says-higher-radiation-levels-pose-no-harmful-health-effect

October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

America’s EPA now deliberately obscuring the truth on ionising radiation and health

Trump EPA Questioning Science on Radiation Safety, Non-Profit Watchdog Warns https://www.districtsentinel.com/trump-epa-questioning-science-radiation-safety-non-profit-watchdog-warns/

  by Sam Knight Environmental regulators are telling local officials that it’s okay for the public to be exposed to radiation equivalent to “5,000 chest x-rays,” according to critics.

The EPA issued a public guidance in September, advising local officials to respond to a possible nuclear emergency by claiming that 5,000-10,000 millirems exposure “usually result[s] in no harmful health effects.” The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) said past studies funded by the US government declared that level to be highly carcinogenic.

“National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and EPA itself, have long estimated that 10,000 millirems could be expected to induce excess cancers in every 86th person exposed,” PEER said on Monday.

The non-profit criticized the agency for failing to cite which “radiation safety experts” it used to justify the declaration.

The EPA also didn’t say how long a human should be safe, when exposed to radiation at the 5,000-10,000 millirem range. It did note, however, that 75,000 millirem exposure “in a short amount of time (usually minutes too hours)” can cause acute radiation sickness.

“Although cancer has been associated with high doses of radiation received over short periods of time, the cancers usually do not appear for many years, even decades,” the guidance noted, ominously.

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said the threshold cited by the agency could lead to a dangerous hands-off approach, should catastrophe strike.

“This signals that in the event of a Fukushima-type accident EPA will allow public consumption of radiation-contaminated drinking water for months,” Ruch said.

“Dr. Strangelove is alive and lurking somewhere in the corridors of EPA,” he added.

PEER noted that it is planning on suing the EPA to challenge the legality of the radiation exposure claims. The group said that the guidance violates the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The agency advice on radiation exposure–a supplement to a “Protective Action Guide”–was crafted, in its own words, “to help emergency planners prepare public communications prior to and during” radiological and nuclear emergencies.

In January, just before President Obama left office, the EPA issued the initial Protective Action Guide. It set the allowable threshold for the general population at 500 millirems, and the threshold for babies, children, and pregnant and nursing women at 100 millirems.

“Some commenters…believe the proposed PAG was too conservative and that EPA should consider establishing the PAG in the 2,000 to 10,000 [millirem] range,” the agency said in January, in the Federal Register.

PEER was critical of these limits, reacting to them by saying they also violated Safe Drinking Water Act rules.

“For decades, EPA had taken the position that ‘There is no known safe amount of radiation,’” the watchdog said on Monday.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | environment, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Are the remains of an experimental reactor buried on the Niagara Falls storage site?

A wide range of radioactive material was dumped cavalierly on site during the Second World War and the decades that followed: plutonium, uranium, thorium, cesium, polonium, strontium, and other dangerous materials. On site today, buried with that steel ball, is what is assumed to be irradiated graphite and almost 4,000 tons of radioactive radium-226, the largest repository in the western hemisphere, representing a staggering quantity of radiation.

—isotopes of plutonium, uranium, cesium, polonium, and other elements that are produced only inside nuclear reactors and by nuclear explosions—

It was known as the Radiological Warfare, or RW, program, and under its auspices scientists studied what materials could best be weaponized, what health consequences they would have on an enemy,

The Bomb That Fell On Niagara: The Sphere Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v7n39 (09/24/2008), by Geoff Kelly & Louis Ricciuti

Are the remains of an experimental reactor buried on the Niagara Falls storage site?

This is going to seem complicated and take a long way to get where it’s going. So here’s the gist, right upfront: Possibly, in Lewiston, are buried the remnants of an experimental nuclear reactor dating from the 1940s. This reactor would have been part of a secret program to weaponize poisonous materials—a program with roots in the study of poison gases in the First World War and whose culmination is found today in the use of depleted uranium munitions around the world.

Sure, it sounds like a plot inspired by Dr. Strangelove. But read on.

Amid the radioactive slurry and scrap interred in the 10-acre interim containment facility at the Niagara Falls Storage Site in Lewiston is a curiosity: a hollow industrial steel ball, 38 feet in diameter.

You won’t find that house-sized steel ball on any waste materials manifest, at least not on any manifest released to the public by the US Army Corp of Engineers, which is the site’s caretaker, or the US Department of Energy, which owns the site and the hazardous waste buried there.

The ball exists in aerial photographs taken of the site in the mid 1940s, however, and it appears to have been rediscovered in a 2002 electric resistivity underground imaging study performed by defense contracting giant SAIC.

In those aerial photos, the ball sits some distance from the main cluster of buildings; the nearest structure is a concrete silo, which eventually became a receptacle for high-energy radium wastes, a legacy of local industry’s central role in the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Energy Commission, which produced the first atomic bombs.

The Army Corps say there is no documentary record of the ball having been removed from the site. And the 2002 electric imaging scans suggest that a steel sphere, 38 feet in diameter, just like the one in the photos, is buried about a quarter mile from the ball’s original location, on the developed portion of a vast, former federal reservation called the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works. The LOOW came online officially in 1942, a 7,500-acre facility cobbled together from farm fields by the Department of War. Its initial use, according to the site’s official history, was a TNT factory. That factory closed, however, after nine months, at the height of the Second World War. The factory and all its infrastructure—miles of massive pipes, a water and power grid sufficient to sustain a city of 100,000 people, dozens of industrial buildings—were declared surplus.

The LOOW’s actual uses have been a mystery, whose plots and subplots have been revealed slowly and grudgingly by an unforthcoming federal government. ……..

Various sectors of the vast compound became dumping grounds for toxic radiological and chemical waste produced in Niagara Falls factories, as well as laboratories and reactors nationwide, working first on the atom bomb project and later on other Atomic Energy Commission and defense- and intelligence-related projects. A wide range of radioactive material was dumped cavalierly on site during the Second World War and the decades that followed: plutonium, uranium, thorium, cesium, polonium, strontium, and other dangerous materials. On site today, buried with that steel ball, is what is assumed to be irradiated graphite and almost 4,000 tons of radioactive radium-226, the largest repository in the western hemisphere, representing a staggering quantity of radiation.

Beginning in 1980, these wastes—originally dumped in open pools, seeping out of corroded barrels, or just piled on open ground—were consolidated by the DOE into a temporary containment structure on the 119-acre Niagara Falls Storage Site.

The existence on the LOOW of particularly exotic transuranics (that is, above uranium on the periodic table) and fission materials—isotopes of plutonium, uranium, cesium, polonium, and other elements that are produced only inside nuclear reactors and by nuclear explosions—has begged an explanation for decades. The Army Corps says that these transuranics and fission materials arrived at the LOOW with waste from the Navy’s Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory near Schenectady. But the waste from Knolls doesn’t explain all the transuranics and fission materials found on the LOOW, according to some experts, and it doesn’t explain how widespread and how much.

That steel sphere buried among this collection of radiological waste suggests another, simpler explanation: Could that steel ball—a Hortonsphere, named for the inventor of the process of its fabrication—been a component in an early model of an experimental ball-and-pile reactor? One in which exotic materials were created or irradiated, all in the service of a federal weapons program that sought to find new and lethal applications of the materials created in Niagara Falls for the Manhattan Project and beyond?

“I’d have to say yes,” says Tedd Weyman, of the Uranium Medical Research Centre, based in Toronto.

Occam’s Razor

Weyman is a physicist and his group, UMRC, studies the effects of uranium, transuranium elements, and radionuclides produced by the process of uranium decay and fission. UMRC is especially interested in the health effects of depleted uranium, whether it enters the environment as a result of munitions use or as waste.

Weyman examined the aerial photographs of the ball and silo, the list of transuranics and fission materials found on site, and the electric imaging scan that seemed to show that same ball from the photos buried alongside radioactive waste. He reviewed documents that describe the history of the LOOW site and of Niagara Falls industry over the past 60 or so years: the metals and chemicals and devices created in nearby factories, the experimental programs undertaken by defense and intelligence agencies beginning in the 1940s. He considered the size of the Hortonsphere, which he said is consistent with a ball reactor, and its placement in relation to the silo, which is consistent with the pile in a ball and pile reactor—that is, the source of the reactor’s “fuel” and critical reactions.

Weyman then listened to the explanations the Army Corps offered for the ball and the transuranics and fission products: that the ball was used to store anhydrous ammonia used in making TNT and the transuranics and fission products came from Knolls. He concluded that an on-site reactor was a far simpler explanation.

“They’re fission products,” Weyman says of the residues found on site…..

On the subject of the history of the LOOW site and the environmental dangers it poses, the Army Corps has been less than reliable when discussing the documentary evidence. In 2000, for example, when offered evidence that plutonium-tainted waste from medical experiments conducted at the University of Rochester had been buried on the LOOW site, the Corps denied such evidence existed. Eventually, they allowed both that the evidence existed and that the plutonium-tainted waste had been found on site…….

Occam’s Razor is the principle that the simplest explanation is most often the correct one. There’s that anomaly, exactly the diameter of the ball in question, which is exactly the size and manufacture of a ball reactor vessel. It is interred alongside radioactive waste. It originally sat near a silo, which once stored radioactive waste; a 1944 photo of the site looks like a photo of a ball and pile reactor of that era. And there are transuranics and fission materials buried nearby, as well as irradiated graphite, whose nature, quantity, and location aren’t completely explained by the Knolls hypothesis.

“If it quacks, is it not a duck?” Weyman says. “It’s quacking pretty loud.”……….

It was known as the Radiological Warfare, or RW, program, and under its auspices scientists studied what materials could best be weaponized, what health consequences they would have on an enemy, how best to deliver and disperse radioactive materials to a battle zone, and how much to use. This research was more secretive, but here too the expertise of local industries proved valuable. In a brochure from the postwar era, Bell Aircraft (later Bell Aerospace) bragged of its research in area weapons: that is, devices that disperse materials across a battlefield. Niagara Sprayer (a.k.a. FMC, the Middleport company that manufactured Agent Orange) created specialized compounds and nozzles for spraying agricultural metals, powders, and insecticides.

And over at the LOOW site, there was a mammoth federal reserve on which exotic radioactive wastes were accumulating.

Bob Nichols, the San Francisco-based writer who came to the same conculsion as Weyman about the ball buried on the NFSS, specializes in the history of this second track of research. He draws a straight line that connects the radiological warfare program to American research into poison gases, such as mustard gas and chlorine gas (both of which were produced in Niagara County), during the First World War; that line passes through the Manhattan Project along the way, and continues to the present-day use of depleted uranium munitions, which release a cloud of poisonous ceramicized uranium particles as a form of gas when they vaporize on impact.

Nichols explains that the first track—the building of more and better nuclear weapons—created vast stores of radiological waste materials. “The question back then was what on earth to do with it,” he said………

Whatever took place on the former LOOW site in the first decades of the Cold War may have evolved and—like so many local industries—moved away. But its legacy is in the dirt, air, and water. It’s interred under that clay cap. It’s in the region’s higher-than-expected rates of cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. History should matter to the Corps as much as it matters to those who live in its aftermath.

For more documents and photographs related to the article, visit AV Daily at Artvoice.com. http://artvoice.com/issues/v7n39/the_sphere.html

October 16, 2017 Posted by | history, radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Essential for the public to know about the hazards of RADON

In the face of multiple environmental hazards and issues radon often gets overlooked, partially because radon is what one can call a silent killer

Educating the public about radon and their ill effects and ways of preventing it is a must as there is not much awareness about this in the public –despite many northern states in the USA having high concentrations. Part of this education effort involves indoor testing.

Public funding and radon poisoning, what’s the link? https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/radon-public-funding/ Morgan, Jessica | October 5, 2017 It has only been a short while since the news of drastic budget trimming on various EPA projects by President Donald Trump’s government came out; however, it is already obvious that it will have a long-term effect on the environment.

The proposed 25-30% cut in EPA’s budgets can severely affect several climate programs that were nurtured under President Obama’s rule, and many other initiatives and projects that support clean air and water. These initiatives were introduced for the well-being of the public to a large extent in the future. This move can also shut the doors for the Indoor Air Radon Program and State Indoor Radon Grants.

The main goal of the Indoor Air Radon Program is minimizing and preventing radon-related lung cancer nationally. The EPA provides grant funds to States and tribes. These funds help finance their radon risk reduction programs. The recipients of the funds must provide a minimum of 40% in matching funds. The SIRG or States Indoor Radon Grant funds are however not available to individuals or homeowners.

The SIRG program was started in 1988 and has been consistent in supporting the State efforts to reduce Radon exposure-related health risks. The SIRG program from time to time has been revising the SIRG guidance by removing the obsolete administrative and technical guidance and updating with latest modifications that address a renewed emphasis on program priorities, documenting results, and results reporting.

Those who receive funds from SIRG are expected to follow the agency’s strategic goals and all their projects and activities must be aligned accordingly. The strategic goals include,

  • Local government to adopt building codes that require radon-reducing features and initiate those building new homes to add these radon-reducing features where appropriate.
  • Have real estate dealers test the property for radon exposure before striking a deal. Also, have homeowners test their homes for radon exposure and have it fixed.
  • Have existing school buildings check for radon exposure and get it fixed appropriately. Building new schools with radon-reducing features.
  • Conducting projects and activities that bring awareness to the public about the above three strategies which include promoting action by consumers, real estate professionals, state and local building code officials, schools officials, non-profit public health organizations,  professional organizations partnerships.

Cutting down the EPA budget can directly affect the SIRG program as it is essential to continue the State radon programs. With the budget cut down, SIRG cannot run an effective program.

In the face of multiple environmental hazards and issues radon often gets overlooked, partially because radon is what one can call a silent killer. It is a gas which is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. When radium or uranium present in the soil, rock, or water breaks down or decays, it releases radon. Radon itself does not cause any harmful effects as it travels to the surface of the ground and dilutes in the air outdoors. The problem is when the gas accumulates indoor in a building it might not have room for an escape of dilution and further decays –radon can enter a house through cracks in foundations, floors, well water, etc. The decayed radon creates radon progeny, which are radioactive particles that attach to dust particles indoors. When a person inhales this radioactive gas, it can damage the cells in the lung tissue and leads to lung cancer.

Usually there will be two copies of DNA repair enzymes in many people that can repair the damage; however, a few less fortunate people may have just one copy of these DNA repair enzymes which might not be sufficient enough to repair the damages and can lead to lung cancer. This is the reason why even though an entire family is living in a radon-exposed environment, only one or two might be affected by it.

Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air, and the recommended level is 4 pCi/L. In comparison, the outdoor level of radon is just 0.4 pCi/L. If a house or a building has radon above the recommended levels then proper actions need to be taken. Modern technology is able to bring down the radon level indoors to 2 pCi/L or lower.

Educating the public about radon and their ill effects and ways of preventing it is a must as there is not much awareness about this in the public –despite many northern states in the USA having high concentrations. Part of this education effort involves indoor testing. There are short term tests that last for 90 days as well as long-term tests that last for more than 90 days to confirm the levels. There are also test kits available. If it is confirmed that your home is exposed to radon, mitigation steps can be taken by professional contractors who have expertise in this field. The contractor will gauge your house and recommend the exact mitigation system that your house will need. There are different methods like soil suction which involves sub-slab suction, sump holds suction, drain tile suction, and block wall suction. Other methods are heat recovery ventilators, home pressurization, well water aeration, sealing radon entry locations, etc.

Reductions in federal funding for the Indoor Air Radon Program and States Indoor Radon Grant hamstrings many of the radon risk reduction and education programs, raising the likelihood that low-income households will not be able to afford testing and mitigation.  Whether your government supports you or not, you can learn more about the harmful risks of radon and the steps you can take to make your house safer for you and your family. To learn more about radon, go through this infographic from PropertEco which explains about radon gas and its ill effects.


The MAHB Blog is a venture of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. Questions should be directed to joan@mahbonline.org

MAHB Blog: https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/radon-public-funding/

October 7, 2017 Posted by | politics, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

12 year study on children’s teeth led to stopping of atmospheric nuclear bomb tests

The analysis revealed a spike in strontium-90 levels in children born between 1954 and 1955. This coincided with a period of extensive nuclear testing that started in 1953. Among these children, strontium-90 levels were also found to be higher in those who were bottle-fed compared to those who were breastfed.

This observation further emphasized that the children were absorbing the radioactive element from the environment — picture acres of dairy farms showered with rain that has just passed through kilometers of atmosphere containing radioactive dust.

Experiments explained: Baby Tooth Survey  In June 1963, shortly after publishing the first phase of the study, Dr. Eric Reiss, one of the main participating scientists, presented the findings in testimony before the American Senate committee. Two months later, the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain was signed. This agreement prevented countries from performing test detonations of nuclear weapons, except for those conducted underground.

During a second phase of the study, a 50 per cent decline in strontium-90 was seen in children born in 1968, thanks in part to the PTBT that Franklin and her team helped bring about.


Ursula Franklin’s contributions to reforming the regulation of nuclear weapons, Varsity,   https://thevarsity.ca/2017/09/25/experiments-explained-baby-tooth-survey/ 
By Farah Badr,

 ZAHRA DANAEI/THE VARSITY, Humanity has been fundamentally transformed by the discovery of nuclear radiation and radioactive chemical elements. Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium in the late 1890s, following Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity. Since then, World War I has led to the advent of the first X-ray machine, which treated injured soldiers, and World War II has brought upon the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Not long after, scientists began collecting radioactive baby teeth on American land: the unexpected aftermath of harnessing the unprecedented power of nuclear radiation.

One of those scientists was Ursula Franklin, the first female to receive the University Professor distinction at U of T in 1984. Franklin was an academic, an educator, a prolific writer, a highly vocal and active pacifist and feminist, but also held the lesser known titles of metallurgist, archaeometrist, practicing Quaker, and Holocaust survivor.

It is perhaps the result of her impactful social activism and visionary writings on war, globalism, social justice, and technology that some attention has been drawn away from Franklin’s scientific achievements.

One such accomplishment was a high-profile study that started in 1958. In collaboration with a number of scientists, Franklin investigated the impact of ground nuclear weapon testing, which had begun in the early 1940s in prelude to the attack on Japan at the end of World War II. Radioactive elements, one of which was strontium-90, had been released for the first time into the environment due to this nuclear weapon testing. Strontium-90 chemically resembles the important nutritional element calcium, leading to its incorporation along with calcium into the bones and teeth of developing unborn babies, which continues even after their birth.

Over the course of the 12-year study, the team collected more than 300,000 shed baby teeth, mostly from children in St. Louis, Missouri. The researchers incinerated and pulverized the teeth before extracting and analyzing its composite minerals.

The analysis revealed a spike in strontium-90 levels in children born between 1954 and 1955. This coincided with a period of extensive nuclear testing that started in 1953. Among these children, strontium-90 levels were also found to be higher in those who were bottle-fed compared to those who were breastfed.

This observation further emphasized that the children were absorbing the radioactive element from the environment — picture acres of dairy farms showered with rain that has just passed through kilometers of atmosphere containing radioactive dust.

In June 1963, shortly after publishing the first phase of the study, Dr. Eric Reiss, one of the main participating scientists, presented the findings in testimony before the American Senate committee. Two months later, the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain was signed. This agreement prevented countries from performing test detonations of nuclear weapons, except for those conducted underground.

During a second phase of the study, a 50 per cent decline in strontium-90 was seen in children born in 1968, thanks in part to the PTBT that Franklin and her team helped bring about.

September 30, 2017 Posted by | children, history, radiation, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Leukemia risk increased by radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer

Radioactive Iodine Increases Risk of Thyroid Cancer Patient Developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Study Reports https://lymphomanewstoday.com/2017/09/25/study-shows-leukemia-risk-rises-when-thyroid-cancer-patients-treated-with-radioactive-iodine/ BY JANET STEWART

Using radioactive iodine as a follow-up treatment to thyroid cancer surgery increases the risk of a patient developing acute myeloid leukemia and having a poorer outcome, a study reports.

Researchers presented the findings at the Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Madrid, Sept. 8-12. The presentation was titled “Risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC) patients treated with radioactive iodine (RAI): a population-based study.”

Studies have shown that the risk of a patient with another cancer developing acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, increases after radiation.

Researchers decided to study cases of well-differentiated thyroid cancer, or WDTC, that doctors had treated either with surgery or with surgery followed by radioactive iodine. The team looked at cases in a U.S. cancer database known as Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results, or SEER.

They found 148,215 patients with WDTC diagnosed between 1973 and 2014. Fifty-five percent had had surgery alone and 45 percent surgery plus radioactive iodine, or RAI.

Forty-four patients developed acute myloid leukemia after surgery, compared with 56 who received surgery plus radioactive iodine. After adjusting for age, sex, and year of thyroid cancer diagnosis, researchers discovered that patients who had both surgery and RAI were 5.6 times more likely to develop AML than the general population, where AML occurs at a lower rate. The risk peaked in the first three years after treatment with RAI.

In addition to radioactive iodine treatment, tumor stage and patients’ age were predictors of acute myeloid leukemia.

Another finding was that the prognosis was worse for the thyroid cancer patients who developed AML after radioactive iodine therapy than for those who developed AML spontaneously. Patients treated with RAI survived a median of 1.2 years, compared with 3.5 years for those who developed AML spontaneously.

In addition, thyroid cancer patients who had surgery plus RAI, then developed AML, did not survive nearly as long thyroid cancer patients who were successfully treated and did not develop AML.

“RAI treatment is associated with an increased risk of developing AML in WDTC survivors,” the researchers wrote. “RAI-related AML has a poor survival, similarly to t-AML that arises after radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Considering young patient ages at WDTC diagnosis and high survival rates, the rates of AML in WDTC survivors are likely to continue to rise.”

September 30, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Peak contamination levels from Fukushima off North America now known

 http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52701  From: University of Victoria 
 September 29, 2017For the first time since 2011, peak contamination levels in Pacific Canadian waters from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are known, says a University of Victoria scientist who has been monitoring levels since the meltdown of three reactors at the plant.

Releases of radioactive elements from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011 were the largest unplanned discharges of radioactivity into the ocean. The disaster, triggered by a 15-metre tsunami caused by a magnitude-9 earthquake, created widespread concern over the potential impact on marine life and human health.

“Contamination from Fukushima never reached a level where it was a significant threat to either marine or human life in our neighborhood of the North Pacific,” says UVic chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen.

Continue reading at University of Victoria.

September 30, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Distance travelled by ionising radiation, if a leak occurs in North Korea’s nuclear testing

North Korea nuclear tests: How far will radiation travel if a leak occurs? https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/north-korea-nuclear-tests-how-far-would-radiation-travel-if-a-leak-occurs/70002807  By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist September 24, 2017, 

Recent earthquakes near North Korea’s nuclear test site have raised questions as to how far radioactive material would travel if an underground atomic explosion triggers a leak.

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake was detected near the test site on Saturday, according to the Associated PressThe U.S. Geological Service (USGS) registered the quake at a magnitude 3.5.

The temblor originated in the northeastern part of the county near Kilju, where a large nuclear test occurred at the beginning of September and triggered a mountain collapse.

“The quake is small enough to suspect that it could have been caused by a tunnel collapse, and satellite data shows there have been many landslides in the area since the nuclear test,” Hong Tae-kyung, a professor at the department of Earth System Sciences at Yonsei University, told the AP.

However, Korea’s Meteorological Administration believed the earthquake to be natural.

This string of earthquakes raises questions on how far the wind would carry dangerous radiation if a leak occurs.

Non-tropical systems would be the driving force for where radiation would travel. These systems generally travel in a west to east manner with some fluctuations to the north and south.

“As a weak front passes through North Korea early this week, winds around 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) will begin to pick up from the west to northwest at 20-30 mph,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

Any radiation that would be released into the atmosphere during the second half of the week would push towards northern Japan, possibly towards Hokkaido and far northern Honshu, to the north of Tokyo.

Reppert added “The only major city this would affect is Sapporo, as this would be north of Sendai.”

Any radiation would likely stay fairly close to the ground for the first day or two following a possible leak, before gradually rising higher into the atmosphere.

Beyond the passage through Japan, any possible radiation could travel close to southeastern Russia, the Aleutian Islands or head into the North Pacific Ocean away from any land masses.

This general steering flow will likely persist through the week with slight day-to-day variation.

If a leak occurs, health hazards would not only be limited to those who are outside without the proper protection.

“The big concern is the underground water will be contaminated, polluting the plants and animals, and finally the people who consume animal meat will be seriously impacted,” Wei Shijie, a former worker on nuclear weapons in China, told The Telegraph.

September 25, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, radiation | Leave a comment

Looking after Chernobyl’s radioactive puppies

The Puppies of Chernobyl

 

HUNDREDS OF RADIOACTIVE PUPPIES JUST GOT SPAYED, NEUTERED AT CHERNOBYL DISASTER SITE http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-puppies-got-spayed-and-neutered-chernobyl-year-669093, BY KATE SHERIDAN An American nonprofit organization, Clean Futures Fund, has started a spay and neuter clinic for the four-legged descendants of survivors of one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on April 26, 1986, some dogs and cats left behind survived and began to breed. More than 400 animals were spayed and neutered in the first year of the clinic’s operation at the former reactor, which ended earlier this month.

The laws governing the exclusion zone around Chernobyl strongly advise people to avoid feeding or touching the dogs, due to the risk of contamination. Not only is the dogs’ fur potentially loaded with radioactive particles, but their food and water is contaminated. The radioactive molecules they ingest may also linger in their bodies.

“We could find areas in their bones where radioisotopes had accumulated. We could survey the bones and we could see the radioactivity in them,” a Clean Futures Fund co-founder, Lucas Hixson, told Newsweek. The program funds medical treatment for locals in addition to running the spay and neuter program at the power plant and in the neighboring city.

“These dogs run through [contaminated areas] and it gets stuck on their coat and on the end of their noses and their feet.”

There are nearly 1,000 dogs in the area around the power plant. Only a few dozen cats live in the highly contaminated areas that the dogs frequent.

Hixson has been traveling to Chernobyl for about five years, initially as a radiation specialist. “I go over there expecting to do my work, and I step off the train at the power plant and there’s a dog in my face. Honestly, it was one of the last things I expected to see at Chernobyl,” he said.

To keep the veterinary hospital as free from radioactive contamination as possible, dogs that come to the facility are examined and washed down until their levels of radioactivity are deemed safe.

Despite the potential risk, Hixson said he’s continued to interact with the dogs. “There is a fair amount of handling that happens. This is a natural reaction between humans and dogs,” he said. “You can’t help yourself.”

“They’re not hazardous to your immediate health and wellbeing. But anytime you go pet the dogs, go wash your hands afterwards before you eat.”

Clean Futures Fund got approval from the Ukranian government for its operations. Other partners include SPCA International, Dogs Trust and two U.S. universities, including Worchester Polytechnic Institute and the University of South Carolina.

Hixson also noted the local workers have welcomed the team. “I remember there was a lot of skepticism when we showed up,” he said. “But after about two or three days of us catching dogs, processing them, releasing them, the attitude immediately changed,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.”

Even if every dog and cat in Chernobyl is sterilized and vaccinated, the wider stray dog issue in Ukraine means that more dogs could move into the contaminated area and Clean Futures Fund’s efforts could be somewhat for naught. Ultimately, Hixson would like to work with the Ukranian government on a wider rescue program to get the dogs out of the area and into homes.

He will be returning in November to measure the impact of the program, which is expected to run for five years. The next spay and neuter clinic will happen next summer.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Remembering America’s nuclear scientists of The Mahattan Project, those who died young because of nuclear radiation

Paul Waldon, fight to stop nuclear waste dump in flinders ranges sa, 15 Sept 17, Today the 15th of September is another red letter day in the nuclear arena, with the 72nd anniversary of the death of Haroutune Krikor “Harry” Daglian, physicist with the Manhattan Project. Harry was NOT the only person working on the project to die from “Acute Radiation Syndrome” but he was the youngest at only 24 years of age. Three members of the big four were to follow Harry to a early grave with cancer deemed to be from the radiation they were subjected to during their time on the Manhattan and other projects. The contaminated materials left over from the development of the bombs are still having a impact on life and the environment, and will continue to do so for generations. However the deaths and contamination on American soil from the development of the bombs, outnumber Japans. RIP Harry. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

September 16, 2017 Posted by | health, history, PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radioactive particles from North Korea nuclear tests now found in South Korea’s air, land and water

South Korea detects radioactive material following North Korean nuclear test, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/09/08/south-korea-detects-radioactive-material-following-north-korean-nuclear-test.html, September 08, 2017 Traces of radioactive material were detected in South Korea by the nation’s nuclear safety agency Friday, less than a week after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test.

South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission discovered trace amounts of xenon gas, a radionuclide, in an analysis of samples from the air, ground and water collected following North Korea’s nuclear test, according to Yonhap News Agency.

North Korea defied international warnings Sunday, conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. The country said it detonated a hydrogen bomb that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Thursday he expects its neighbor to launch a missile Saturday while celebrating its founding day. North Korea has already fired 21 missiles this year.

The radioactive material’s inflow is still being tracked to determine definitively if it came from the nuclear test, according to the agency.

The agency added the level of radioactive material detected in the analysis is not enough to cause any effects on South Koreans’ health.

September 9, 2017 Posted by | radiation, South Korea | 1 Comment

Ionizing radiation: Radiation protection standards need to be improved

ionizing radiation

Translated by Hervé Courtois

Doctors and scientists are warning about the health risks of ionizing radiation.

Even small doses of about 1 millisievert (mSv) increase the risk of developing radiation-induced diseases.

There is no threshold below which radiation could be considered harmless.

Summary of a meeting of experts in Ulm (Germany) on 19 October 2013

On 19 October 2013, the German and Swiss members of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) invited doctors and scientists in the fields of radiobiology, epidemiology , statistics and physics at a meeting of experts in Ulm, Einstein’s hometown. Participants discussed current knowledge about the health effects of ionizing radiation, especially in the field of low doses.

The panel concluded that a revision of current radiation protection standards is essential to reflect the current level of scientific knowledge. Ionizing radiation is capable of causing detrimental effects on health; Some can be predicted and quantified through the use of epidemiological models.

In the past, the identification of the health risks of ionizing radiation was based on studies of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. This reference group can no longer be considered appropriate in the light of the new statistical evidence. Even very low doses of radiation are likely to cause disease.

Here are the conclusions of the Ulm Symposium:

1. Even background natural radiation has detrimental effects that are measurable;

2. The use of radiation for medical diagnosis has measurable adverse health effects;

3. The use of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons tests have measurable adverse health effects;

4. The use of the collective dose concept in epidemiological studies can reliably predict and quantify the health risks of low radiation doses.

5- The use by the ICRP of basing the risk factors for low doses of radiation on the examination of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors should be considered outdated.

6. Improved radiation protection based on the notion of risk is necessary. It must be combined with the rigorous application of the minimization requirement of radiation exposure.

1. Even natural radiation has measurable adverse health effects.

Even low doses of natural radiation (terrestrial and cosmic radiation, inhaled radon and ingestion of natural radioisotopes) have adverse health effects that can be measured by epidemiological studies. It is therefore a deception to assert that exposure to radiation can be considered safe as long as it is at the level of the doses of “natural” background radiation. 1-17

2. The use of radiation for medical diagnosis has adverse health effects that are measurable

It has been shown that conventional CT scans and radiological examinations cause an increase in cancer cases (mainly breast cancer, leukemia, thyroid cancer and brain tumors). The risk is greater in children and adolescents than in adults and the embryo is the most vulnerable of all. 18-40

Limiting the use of diagnostic rays and the use of nuclear medicine to cases of absolute necessity is urgently recommended.It would be necessary to adhere to strict rules for the use of scanners and to use only CT scanners [Computed tomography = scanners called scanners -ndt] with low radiation emission. Whenever possible ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging should be preferred.

Some population groups have an increased risk of developing cancer due to exposure to radiation, for example women who have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that women with such a risk not be included in X-ray screening. 41-45

3. The use of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons tests have measurable adverse health effects

Due to the use of nuclear weapons (over 2,000 tests) and serious nuclear accidents, large quantities of radionuclides have been released and widely dispersed; They expose a large part of the world’s population to increased exposure to radiation. The epidemiological studies carried out in the populations concerned, around the Nevada and Semipalatinsk nuclear weapons test sites and in the areas affected by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters show an increase in morbidity and mortality. 46-54

Even the routine operations of nuclear power plants have adverse effects on the health of the surrounding population. Depending on the distance, an increase in cases of leukemia and other types of cancer has been observed in children under 5 years of age in the nuclear power plant environment. (Currently, the strongest evidence is in Germany, with concordant results in studies in Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.) 55-59

In workers exposed to ionizing radiations, there is a significant increase in cancer cases compared with the other groups even though the official limit dose has not been exceeded.

The health of their children is more impaired than that of other children. 60-64

Among employees of uranium mining companies and atomic weapons production sites, there is an increase in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 65-68

Leukemias and many other types of cancers have been caused by low doses of ionizing radiation, in areas with increased background radiation due to nuclear weapons tests, nuclear accidents, or medical diagnostic examinations and occupational exposure. 69-92

Following exposure to low doses of radioactive iodine, thyroid diseases including cancers have been observed in children, adolescents and adults. 93-99

In addition, low doses of ionizing radiation cause serious non-malignant diseases such as meningiomas and other benign tumors, cardiac, cerebrovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases or dysfunctions; And also psychiatric disorders and cataracts.100-113

Studies have shown that in utero and in children, brain exposure to ionizing radiation causes a decrease in cognitive development. Possible sources of radiation include, but are not limited to, diagnostic X-rays, radiotherapy and exposure to radiation due to nuclear accidents. 114-116

As a result of the nuclear accidents, teratogenic effects have been observed in both animals and humans, even in those exposed to low levels of radiation. 117-120

Some genetic effects can already be observed in the first generation of offsprings, others only appear in later generations. Late affections may be difficult to confirm.

Numerous studies have been carried out in the “dead zones” of Chernobyl and Fukushima on animals whose generations succeed one another rapidly; they showed severe genetic abnormalities related to the level of radiation in their habitat.

In humans, such abnormalities have been observed for a long time following exposure to low doses.

Transgenerational effects of radiation, that is to say genetically fixed, have often been documented, for example, in the children of the Chernobyl liquidators. 121-128. Many other studies also suggest that ionizing radiation causes long-term genetic or epigenetic damage. 129-146

4.The use of the concept of collective dose in epidemiological studies can reliably predict and quantify the health risks of low doses of radiation.

The concept of collective dose is, in the current state of knowledge, the surest way to quantitatively evaluate the stochastic risks of radiation. Significant new clinical studies confirm the linear no-threshold model; this model establishes that there is no threshold below which radiation would have no effect on health. 147,148

Using the concept of collective dose that takes into account current scientific studies, the following risk factors (excess absolute risk, EAR) should be applied:

A risk factor of 0.2 / Sv should be used to predict cancer mortality and 0.4 / Sv to predict the incidence of cancer. 149-151

The United Nations Scientific Committee for the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) still use low risk factors of 0.05 / Sv for cancer mortality and 0.1 / Sv for the incidence of cancers. However, in its 2013 assessment of health risks in Fukushima, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that ICRP risk factors should be doubled. 152

The above risk factors apply to an exposed population whose ages have a standard distribution. However, according to the ICRP, the sensitivity to ionizing radiation of young children (less than 10 years) and fetuses is three times higher than that of adults. 153-155

Risk factors for the prediction of the incidence and mortality of non-malignant diseases (non-cancerous diseases), especially cardiovascular diseases, are of the same order as those of malignant diseases. 156-157

It would be desirable for WHO and national radiation protection institutions to adopt the risk factors mentioned above as a basis for risk assessment after nuclear accidents.

5. The use by the ICRP of studies on Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors as a basis for determining the risks of low radiation doses should be considered an outdated practice.

In their studies, institutions such as the ICRP used as reference the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the prediction of the effects of radiation.

Risk prediction on this basis is not transferable to other populations exposed over a long period of time to increasing levels of radiation, for the following reasons:

The Japanese survivors were briefly exposed to high energy penetrating gamma radiation.

Radiobiological investigations have shown that such exposure is less harmful to tissues than an internal alpha or Beta irradiation following the incorporation of radionuclides.

The same applies to long-term exposure to x-rays or Gamma rays from natural or artificial sources at levels comparable to normal background radiation. 158-159

The radiation delivered by the nuclear bombs has an extremely high dose level.

Previously, it was accepted that the mutagenicity would therefore be higher in this case than for low doses. Currently, the ICRP claims that this assertion always holds and divides in its calculations the risk of developing cancers by a factor of 2.

Studies on occupationally exposed cohorts of workers contradict this assertion and WHO sees no justification for dividing this risk factor into two. 160-161

Radiation doses received due to radioactive fallout and neutron activation have not been taken into account by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), despite the fact that they have caused significant effects on the survivors of Hiroshima And Nagasaki. The actual effects of radiation have therefore been underestimated. 162

Because the RERF only began its work in 1950, there is a lack of important data on the first five years after the nuclear bombing. It should be recognized, therefore, that the assessment of teratogenic and genetic effects, as well as those of cancers with a short latency period, is incomplete.

Because of the catastrophic situation after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must admit to considering the survivors as a selected cohort of specially resistant people (“the survival of the fittest”). Therefore, these studies were not representative of a normal population. This selection bias caused an underestimation of about 30% of the radiation risk. 163

The survivors of the nuclear bombing were ostracized by the Japanese society. It is very likely that information about the origin of the family or the morbidity of the descendants has been hidden or falsified so as not to endanger, for example the chances of marriage and the social integration of children. 164

Editor’s Note:

Risk factors used in the concept of collective dose describe the likelihood that additional cases of disease, higher than rates of spontaneous cancers, occur, that carcinogenesis caused by radiation, cancer incidence or mortality, Increase above the baseline of a given population.

Usually this Excess Absolute Risk (EAR) is represented by unit 1 / Sv. A risk factor (EAR) of 0.2 / Sv for cancer mortality means that a 1Sv irradiation would cause an additional 20% risk of cancer death – in addition to the 25% base risk. An EAR of 0.2 / Sv corresponds to a relative risk excess (ERR) of 0.2 / 0.25 = 0.8 / Sv.

6. Improved radiation protection based on the notion of risk is necessary. It must be combined with the rigorous application of the minimization requirement of radiation exposure.

Determining the level of radiation health risk that is acceptable and reasonable can only be achieved at the societal level by listening to the voices of those involved. To protect populations, the risks of ionizing radiation should be determined as accurately as possible and presented in a comprehensible manner. In medicine, such radiation protection criteria are already becoming more and more important.

Assessing the dangers of ionizing radiation according to a risk-based concept can help to minimize their adverse effects even at low doses. Associated with the legal minimization requirements, a set of concrete measures using such a concept could serve to further reduce the harmful effects of radiation. The concept of risk acceptability for carcinogenic materials at work already existing in German legislation is, in broad outline, a good example to follow. 165-169

The highest priority should be given to the protection of life before birth and the integrity of future generations. Radiation protection must broaden its adult-based models and adapt them to the particular vulnerability of the embryo and children.

Speakers and participants in the Ulm expert meeting,
19 October 2013:

» » Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Hoffmann, MPH, Professor für
bevölkerungsbezogene Versorgungsepidemiologie und
Community Health, Institut für Community Medicine,
Universitätsmedizin in Greifswald

» » Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Körblein, Dipl. Phys., selbstständiger
Wissenschaftler in Nürnberg, Wissenschaftlicher Beirat
der IPPNW.de

» » Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Edmund Lengfelder, Professor
em. des Strahlenbiologisches Institutes an der Medizini-
schen Fakultät der LMU München, Leiter des Otto Hug
Strahleninstitutes für Gesundheit und Umwelt

» » Dr. rer. nat. Hagen Scherb, Dipl. Math., Helmholtz Zen-
trum, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und
Umwelt in München

» » Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Professorin
em. für experimentelle Physik an der Universität in Bre-
men, Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der IPPNW.de

» » Dr. med. Hartmut Heinz, Facharzt für Arbeitsmedizin,
ehem. leitender Werksarzt in Salzgitter, AK Atomenergie
der IPPNW.de

» » Dr. med. Angelika Claußen, Fachärztin für Psychothe-
rapie in Bielefeld, AK Atomenergie der IPPNW.de

» » Dr. med. Winfrid Eisenberg, ehem. Chefarzt der Kin-
derklinik in Herford, AK Atomenergie der IPPNW.de

» » Dr. med. Claudio Knüsli, Leitender Arzt der Onkologie
im St. Claraspital in Basel, Vorstandsmitglied IPPNW.ch

» » Dr. med. Helmut Lohrer, Facharzt für Allgemeinmedizin
in Villingen, Int. Board der IPPNW, International Councillor
der IPPNW.de

» » Henrik Paulitz, Dipl.-Biol., Atomenergie-Referent der
IPPNW.de in Seeheim

» » Dr. med. Alex Rosen, Kinderarzt in Berlin, Stellv. Vorsit-
zender der IPPNW.de

» » Dr. med. Jörg Schmid, Facharzt für Psychotherapie in
Stuttgart, AK Atomenergie der IPPNW.de

» » Reinhold Thiel, Facharzt für Allgemeinmedizin, Ulmer
Ärzteinitiative, AK Atomenergie der IPPNW.de

I add a reference: Risk of cancer in 680,000 people exposed to CT scans in childhood or adolescence: a study linking data from 11 million Australians

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2360

What is IPPNW?

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW), is a pacifist international organization of doctors committed to nuclear disarmament. Established in 1980, the organization was awarded the Unesco Prize for Peace Education in 1984 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its “important and competent information work”, which improved global awareness of the consequences of a nuclear war and acute radiation syndrome. The organization has close to 150,000 members in more than 50 countries.

The IPPNW website: http://ippnw.org/

Sources:

https://www.vivre-apres-fukushima.fr/radiations-ionisantes-les-normes-de-radioprotection-doivent-etre-ameliorees/

The text is complemented by a long list of references to download here

https://www.vivre-apres-fukushima.fr/gm-documents/ref-Ulmer_expertentreffen.pdf

https://www.ippnw.de/commonFiles/pdfs/Atomenergie/Health_effects_of_ionising_radiation.pdf

August 21, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , | Leave a comment