[ RadSafe ] Thyroid woes a long-term risk after exposure to radiation

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 7 11:07:57 CST 2006


Thyroid woes a long-term risk after exposure to radiation
Low Radiation Levels In Indian Point Water Leak
Nuclear plant spills trigger water worries
Finns to Test Mobile ‘Phone Radiation on Human Skin
Exposure to Mayaro uranium canister could be harmful, warns EMA
Land council relaxed about nuclear waste
Don't build nuclear plants, Blair told

Thyroid woes a long-term risk after exposure to radiation

Japanese study may offer clues in Utah fallout legacy

Deseret Morning News Mar 7 -  In what might have implications for 
Utahns exposed to radioactive fallout in the 1950s and '60s, a new 
Japanese study concludes the danger of thyroid disease continues for 
many decades after exposure to atomic bomb radiation.  

The report published in the March 1 edition of the Journal of the 
American Medical Association says that among the 4,091 Japanese 
atomic bomb attack survivors examined almost 60 years after the 
attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thyroid disease was identified in 
1,833, or 44.8 percent of the participants.  

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control discontinued a study 
headed by the University of Utah's Dr. Joseph L. Lyon of thyroid 
abnormalities among downwinders exposed to fallout from atomic 
testing in Nevada. That study, a follow-up examining people who were 
children during above-ground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site, 
ended after an expenditure of $8 million.  

Although only 1,700 of a planned 4,500 people were examined, Lyon 
told the Deseret Morning News last June, "We identified several 
hundred cases of disease."  

The method of exposure is different between direct atomic bomb blasts 
and fallout. But what is striking about the Japanese study is that 
for children exposed to atomic bomb radiation, thyroids continued to 
develop abnormalities nearly six decades after the momentary 

In the JAMA study, Japanese scientists examined people who were 
exposed through the flash of radiation released when atomic bombs 
went off at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The leader of the study 
was Dr. Misa Imaizumi of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 

"A significant linear radiation dose response for thyroid nodules, 
including malignant tumors and benign nodules, exists in atomic bomb 
survivors," the study says. "However, there is no significant dose 
response for autoimmune thyroid diseases."  

The Japanese study included a "comprehensive thyroid disease survey 
between 2000 and 2003," JAMA said.  

It notes that "55 to 58 years after radiation exposure, a significant 
linear dose-response relationship existed in the prevalence of not 
only malignant thyroid tumors but also benign thyroid nodules and 
that the relationship was significantly higher in those exposed at 
younger ages."  

Autoimmune thyroid diseases were not found to be significantly 
associated with radiation exposure, the JAMA article says.  

John D. Boice Jr., scientific director of the International 
Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., wrote an editorial 
published by JAMA, discussing the study. It noted that there was no 
significant increased risk of thyroid cancer for people who were 
exposed after age 20, and that radiation-induced thyroid cancers are 
rarely fatal.  

However, he wrote, "the risk per unit dose following exposure in 
childhood is higher than for any other radiation-induced malignancy."

In a Deseret Morning News telephone interview, Boice said the 
Japanese study had two notable findings:  

"One, that nearly 60 years after being exposed to the atomic bombs in 
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a biological effect on the thyroid could be 
detected," he said. "And so that indicates that this risk has stayed 
with the children that were exposed for almost 60 years."  

He thought that length of time was especially interesting. The risk 
appears to be decreasing with the years but was still present, he 

"The second thing was, they did a rather exhaustive study, looking 
for the so-called autoimmune disease." Japanese researchers used the 
latest biological tests to look for hormones in the blood that would 
indicate increased risk of autoimmune-type thyroid disease. "They 
found absolutely no evidence for any association with radiation" in 
such diseases, he said.  

For other thyroid diseases, including cancer, a direct association 
appears to fit with dosage, he said. This applies to children, as 
people who were adults at time of exposure did not show this risk.  

"The atomic bombs were a fraction of a second," Boice said. "There 
was whole-body exposure. The dose was delivered at a very high rate."

In comparison, with ingested fallout, the exposure usually would be 
to a much lower level of radiation but continued over a longer 
period. Radioactive Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days, 
compared with the nearly instantaneous exposure from a bomb's flash.  

With fallout, the commonest way that the thyroid was exposed is 
through drinking milk that contained radioactive iodine, usually I-
131. The iodine particles fell from clouds drifting from the Nevada 
Test Site, cows grazed on contaminated fields and children drank milk 
from the cattle.  

J Truman, a Malad resident who grew up in southwestern Utah and is 
director of the advocacy group Downwinders, was critical of the CDC 
for killing the Utah thyroid study.  

"Just as the Japanese are finding damages from the exposures they 
received are still causing cancers and other problems 60 years 
later," he wrote in an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News, "a similar 
study ongoing now for 40 years at the U. of U. started to show new 
effects and relationships."  

But then, Truman added, the U. study was terminated before it could 
be finished.

Low Radiation Levels In Indian Point Water Leak
Health Department Says No Danger

CBS News (AP) WHITE PLAINS Health Department officials said a leak 
from the Indian Point nuclear power plants has such tiny 
concentrations of radioactive tritium and strontium that there's no 
threat to the public's health.

However, politicians and Entergy, the plants' owner, pledged to keep 
track of any leaks and to keep the public informed.

Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano met with officials 
yesterday after The Journal News reported that strontium-90 was found 
in a test well dug at Indian Point.

The newspaper also reported that officials believe tritium, which was 
found in the groundwater earlier, had reached the Hudson River.

Tritium and strontium-90 are potential cancer-causing agents at much 
higher levels.

"There is no risk to the public health." Westchester Health 
Commissioner Joshua Lipsman said. 

Nuclear plant spills trigger water worries

CHICAGO MSNBC News Mar 7 - Years of radioactive waste water spills 
from Illinois nuclear power plants have fueled suspicions the 
industry covers up safety problems and sparked debate about the risks 
from exposure to low-level radiation.

The recent, belated disclosures of leaks of the fission byproduct 
tritium from Exelon Corp.’s Braidwood, Dresden, and Byron twin-
reactor nuclear plants — one as long ago as 1996 —triggered worries 
among neighbors about whether it was safe to drink their water, or 
even stay.

“How’d you like to live next to that plant and every time you turn on 
the tap to take a drink you have to think about whether it’s safe?” 
asked Joe Cosgrove, the head of parks in Godley, a town adjacent to 

Finns to Test Mobile ‘Phone Radiation on Human Skin

HELSINKI Planet Ark Mar 6 - Finland's radiation watchdog is to study 
the effects of mobile phones on human proteins by direct tests on 
people's skin, to see if handset transmissions affect their health. 

A pilot study, to be conducted next week, will expose a small area of 
skin on volunteers' arms to cellphone radiation for the duration of a 
long phone call, or for one hour, research professor Dariusz 
Leszczynski said on Friday. 
Researchers will then take a skin sample to study and compare with 
one taken before the radiation exposure, he told Reuters. 

Cell samples used in previous laboratory tests by the Radiation and 
Nuclear Safety Authority were all from women, and to keep consistency 
in the data, 10 female volunteers will be used in the new study -- 
all of them employees at the watchdog. 

In previous tests, Leszczynski's group found evidence of mobile phone 
radiation causing cell-level changes such as shrinkage, but he said 
it was still impossible to say if that had significant health 

"Cells function in a different way when they are in the body than in 
laboratory surroundings. Now we want to confirm whether radiation 
causes cell level changes in humans as well," he said. 

The results of the study are due by the end of the year, and 
Leszczynski's team hopes to show if radiation has any impact on the 
body's natural barrier that prevents toxins and other dangerous 
proteins that might be in the bloodstream from reaching brain cells. 

Some researchers suspect brain cancer has become more common as a 
result of cellphone use, but there is no clear evidence to support 
that, Leszczynski said. 

"If harmful proteins get through to the brain, it could have an 
indirect link with cancer, but this is pure speculation," he added. 

Finland, home to top global mobile maker Nokia, has one of the most 
mature telecom markets in the world, with almost everyone having a 
mobile handset.

DANGER - Exposure to Mayaro uranium canister could be harmful, warns 

Trinidad-Tobago Express Mar 7 - The device that washed ashore in 
Mayaro over the weekend contains 16 kilogrammes of depleted uranium, 
and exposure to the radiation could be harmful to people and the 
environment, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) stated 

As a result, the EMA is warning the public not to tamper with the 
equipment but to instead contact the authorities. 

The EMA released photographs of the device, stating that an 
investigation was underway to determine whether any offence was 
committed when it was discarded. 

A $100,000 fine and two years in jail can be imposed on anyone who 
releases a pollutant or hazardous substance, and knowingly or 
recklessly endangers life or health, according to the Environmental 
Management Act. 

The EMA said that the purchaser of the device in Trinidad has been 

The device was discovered last Friday night by a man on the shore 
near Haji Ralph Khan Avenue, Stone Bright Village, Mayaro, several 
miles from bpTT's Pt Galeota oil facility. 

There are several offshore oil platforms off the coast of Mayaro, and 
the device is believed to have been dumped into the sea and washed 
ashore on the high tide. 

The EMA stated that radiation level tests were conducted on the 
canister at the St James Police Barracks, and it was found that it 
contained "an iridium -192 source shielded with 16kg of depleted 
uranium. Exposure to radiation to these materials can be harmful to 
human health and the environment". 

The equipment was not damaged and none of the material was exposed. 

Iridium 192 is defined as a radioactive isotope of the element 
Iridium which has a half life of 75 days, and is used as a source of 
gamma radiation. 

Gamma radiation is similar to X-rays. 

Uranium is the fuel used in nuclear reactors. 

The EMA found that the discarded equipment is used by the petroleum 
industry to establish the integrity of welded joints, and that it was 
"not to be opened or tampered with". 

The EMA stated that contact had already been made with the US-based 
manufacturers who were making arrangements to dispose of the 

Anyone finding a similar device is asked to telephone 628-8042-44 or 
680-9588, the Fire Services, or nearest police station.

Land council relaxed about nuclear waste

The Sydney Morning Herald - Mar 8 - THE Northern Land Council 
declared it would welcome a nuclear waste dump in its backyard after 
representatives inspected the nuclear facility at Lucas Heights.

Nine executive members of the Northern Land Council, which represents 
the Northern Territory's traditional land owners north of Tennant 
Creek, said yesterday they would defer to science over politics.

However, the group seems likely to generate a political storm of its 
own after dismissing environmental concerns and the objections of 
Clare Martin, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.

John Daly, the chairman of the land council, said: "I think the 
biggest mistake Australia has made in general is that we have 
listened to politicians; we should have listened to scientists.

"We want to leave the political side of it out and have a look at the 
pure science of what we have to deal with, with a waste facility."

Mr Daly said the council would not receive money for supporting a 
waste dump, but he indicated that education and health benefits would 
be sought for local communities.

After the Federal Court rebuffed its bid to build a facility in South 
Australia against the wishes of the state government, the Federal 
Government passed legislation in 2005 dictating that a nuclear waste 
repository would be established in the Northern Territory by 2011.

A site has not been selected, but Ms Martin said science had already 
been overruled by politics. "The [Territory] has been selected for 
political expediency; South Australia has been identified as the 
location which is scientifically most suitable," she said.

The chief executive of the Northern Land Council, Norman Fry, said 
nuclear waste was not a big issue for the council.

"It's not that scary to us," he said. "The land council has got a 
very tough reputation; we've been very harsh on government and 
 you can understand that our people here will ask very, 
very strong questions."

Don't build nuclear plants, Blair told 

London, Ma 7, IRNA  UK-Nuclear Energy Prime Minister Tony Blair is 
being told by his government's own advisors that there is no need to 
build a new generation of nuclear power station to meet growing 
energy demands and the country's commitment to climate change 

A wide-ranging report from the Sustainable Development Commission 
(SDC) said Monday that there was "no justification" for a new 
controversial nuclear programme. 

"Our advice to the government is that there is no justification for 
bringing forward plans for a new nuclear programme at this time," Sir 
Jonathon Porritt, chairman of the SDC, said. 

"Any such proposal would be incompatible with its own sustainable 
development strategy," Porritt said. 

He added that although nuclear power stations produce less carbon 
dioxide pollution than those burning coal and gas, concerns over 
uncertain costs and the long-term disposal of radioactive waste 
outweigh the possible environmental benefits. 

The report, which will feed into a review of the government's energy 
policies this summer, is seen as counter-arguing Blair's own 
position, who is reportedly in favor of replacing the country's 
ageing nuclear plants with a new generation. 

Britain is also expected to face a 20 percent shortfall in 
electricity generation as existing nuclear plants are phased out over 
the coming years. 

The government is expected to make a decision in the current 
parliament to plug the shortfall, but the commission report said that 
even doubling the UK's nuclear capacity would lower carbon dioxide 
emissions by only 8 per below 1990 levels by 2035. 

This compares with the government's pledge to reduce carbon emissions 
by 60 per by the middle of the century. The report suggested 
increased emphasis on energy efficiency and the wider use of 
renewable sources are a better way to tackle global warming. 

A new generation of nuclear power would undermine action to improve 
energy efficiency in homes and businesses by "implying that a major 
technological fix is all that's required," the SDC further warned. 

It also said a massive investment in new nuclear infrastructure would 
lock the UK into a centralized system to distribute electricity for 
the next 50 years, threatening the growth in microgeneration 
technologies such as small-scale wind turbines on people's houses. 

The report also raised contradictions to the UK's claim to counter 
nuclear proliferation and terrorism, saying that "if the UK brings 
forward a new nuclear power programme, we cannot deny others the same 
technology [under the UN framework convention on climate change]." 
The SDC, which is led by a board of 16 commissioners from academic, 
scientific, business and campaigning backgrounds, was set up to 
advise the government in 2000 and reports directly to the prime 

Similar accusation of double-standards have also been made separately 
over the government's expected decision in the next year to replace 
its submarine-based nuclear weapons. 

Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

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