Loren MoretPOPULATIONS EXPOSED TO ENVIRONMENTAL URANIUM: Increased RisSun Sep 19, 2010 23:52220.127.116.11POPULATIONS EXPOSED TO ENVIRONMENTAL URANIUM:
Increased Risk of Infertility and
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“The Navajos help guard the land for the Hopi. We don’t want them to leave. This is their sacred land, too. The White Man is the one who needs to leave before Nature intervenes. The Great Spirit made us caretakers of this land. We take care of it with our prayers and our ceremony. Now you poison it and rape it and destroy it with your strip mines and uranium tailings and power plants – all on sacred land! And you try to chase the last few Indians off so you can do your dirty work.” Thomas Banyacya, Hopi
MARIN COUNTY: HIGHEST BREAST CANCER RATE IN THE US.
RIVERBANKS AND COASTLINES HAVE HIGHEST CANCER RATES
It is clear that dilution is not the solution to pollution. Dumping radioactive contaminated materials into bodies of water has a boomerang effect. It is not long before the ionizing radiation is washing back up on riverbanks and shorelines. In fact, in the first cancer mapping survey in history (1850-60) in Cumbria, the Lake District of Britain, Alfred Haviland reported that out of 6000 cancer cases in a ten-year period, the highest cancer rates were along riverbanks and shorelines. This provided a strong environmental link to cancer, before manmade ionizing radiation was introduced into the environment after 1900. Today it is well known by geoscientists that most natural background radiation originates in minerals from rocks and in sediments which are rocks reduced to particles by sedimentary processes, and transported in water until they wash up on riverbanks and shorelines… where Haviland reported the highest pre-1900 cancer rates.
Pre-1900 cancer rates globally represent the true baseline for cancer studies. Here a comparison is made between pre-1900 cancer rates in Cumbria to 1963 Hawaii cancer rates at the peak of atmospheric testing. Because crustal or continental rocks are much higher in natural background ionizing radiation than oceanic volcanic rocks, pre-1900 Hawaii cancer rates should have been lower than pre-1900 Cumbria cancer rates. Unfortunately, Hawaii has some of the highest rainfall in the world, which very efficiently deposited atmospheric manmade radioactive pollution into the Hawaiian environment. According to a 1973 letter from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to the science journal Nature, Hawaii is the most radioactive contaminated place in the world from atmospheric testing and burned up spacecraft.
In Haviland’s pre-1900 survey, lung cancer was 0.17% of all cancers, but increased to 17.6% (103.7-fold increase) of all cancers reported in Hawaii by 1963. The pre-1900 pancreatic cancer rate was 0.15%, which increased to 5.8% (38.6-fold) in Hawaii by 1963, and increased 12-fold in Japanese males between 1945-1965 [Fig. 4]. Pre-1900 thyroid cancer in Cumbria was the rarest at 0.05%, and has increased rapidly on a global scale since 1945. The majority of cancers in the pre-1900 Cumbria survey were breast (23.73%), and uterine (20.42%), which made up 43.15% of all cancers. The greatest majority of cancers in 1963 in Hawaii were digestive system (41.1%) and respiratory (20.4%) which together made up 61.5% of total cancers. Breast cancer was only 5.2% of the total, although it too greatly increased after 1945, but formerly rare cancers had much greater increases. The enormous increase in respiratory and digestive system cancers indicates an environmental link – with the introduction of atmospheric testing fallout – inhaled and ingested globally by all living things.
THE JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY
The chance discovery of an abstract in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, “Radiocesium in North San Francisco Bay and Baja California coastal surface waters,” provided me with an answer to a puzzling question about breast cancer. Hundreds of millions of dollars of US government money have been spent by the University of California to identify the cause of what may be the highest breast cancer rates in the United States in Marin County [Fig. 1], California, just north of San Francisco.
Even more surprising, the radiocesium reported in the paper had been measured by the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab (managed by the University of California), from the north end of San Francisco Bay to the coastal waters at the tip of Baja California, Mexico. By mapping the pattern of breast cancer in Marin County, I identified the San Francisco Bay shoreline of the Marin County peninsula as the environment where the highest rates of breast cancer occur in the county. The deepest part of San Francisco Bay is offshore from Marin, and the highest volume of radioactive contaminated sediment-laden water passes through this area each day with the tides. The sediment and water flow pattern in the north part of the bay is visible in the aerial photo in Fig.1.
Not only is San Francisco Bay contaminated with ionizing radiation from the Sierras, but it also is heavily contaminated with chemicals, ionizing radiation, and military waste from decommissioned military bases. Signs around the Bay shoreline warn pregnant women to eat nothing caught in the Bay, and “residents should eat no more than one fish a month” caught in the Bay. Little wonder the warning signs are posted since ionizing radiation and chemicals have a synergistic interaction, multiplying the effects of each other by many times.
The lowest breast cancer rates are along the Pacific coastline of Marin. The spatial distribution of breast cancer made it clear that there had to be an environmental cause. Large areas of mudflats and estuaries along the bay side shoreline of Marin, like the Cumbria and Welsh seacoasts, provide a low energy environment of quiet still water for radioactive contaminated fine sediments to settle out.
Fig.1. (above): San Francisco Bay Area, with Marin County in upper left corner, north of San Francisco.
CONTAMINATION OF REGIONAL
Most of the fresh water coming into San Francisco Bay is from the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of the California coastline, a very high mountain range running north and south along the border with Nevada [Fig. 2]. The soils of the Sierras are now contaminated with radioactive materials from nuclear bomb testing, Chernobyl, and the emissions from the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, which operated east of Sacramento until it was shut down in 1989 by a citizens lawsuit after a history of accidents, radioactive leaks, startups and shutdowns. The citizens lawsuit was successful because they owned the Sacramento municipal Power Company, including the nuclear power plant. Most of the drinking water for the San Francisco Bay area comes from the Sierras. Approximately 95% of the radioactive emissions from Rancho Seco were rained and snowed out into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, contaminating vegetation, soils, streams, rivers and lakes.
Fig.2 (above): Map of California showing San Francisco Bay, Marin County north of San Francisco, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east where radioactive contaminated water supplies orginate for northern California.
Source: Hornbeck, D., California Patterns: A Geographical and Historical Atlas. Mayfield Publ. Co, Palo Alto, CA (1983).p.11
Mortality from all diseases for all ages in San Francisco declined by about 10% within two years of the Rancho Seco shutdown, just what the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) predicted in the new radiation risk model they wrote in 2003 as an independent report for the European Parliament.
During the lawsuit, which eventually shut down Rancho Seco nuclear power plant in 1989, the citizens contracted with Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab to measure fission product emissions in the Rancho Seco environment. I obtained the Livermore Lab radiation reports and communications with lawyers, from Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass who had been an expert witness for the lawsuit. It was a surprise to discover that Livermore Nuclear weapons Lab has not only secretly conducted extensive global monitoring of ionizing radiation for decades, but local ionizing radiation monitoring as well. In fact, I saw fresh core samples from Hiroshima and Nagasaki lying on a table in a Livermore environmental laboratory in 1991. When I asked Dr. Kai Wong, a Livermore lab ionizing radiation expert, why they were still monitoring Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he said:
“Because Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still radioactive. And we are still studying the people because they are too.”
LIVERMORE NUKE LAB SECRETLY MEASURING
GLOBAL RADIATION LEVELS
In a recent study, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab reported  measuring one Curie of radiocesium per year, passing through San Francisco Bay, attached to fine sediment. Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are the two most abundant fission products, and are commonly measured as an indicator of more than 400 other fission products produced. Therefore far more than one Curie of ionizing radiation per year has been washing through the Bay. Clay particles are highly charged and act as scavenging agents for radioactive particles suspended in water. This has been a chronic and cumulative source of low-level ionizing radiation washing up daily on the San Francisco Bay side of the Marin shoreline for at least 60 years – since atmospheric testing started in 1945, and the likely cause of the high rates of breast cancer reported in Marin County.
Based on 550 epidemiological studies of exposed populations, an independent low-level ionizing radiation report for the European Parliament, the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) report, has stated that chronic exposure to low-level ionizing radiation is:
“…up to 1000 times more biologically damaging than the International Committee on Radiation Protection (ICRP) standards and risk model predict.”
The ICRP standards and risk model are based on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb studies, which were deceptively conducted by the U.S. Government, in order to protect the future development of a nuclear weapons program.
Even worse than the fission products, the public health impact from global pollution by depleted uranium, was not officially measured or reported from bomb testing, but someone must have been monitoring it. All atomic and hydrogen bombs have large amounts (thousands of pounds) of depleted uranium packed as “tamping” around the small plutonium core weighing less than 20 lbs. The major contribution made by depleted uranium to global radioactive pollution from atmospheric testing was very rarely mentioned or reported.
THE DIABETES LINK TO RADIATION
Prior to the introduction of manmade ionizing radiation into the environment, diabetes was very rare. Most children who developed diabetes died by the time they were 7 years old, since insulin was not discovered until the late 1920s. This greatly minimized inheritance of a genetic link to diabetes. By globally mapping diabetes, it was very clear to me that the highest rates of diabetes in the world are in the same latitudes as the major atmospheric tests. Jet stream distribution carried the radiation from east to west in the northern latitudes where the US, Russia, and China conducted tests. And in the southern latitudes where British and French bomb tests were conducted, the jet stream carried the radiation around the world, contaminating the tips of S. America and Africa. By 1963 at the peak of atmospheric testing, Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass reported a 50% decline in the North Atlantic fishing catch, and a 65% decline in the northern Pacific fishing catch, due to global nuclear fallout pollution of the oceans.
Fig. 3: Diabetes death rates in Japan 1950-2004. This represents the global cumulative radiation effects of atmospheric testing (1950-1963), nuclear power plants introduced in 1968, and depleted uranium introduced in 1991.
Source: Vital Statistics of Japan 2004 vol.1, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Health and Welfare Statistics Assoc., Table 5.15, p. 203.
A global diabetes epidemic [Fig. 3], beginning in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has had a major contribution from the effects of uranium pollution from atmospheric testing, nuclear power plants, and depleted uranium weaponry introduced to the battlefield in 1991. Uranium is particularly damaging to the pancreas, insulin production, information flow, and cell function. And diabetes in pregnant women has a serious effect on the foetus. Fig. 4: Trend of mortality rate from pancreatic cancer in Japan (Males) for the period 1940-1965 prior to, and following the release of fission products into the environment.”
Source: M. Segi, M. Kurihara, and T. Matsuyama, “Cancer Mortality in Japan (1899-1962)”, Department of Public Health, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 1965.
Pancreatic cancer mortality in Japanese males [Fig. 4] increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak of atmospheric testing.
A global diabetes epidemic [Fig. 3], beginning in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has had a major contribution from the effects of uranium pollution from atmospheric testing, nuclear power plants, and depleted uranium weaponry introduced to the battlefield in 1991. Uranium is particularly damaging to the pancreas, insulin production, information flow, and cell function. And diabetes in pregnant women has a serious effect on the foetus.
Pancreatic cancer mortality in Japanese males [Fig. 4] increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak of atmospheric testing.
MARIN COUNTY: A NATURAL CONTROL STUDY
The Marin County study is the kind of natural experiment geoscientists find useful in their research, with the Pacific coastline as a natural control and San Francisco Bay mudflats in Marin County as the study area. It is also a good comparison of the public health effects of ionizing radionuclide concentrations in contaminated freshwater compared to seawater. It is already well known that because of the influence of saltwater on uptake of radionuclides saltwater fish have much lower radioactive contamination levels than freshwater fish living in contaminated environments where toxins may bio-concentrate by thousands of times.
When the results of mud samples from the Marin County bay side shoreline and the Pacific coastline are analyzed and reported, low-level ionizing radiation from the Sierras will be identified as the cause of what may be the highest breast cancer incidence in the United States. High rates of autism also occur in areas, between the Sierras and Marin County, in low energy slow water environments where swampy still water and mudflats occur, and are recharged with contaminated water washing down from the Sierras. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) found a 273 percent increase in autism cases between 1987 and 1998. This is due not only to residual ionizing radiation washing out of the Sierras, but also to the nuclear power industry in California. Dr. Ernest Sternglass has provided powerful evidence that in the state of California, autism has increased and is correlated with the increase of energy generated by nuclear power plants since the early 1970’s. An investigation of U.S. autism rates and nuclear power plant operating capacity confirmed the California findings. Ionizing radiation in the environment has a cumulative effect, where increased levels have been reported in dairy products and soils such as in New York City, causing an increase in biological problems in exposed populations.
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