“Chernobyl” remains what it became 20 years ago,
the name of a horror that doesn’t show itself.
– Serge Schmemann
– NY Times
“The results of surveys and biological monitoring of children and adults of Chernobyl point unambiguously to a steady, rapid and dramatic deterioration of health of all victims of the radiation impact of the Chernobyl accident” wrote doctors E.B. Burlakova & A.G. Nazarov of the Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Most interestingly they continue saying, “The dose dependence of the radiation effect may be non-linear, non-monotonic and polymodal in character. Over certain dose ranges, low-level irradiation is more devastating with regard to the results of its action on an organism or a population than acute high-level radiation.”
In July of 2005 the National Academy of Sciences came to the conclusion that the preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer or other health problems and there is no threshold below which exposure can be viewed as harmless. Many scientists generally assumed that low levels of radiation are harmless, since they produced no immediately observable effects. However during the past few decades tremendously improved radiation measurement techniques coupled with detailed laboratory studies revealed many previously unsuspected hazards from low levels of ionized radiation. Some researchers have even added the view that chronic low level exposure to radiation poses a greater risk than short term high level exposure.
Radiation is normally classified into ionizing and non-ionizing types. Non-ionizing radiation comes in the form of light, radio waves, microwaves and radar. These types of radiation generally do not cause tissue damage, though there are those who would argue rationally about that. Ionizing radiation is radiation that produces immediate chemical effects (ionization) on human tissue. X-rays, gamma rays, and particle bombardment (neutron beam, electron beam, protons, mesons, and others) give off ionizing radiation. This type of radiation can be used for medical testing and treatment, industrial testing, manufacturing, sterilization, weapons and weapons development, and many other uses. Radiation sickness results when humans (or other animals) are exposed to ionizing radiation.
Radiation exposure can occur as a single large exposure (acute), or a series of small exposures spread over time (chronic). Radiation sickness is generally associated with acute exposure and has a characteristic set of symptoms that appear in an orderly fashion. Chronic exposure is usually associated with delayed medical problems such as cancer and premature aging, which may develop over a long period of time.
Ionizing radiation is a proven and ubiquitous mutagen to which humans everywhere are exposed (medically, environmentally, and occupationally). Moreover, unlike some chemical mutagens, ionizing radiation is capable of inflicting every possible kind of mutation, from a single “base-change” to deletion of entire genes. It is especially potent at inducing the kind of complex genetic injuries which cannot be repaired.
The degree of illness (acute radiation sickness) depends on the dose and the rate of exposure. Exposure from x-rays or gamma rays is measured in units of roentgens. For example: Total body exposure of 100 roentgens causes radiation sickness. Total body exposure of 400 roentgens causes radiation sickness and death in half the individuals. 100,000 rads causes almost immediate unconsciousness and death within an hour.
Through the decades much effort was put into reducing the dose from medical X-rays when it was realized that only a few rads per year received by radiologists in the course of their work had been found to decrease their life spans significantly, while among their children there had been a definite increase in congenital defects. Clearly all forms of radiation are dangerous. When all the different forms of exposure are combined with heavy metal toxicity from other metals like lead, aluminum, arsenic and mercury, we have the makings of a health disaster.
As early as 1955 Dr. Alice Stewart, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Oxford University, became aware of a sharp rise in leukemia among young children in England. By May 1957, after the analysis of 1299 cases, half of which involved leukemia and the rest mainly brain and kidney tumors, her study had been completed. The data showed that babies born of mothers who had a series of X-rays of the pelvic region during pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop leukemia or another form of cancer, as those born of mothers who had not been X-rayed. Dr. Stewart concluded that the dose from diagnostic X-rays could produce a clearly detectable increase in childhood cancer when given during pregnancy.
Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, who was professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in his book Secret Fallout – Low-Level Radiation From Hiroshima to Three-Mile Island, indicated that the risk increased with each additional picture, as the studies of Stewart indicated it did. This clearly implied that there was no significant healing of the damage and thus that the cancer-causing effects of radiation were cumulative.This would mean that the effects of a dose received over a period of time from fallout would be similar to those from an equal dose received all at once from X-rays. Even worse was the realization that children whose mothers were X-rayed during the first third of their pregnancy were found to be ten times more likely to develop cancer than those whose mothers were X-rayed toward the end of pregnancy.
Fallout from above ground tests, from nuclear accidents, from depleted uranium weapons, and even from everyday radiation from nuclear power plants operating normally would pose a direct threat to mothers pregnant in their first trimester. Dr. Sternglass concluded that all the research led to the most tragic conclusion that the unborn fetus was hundreds or thousands of times more sensitive to radiation than anyone had ever suspected.
The geographic patterns of the changes in worldwide
leukemia and infant mortality trends between 1945
and 1955 clearly matched the patterns of fallout.
– Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass
According to the now antiquated “threshold” theory there was a certain low level of radiation exposure, a “threshold,” below which no damage would be caused. If this threshold was about the same as the yearly dose from background radiation or from exposure to typical diagnostic X-rays, as various supporters of nuclear programs maintained it was, then we could all sleep safe knowning that the military and medical industrial complexes were not doing us harm. But Dr. Stewart’s study implied that if there were any safe threshold for unborn children and infants it would have to be less than the dose from a single X-ray picture.
From the simplest x-ray to each particle of uranium inhaled
on the wind or drunk from water we have a problem.
What few doctors and health officials recognize is that chemicals and radiation combine to act on the very same cellular enzyme pathways. One type of contamination reinforces and strengthens the others so medical treatments need to address both chemical toxicity and radiation poisoning simultaneously. Exposure to radiation causes a cascade of free radicals that wreak havoc on the body. Radiation also decimates the body’s supply of glutathione, which allows free radicals to run rampant through our body’s tissues and organs. The health establishment’s reactions to radiation dangers are retarded because, from the beginning, physicians saw radiation as a promising new therapy for treating nearly every ailment under the sun. Though science knows well the dangers, modern medicine continues to use radiation recklessly for diagnosis and for the treatment of cancer.
The International Commission on Radiation Protection [ICRP] exists in
practice largely to play down the effects of radiation on human health,
and to shield the nuclear industry from compensation claims from the public.
Many people will be surprised to find out that the so-called “fluoride” we use in much of the American water supplies, is fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), and comes from the US fertilizer industry. Fluorides and radionuclides are the primary toxic pollutants from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer; and according to health activist Tim Bolen, people living near fertilizer plants and mines experience lung cancer and leukemia rates that are double the state average. Radium wastes from filtration systems at phosphate fertilizer facilities are radioactive.
In promoting the use of the pollution concentrate as a fluoridation agent, the American Dental Association, Federal agencies and manufacturers failed to mention that it was radioactive,which is highly strange if not sickening. Whenever uranium is found in nature as a component of a mineral, a host of other radionuclides are always found in the mineral in various stages of decay. Uranium and all of its decay-rate products are found in phosphate rock, fluorosilicic acid and phosphate fertilizer. While the uranium and radium in fluorosilicic acid are known carcinogens, two decay products of uranium are even more carcinogenic: radon-222 and polonium-210.
It is important to realize how many sources of radioactive contamination there are. When we present medical treatments for radiation poisoning, which is similar to treatments for heavy metal toxicity, we are not going to find much support from the medical establishment.. To basic science all radiation is dangerous and life threatening. But according to modern medicine and the United States government there is nothing to worry about, radiation and heavy metals are as safe as mothers milk. Actually this is a bad comparisson because mothers milk itself becomes polluted with the heavy metals and radiation poisoning of the mother.
It’s clear this issue about the health effects is out there and floating
around. But it’s also clear the Pentagon does not want to study it.
– Rep. Jim McDermott
Dr. Mark Sircus
- The linear no threshold modelor LNTM is a model of damage done by radiation. This model assumes that the response to radiation exposure is linear and that this linear relationship continues to very small doses, that is to say that there is no threshold of exposure below which the response ceases to be linear. When it comes to radiation if a particular dose of radiation is found to produce one extra case of a type of cancer in every thousand people exposed, the LNTM predicts that one thousandth of this dose will produce one extra case in every million people so exposed, and that one millionth of this dose will produce one extra case in every billion people.
- The Petkau effect: discovered by Abram Petkau at the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Manitoba, Canada in 1972 Dr. Petkau discovered that at 26 rads per minute (fast-dose rate) it required a total dose of 3,500 rads to destroy a cell membrane. However, at 0.001 rad per minute (slow dose rate), it required only 0.7 rad to destroy the cell membrane. The mechanism at the slow-dose rate is the production of free radicals of oxygen (O2 with a negative electrical charge) by the ionizing effect of the radiation. The sparsely distributed free radicals generated at the slow-dose rate have a better probability of reaching and reacting with the cell wall than do the densely crowded free radicals produced by fast-dose rates.
- mutagen: an agent that causes a relatively permanent change in hereditary material involving either a physical change in chromosome relations or a biochemical change in the codons that make up genes.
- Sternglass, Ernest. Secret Fallout – Low-Level Radiation From Hiroshima to Three-Mile Island. McGraw-Hill Book Company http://www.ratical.com/radiation/SecretFallout/
- In the late 1960s, EPA chemist Ervin Bellack worked out the ideal solution to a monumental pollution problem. Because recovered phosphate fertilizer manufacturing waste contain about 19% fluorine, Bellack concluded that the concentrated “scrubber liquor” could be a perfect water fluoridation agent. It was a liquid and easily soluble in water, unlike sodium fluoride – a waste product from aluminum manufacturing. It was also inexpensive.
- In written communications to the author, EPA Office of Drinking Water official Joseph A. Cotruvo and Public Health Service fluoridation engineer Thomas Reeves have acknowledged the presence of radionuclides in fluorosilicic acid.
- During wet-process manufacturing, trace amounts of radium and uranium are captured in the pollution scrubber. This process was the subject of an article by H.F. Denzinger, H. J. König and G.E. Krüger in the fertilizer industry journal, Phosphorus & Potassium (No. 103, Sept./Oct. 1979) discussed how radionuclides are carried into the fluorosilicic acid.