Australian news, and some related international items

HEALTH and ENVIRONMENT – post Fukushma

HEALTH   The nuclear lobby, and the powers that be, all readily agree that very high doses of radiation cause severe illness and death.   But  they like to ignore or deny the effects of low level radiation. Worse, powerful vested interests now promote the idea that low level radiation is good for you.


The nuclear lobby also prefers to focus only on “external emitters” of radiation. These are tiny radioactive particles that come from outside the body, and may strike a cell, damaging it. Dangerous, yes, and a cancer-causer, but somewhat temporary.

“Internal emitters” are radioactive particles that have become lodged somewhere inside the body – perhaps in the lungs, or in the gastric tract.  Taken in by breathing, eating, or drinking, these particles just sit there, perhaps for decades, emitting radiation in the body.  The nuclear lobby prefers to ignore this far more dangerous source of radiation damage.

DELAY is the key to the effects of low level ionising radiation. Cancers and other diseases will take years, decades, to develop.  Birth defects and genetic effects also occur later, and affected genes are passed on through generations.   These processes are more subtle, complicated, and hard to prove, for each individual case. There’s no “marker” – such as there is for lung cancer from cigarette smoking (the patient’s smoking history), or for mesothelioma (the patient’s contact with asbestos).

However, the health results are all too clear when thorough population studies are made.Chernobyl:  In 1995 The Ukraine  Health Ministry also released the sobering results of research it had conducted among 1 million residents in the three regions most affected by Chernobyl’s fallout.   In the Kyyiv, Zhytomyr and Rivne oblasts, the incidence of thyroid cancer has increased 200 percent; heart disease by 75 percent; respiratory diseases by 130 percent; and gastrointestinal ailments by 280 percent. In addition, the ministry noted that the death rate among inhabitants of the three-oblast region had increased by 15.7 percent since the 1986 catastrophe.”


Fukushima    Well, it’s only 2 years ago. Early days, in fact. BUT The Tenth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey was released on February 13, 2013.The results compiled up to January 21, 2013 revealed that 41,947 (44.2%) of 94,975 children had thyroid  abnormalities. 10 of 186 eligible for the secondary examination from FYH23 were suspected of having thyroid cancer, 3 already confirmed with thyroid cancer.


ENVIRONMENT. In December 2012, , an illness dubbed the “Fukushima syndrome” was reported to be killing cattle near the Fukushima prefecture. Mutations are already observed in butterflies and other insects, whose shorter life cycles allow genetic disruptions to display more quickly than in mammals or humans.

This really isn’t surprising news. Hermann Joseph Muller won the Nobel Prize in 1946 (!) , for his research showing genetic damage from low level radiation to fruit flies. Research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from 2006 through 2009 showed effects on birds, and the disappearance of many species.



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