Dr. Ernest Sternglass Nuclear Contamination and Cancer
OR watch a 55 minute Berkelely, CA presentation
ONLY A MATTER OF TIME....
The question was never whether or not a nuclear catastrophe would take place, the question has always been "when".
Now we know that the "when" is now (March 2011) and the "where" is not just Japan but all continents reached by atmospheric winds.
The NRC had offered us some loose guidelines approximately 18 years after the Three Mile Island meltdown. The suggestion was that communities close to a nuclear reactor stock potassium iodide and distribute it within an hour of the catastrophe in order to decrease the risk of thyroid cancer.
Here is a link to the CDC website that discusses uses of and dosage of potassium iodide CLICK HERE.
According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:
- Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).
- Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
- Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.
- Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet OR ½ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
- Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.
How often should I take KI?
A single dose of KI protects the thyroid gland for 24 hours. A one-time dose at the levels recommended in this fact sheet is usually all that is needed to protect the thyroid gland. In some cases, radioactive iodine might be in the environment for more than 24 hours. If that happens, local emergency management or public health officials may tell you to take one dose of KI every 24 hours for a few days. You should do this only on the advice of emergency management officials, public health officials, or your doctor. Avoid repeat dosing with KI for pregnant and breastfeeding women and newborn infants. Those individuals may need to be evacuated until levels of radioactive iodine in the environment fall.
Taking a higher dose of KI, or taking KI more often than recommended, does not offer more protection and can cause severe illness or death..
The Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa.org) tracks the safety record of nuclear
reactors currently operating in the United States....
CLICK HERE for a map... but be warned that the
information can be upsetting to say the least.....
Thank you to Shirley Gregory, writing for AssociatedContent.com,
for shedding more light on an issue that is being "kept in the dark..."
April 26, 2006 marks the 20 year anniversary of the devastating Chernobyl Nuclear
Accident... a nuclear accident in any country becomes a nuclear accident for us.
Read here about the after effects.
Scroll to the bottom of this page or link to
This article can be found on the web at
to read about John Gofman and the dangers
of radiation exposure....
Tracking Radiation Poisoning from the Inside Out
- Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RD, CNSD, CCN
The Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) "Tooth Fairy Project" has collected baby teeth from all over the country and measured them for radioactive Strontium 90 (Sr-90), a known carcinogen. The RPHP researchers, including Dr. Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics, Dr. Jay Gould, epidemiologist and statistician, and Dr. Jerald Brown, professor of anthropology, are studying the relationship between low-level nuclear radiation and increasing incidence of cancer in the U.S. The study is the first in the U.S. measuring in-body radioactivity in people living near nuclear reactors. Visit the study's website radiation.org.
The RPHP research revealed that the highest levels of Sr-90 found in the study were in children's teeth in South Florida where the rate of childhood cancer is considerably higher than the U.S. average. Children are especially sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. Alice Stewart, a British physician, demonstrated that a child was twice as likely to die of cancer by the age of 10 if exposed to an X-ray while still in the womb. Absorption of radioactive elements can have equally, if not more, devastating effects. In his article discussing the health effects of low level radiation, published in the June 1963 issue of the journal Science, Dr. Sternglass eerily predicted a rise in the very childhood cancers that we are seeing today. He was asked by President John F. Kennedy to present his paper to Congress and became part of the scientific debate that finally led to the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which bans the testing of nuclear weapons above ground, under water and in space.
Sr-90 in baby teeth is a reflection of how much radiation the mother is exposed to as she ingests it in food and water and passes it on the fetus. It is a manmade radioactive isotope and a marker for the presence of other radioactive elements released from nuclear fission, nuclear reactors, and weapons manufacturing. The body mistakes Sr-90 for CALCIUM, incorporating it into teeth and bones where it constantly bombards the bone marrow with radiation, damaging red blood cells and immune cells. A DAMAGED IMMUNE SYSTEM is then unable to destroy early cancer cells or fight off viruses and infections. Immune system damage is also associated with allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and immune deficiency disorders. In the bone Sr-90 can lead to OSTEOPOROSIS, a phenomenon clearly demonstrated in animal testing during the 1940's . Once in the body, Sr-90 can break down to Yttrium 90. Yttrium 90 travels to soft tissues such as the pancreas, pituitary gland, ovaries, testes, mammary glands, etc. where its powerful radiation damages these crucial hormone-producing organs. Yttrium also travels to the lung, resulting in chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer which "oddly" has increased while the incidence of cigarette smoking has decreased.
The "St. Louis Baby Teeth Study", similar to the current "Tooth Fairy Project" was carried out in the 1950's and 1960's because of concerns over the radioactive fallout from nuclear bomb testing and its affect on health and disease. The St. Louis study demonstrated an increase in Sr-90 in the teeth of children born during the nuclear weapons testing. The study collected 385,000 baby teeth and completed analysis on 60,000 of them revealing that the average Sr-90 for children born in 1964 was 50 times greater than for those born in 1951, the first birth year for which teeth were measured. Miraculously, 85,000 of the unanalyzed baby teeth from that initial study were discovered in St. Louis in the spring of 2001. Washington University, involved with the initial St. Louis study, has sent the teeth to the RPHP Tooth Fairy Project where they can be used in a prospective study of the health effects of low level radiation and Strontium 90 ingestion.
How much radiation is exposure is "too much"? In the current RPHP study, levels of Sr-90 measured in the teeth of children born in the 1980's and 1990's was as high and in some cases higher than those born at the peak of nuclear weapons testing. What is the current source of the Sr-90? Nuclear power plants regularly emit liquid and gaseous radioactive waste, including Strontium 90, as documented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The liquid is often pumped directly into the ocean while the gaseous emissions are released into the air and return in the precipitation that falls to Earth. According to annual reports sent by nuclear facilities to the federal government, the amount of "routine" radiation released from the Turkey Point (Miami area) and St. Lucie nuclear reactors from 1970-1993 was a total 10.39 trillion picocuries. This amount is approximately three-fourths the radiation released from the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident which released 14.2 trillion picocuries. This begs the question of "safe levels" of radioactive emissions from nuclear power plants.
The industry insists that these emissions are well within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's guidelines. Are the increases of 325% in childhood cancer in St. Lucie County well within the NRC guidelines? Note the following statistics. From the early 1980's to the early 1990's, cancer incidence in children under 10 rose 35.2% in five Southeast Florida counties (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin) compared to a 10.8% rise in the U.S.. In the same period, St. Lucie County alone saw an enormous 325.3% increase in childhood cancer, pushing the rate to more than double the national average. (Source: Florida Cancer Data System- University of Miami School of Medicine and Florida Department of Health). Breast cancer mortality has also increased significantly in the counties around the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear reactors compared to the U.S. national average. Epidemiological studies confirm a decrease in infant deaths around nuclear power plants when those plants are shut down on a temporary or a permanent basis (see www.radiation.org).
Edited by Dr. Ernest Sternglass 11/2001.
*** You can decrease your Strontium 90 ingestion by drinking REVERSE OSMOSIS or DISTILLED water (removes most Strontium 90) and protect yourself from effects of ingested radioactive isotopes by consuming ABUNDANT ANTIOXIDANTS (primarily from FRESH, organic fruits and vegetables, full spectrum supplements including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, etc.)
DUMPING of NUCLEAR WASTE reaches our municipal water supplies... See NY TImes Article 8/7/05.
Below is a press release revealing evidence of a link between radiation emissions found in drinking WATER and childhood cancer:
For Immediate Release
April 9, 2003, 11:00 A.M.
Contact: Lisa Palley, (305) 642-3132
Jerry Brown, Ph.D., (305) 321-5612 (cell)
Ernest Sternglass, Ph.D., (305) 321-5612
Childhood Cancer in South Florida
Study Finds Cause in Nuclear Plant Radiation Emissions -
Drinking Water Most Likely Source
Miami, Florida - A South Florida Baby Teeth and Cancer Case Study, that was officially released today, finds that infants and children are especially vulnerable to cancer caused by federally-permitted radiation releases from nuclear reactors, such as the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear power plants, located in southeast Florida.
The five-year baby teeth study, also known as the "Tooth Fairy Project," found a 37% rise in the average levels of radioactive Strontium-90 (Sr-90) in southeast Florida baby teeth from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. When compared with baby teeth collected from 18 Florida counties, the highest levels of Sr-90 were found in the six southeast Florida counties closest to the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear reactors: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River.
The current rise of radiation levels in baby teeth in Florida and in the U.S. as a whole reverses a long-term downward trend in Sr-90 levels since the 1960s, after President Kennedy banned aboveground testing of nuclear weapons 1963, due to concerns about increasing childhood cancer and leukemia rates from fallout.
Radioactive Sr-90 is a known carcinogen, which is only produced by fission reactions in nuclear weapons or reactors. It enters the body along with chemically similar calcium, and is stored in bone and teeth, where it can be measured years later using well-established laboratory techniques.
Significantly, the study documented that the average levels of Sr-90 found in the teeth of children diagnosed with cancer were nearly twice as high as those found in the teeth of children without cancer.
Dr. Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and co-author of the study said that "although radioactive emissions can enter the air, soil and diet, the most significant source of Sr-90 in southeast Florida children's teeth is groundwater, the primary source of southeast Florida's public drinking supply. This is due to the area's high rainfall and shallow aquifer."
The study found the highest levels of radioactivity in samples of drinking water found within 20 miles of the Turkey Point (located south of Miami) and St. Lucie (located north of West Palm Beach) nuclear power plants, while levels of radioactivity were significantly lower in water samples further away from the reactors.
The rise in Sr-90 levels in both drinking water and baby teeth parallels a 32.5% rise in cancer rates in children under 10 in the southeast Florida counties, which are closest to the nuclear power plants. This compares with a average 10.8% rise in national childhood cancer rates from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.
The baby teeth study conclusions are consistent with the recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admission that children age 2 and younger are 10 times more susceptible than adults to the cancer causing effects of toxic chemicals and radioactivity. According to the National Cancer Institute's SEER Cancer Statistics Review, from early 1970s to late 1990s, U.S. childhood cancer overall has increased by 26%, brain cancer by 50%, leukemia by 45% and bone cancer by 40%.
"There is now substantial evidence that exposure to federally-permitted radiation releases from nuclear reactors is a significant cause of increasing childhood cancer rates in southeast Florida, as well as a risk factor for cancer in Americans of all ages," said Dr. Jerry Brown, the study's co-author and Founding Professor, Florida International University in Miami.
Dr. Brown noted that, "the recent 2003 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk found that the world-wide health effects of very low levels of radioactivity have been vastly underestimated."
In a Statement on Baby Teeth Study, Samuel Epstein, M.D., wrote, "Given prior evidence of the relationship between childhood cancer and radioactive emissions from 103 aging nuclear power plants in the U.S., and the well established biological risks of radioactive Strontium-90, it is now critical to recognize that radioactive emissions from commercial nuclear power plants pose a grave threat to public health in southeast Florida and throughout the nation." Dr. Epstein is Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, and Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition.
The study was conducted by the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) and funded by the Health Foundation of South Florida. The Radiation and Pubic Health Project is an independent not-for-profit research organization, established by scientists and physicians to investigate the links between environmental radiation, cancer and public health.
The Health Foundation of South Florida, a not-for-profit grantmaking foundation, is dedicated to expanding access to affordable, quality health care and providing funding that directly benefits the health and well being of underserved individuals in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $42 million in grants and direct program support.
This article can be found on the web at
John Gofman's Nuclear Courage
by JOSEPH J. MANGANO
[posted online on September 14, 2007]
The life of eminent nuclear scientist and physician John Gofman ended last month just short of age 89. The New York Times obituary recounted his scientific résumé but ignored the backlash he faced from industry and government, simply describing him as a "nuclear gadfly." Gofman should be remembered for his brilliance and integrity, which are critical factors in the current debate over the future of nuclear power.
Gofman's brilliance was evident early. His doctoral dissertation described co-discoveries of radioactive uranium-232 and -233, and protactinium-232 and -233, and the ability to transform uranium-233 into an atomic bomb. Soon after graduation, Gofman joined the Manhattan Project to help win the race with Nazi Germany for the first atomic bomb. His team at the University of California, Berkeley, made more than one milligram of plutonium--the most created to that point--leading to the plutonium bombs tested in New Mexico and used at Nagasaki.
After the war, Gofman settled in at Berkeley as a teacher and researcher, focusing not on radiation but coronary disease. His pioneering work on lipoproteins in the blood--HDL and LDL cholesterol--remains a cornerstone of cardiology. In 1974 the American College of Cardiology named him as one of the twenty-five leading researchers in the field over the previous quarter-century.
But the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union pulled Gofman back into the nuclear world. In the early 1950s the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) set up a nuclear weapons research lab at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, fifty miles from Berkeley . Gofman formed the lab's medical department and worked part-time for several years, helping with calculations on health effects and problems of nuclear war before returning to Berkeley.
In late 1962, during the depths of cold war tensions, Livermore beckoned again. Massive atomic bomb testing by both superpowers was spreading fallout across the globe in unprecedented amounts, and the world came perilously close to nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. Gofman headed a biology and medicine lab; with an annual budget of more than $3 million, he formed a crackerjack staff of 150.
With scientists like Linus Pauling and Andrei Sakharov warning about hazards of bomb fallout, and with the government issuing repeated denials, a moral crisis was imminent for Gofman. Soon after he took over the lab, an official at Livermore asked him to help suppress publication of the work of AEC scientist Harold Knapp, who concluded that doses of radioactive iodine from bomb tests in Utah were much higher than the AEC had publicly admitted. Despite the warning that "we can't afford to have him publish that evidence," Gofman reviewed Knapp's analysis with his staff, and found it accurate. Refusing to yield to political heat, Gofman urged publication of the data, which the AEC reluctantly allowed.
Nuclear tensions eased after the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, signed by President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, banned atmospheric nuclear tests. But the treaty did not mean the end of the battle over fallout's harm. In 1969 University of Pittsburgh physicist Ernest Sternglass startled many when he published an article in Esquire magazine showing that for the first time in the twentieth century, the steady rate of decline in US infant death rates had halted as bombs were tested in the atmosphere. Sternglass calculated that 400,000 additional American infants died in the 1950s and early '60s, and suggested that fallout was the cause.
The AEC called on Gofman and his colleague Arthur Tamplin to debunk the article. Although Gofman later acknowledged that "Sternglass may have been right," the two estimated that excess infant deaths were about 4,000, not 400,000. But even that wasn't enough for AEC officials, who told them to publish only a critique with no estimates. They ignored the AEC and published the paper using the 4,000 figure.
By now, Gofman had built a reputation for being an obstacle to the AEC party line, but he had yet to be disciplined. A more cautious person might have stopped insisting that nuclear power was harming people, to preserve his professional status. But that wasn't John Gofman. Just months after the Sternglass controversy, he turned to radiation routinely emitted by nuclear power reactors, the darlings of the nuclear industry, heralded as a "peaceful" use of the atom.
In late 1969 Gofman and Tamplin were among the first scientists to oppose nuclear power in a paper asserting that even low-dose radiation harmed humans. "I realized that the entire nuclear power program was based on a fraud--namely that there was a 'safe' amount of radiation, a permissible dose that wouldn't hurt anybody," recalled Gofman. The duo calculated a worst-case scenario in which 32,000 additional Americans would die of cancer each year if everybody received the permissible AEC dose from reactors.
He proposed a five-year moratorium on new nuclear plants, declaring that "licensing a nuclear power plant is in my view, licensing random premeditated murder." Gofman had now become too much for the establishment. In 1972 the AEC removed funding for twelve of thirteen of Tamplin's staff members. Later, it threatened to remove Gofman's $250,000 in funds for cancer research at Livermore . He applied to the National Cancer Institute for replacement funding but was rejected, as the blacklist extended throughout the federal government. Gofman resigned and went back to Berkeley.
Being ousted from Livermore didn't stop Gofman from investigating radiation risks. His 1985 book X-rays: Health Effects of Common Exams, co-written with Egan O'Connor, stated that 75 percent of cancer cases are caused by medical radiation, including X-rays, mammograms and CT scans. Doctors howled about how wrong and inflammatory Gofman was--while giving no evidence proving safety. He had now incurred the wrath of both of his chosen professions: physics and medicine. But he never stopped speaking out against the human toll radiation exacts, predicting that nearly 1 million people would develop cancer from Chernobyl , far more than any other estimate.
Gofman was certainly a courageous scientist. But was he right, and is his work relevant?
Are even small radiation doses harmful? A 2005 blue-ribbon panel of the National Academy of Sciences examined hundreds of articles and concluded that no safe threshold exists. The panel used reports from up to fifty years ago, when pelvic X-rays to pregnant women were found to raise the chance that the fetus would die of cancer as a child.
Could up to 32,000 Americans a year die from cancer from reactor emissions? A 1994 General Accounting Office report to Senator John Glenn estimated that the maximum exposure permitted by the government to every American would result in a lifetime premature cancer death risk of one in 300--or 1 million deaths, or about 14,000 cancer deaths a year--which fits Gofman's prediction, made when limits were higher.
Will 1 million people develop cancer from exposure to Chernobyl radiation? For years the International Atomic Energy Agency insisted that only 4,000 would die. But in 2006 a Greenpeace report from scientists who reviewed statistics from Belarus projected that 270,000 would develop cancer. Research continues, but with 5 million to 8 million people still living in highly contaminated areas, Gofman's estimate may yet prove to be correct.
Did thousands of infants die from bomb fallout half a century ago? The period 1950-1963 remains as the only part of the twentieth century in which infant deaths did not fall sharply, and is still unexplained. In 1992 British scientist R.K. Whyte published a paper in the British Medical Journal concluding that bomb fallout was the likely reason.
Do medical X-rays give people cancer? A storm of protest is growing over the number of X-rays, especially CT scans, administered to children, who are most susceptible to harm from radiation. The National Cancer Institute cautions that physicians should only conduct pediatric CT scans when necessary, adjust exposure parameters, minimize use of multiple scans in a single examination and consider alternatives to CT scans.
Validation of Gofman's findings is vital to the current debate over nuclear power. After a long decline, the nuclear industry has seized on concerns over global warming and costs of fossil fuels to tout reactors as a "clean and safe" alternative. Bush Administration regulators have thus far granted permission for more than half of US reactors to operate twenty years past their expected life span of forty years. Just last month the first order for a new US reactor since 1978 was made (at the Calvert Cliffs plant near Washington, DC). Congress is considering $50 billion in loan guarantees for construction of other new reactors.
Utility companies and the Bush Administration claim that reactors are safe--without furnishing any hard evidence backing their claim. They turn a blind eye to potential risks of a major meltdown and actual risks of ongoing radioactive emissions. Objective research and educating people of these risks regardless of political fallout was Gofman's legacy. There is no time like now for citizens and scientists to embrace this legacy to protect public health.