Australian news, and some related international items

Radioactive releases from the nuclear power sector and implications for child health

Selected radioisotopes: where they travel and primarily collect in the body.

 British Medical Journal Paedistrics,Cindy Folkers & Linda Pentz Gunter 9 Oct 22, :

Although radioactivity is released routinely at every stage of nuclear power generation, the regulation of
these releases has never taken into account those potentially most
sensitive—women, especially when pregnant, and children.

From uranium mining and milling, to fuel manufacture, electricity generation and
radioactive waste management, children in frontline and Indigenous
communities can be disproportionately harmed due to often increased
sensitivity of developing systems to toxic exposures, the lack of resources
and racial and class discrimination.

The reasons for the greater susceptibility of women and children to harm from radiation exposure is not
fully understood. Regulatory practices, particularly in the establishment
of protective exposure standards, have failed to take this difference into

Anecdotal evidence within communities around nuclear facilities
suggests an association between radiation exposure and increases in birth
defects, miscarriages and childhood cancers.

A significant number of academic studies tend to ascribe causality to other factors related to diet
and lifestyle and dismiss these health indicators as statistically insignificant.

In the case of a major release of radiation due to a serious
nuclear accident, children are again on the frontlines, with a noted
susceptibility to thyroid cancer, which has been found in significant
numbers among children exposed both by the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear accident
in Ukraine and the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

The response among authorities in Japan is to blame increased testing or to
reduce testing. More independent studies are needed focused on children,
especially those in vulnerable frontline and Indigenous communities. In
conducting such studies, greater consideration must be applied to
culturally significant traditions and habits in these communities.

 BMJ Paediatrics 7th Oct 2022


October 10, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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