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Children and Health

Children are among the most vulnerable to - and least protected from - radiation exposure. Current "acceptable" exposure standards in the U.S. are based on "Standard Man" - i.e., a robust young male. This does not take into account the more serious effects of radiation exposure to pregnant women and children in particular, including to the unborn. Beyond Nuclear supports efforts to change these standards.

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Monday
Jun042012

Chest Radiation for Girls Is Linked to Breast Cancer Later 

Women who were exposed to chest radiation to treat cancer during childhood have a risk of developing breast cancer as adults that is comparable to that of women with a high genetic risk of the disease, according to a study being presented Monday.

Researchers analyzed data from 1,268 women who survived childhood cancer treated between 1970 and 1986 and found that by age 50, 24% had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Wall Street Journal

And from the Washington Post:

“We find that by age 50, approximately 30 percent of women treated with radiation for Hodgkin lymphoma” as girls have developed breast cancer, said Chaya Moskowitz, a biostatistician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who led the study.

That is far higher than the 4 percent rate for the general population, and is comparable to the rate in women who have mutations in inherited BRCA genes that increase risk. Among women who had chest radiation for any type of childhood cancer, 24 percent developed breast cancer by age 50.

The study was to be presented Monday at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

Saturday
Mar032012

Radiation precautions are not child's play in Fukushima Prefecture

A heartbreaking BBC News Asia video focuses on Ayaka, a young girl who lost her grandfather and home to the tsunami in Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2011, and whose life is now circumscribed by radiation precautions that limit her freedom to play outdoors. This, despite now living beyond the arbitrarily small 12.4 mile (20 km) "Dead Zone" around the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Her father bought a Ukrainian radiation monitor on the internet, which he uses to check background levels before he lets Ayaka play on the parking lot for at most 30 minutes, only on weekends. She's not allowed to play on the grass, or near trees or surface water, because the radiation levels are higher there. Ayaka also wears a face mask on her way to school, and a personal radiation monitor to track her exposures. Ayaka reads from her diary entry from March 13, 2011, in which she expresses her fear of the invisible radioactivity around her. Writing helped her deal with her emotions -- she was afraid to express her fears directly to her father or grandmother.

Tuesday
Feb142012

Environmental coalition raises cumulative health concerns in resistance against Fermi 3

NRC file photo of Fermi 2 on the Lake Erie shore, where Detroit Edison wants to build a giant new reactorOn Feb. 13, 2012, attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, on behalf of an environmental coalition, filed a rebuttal to challenges by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and Detroit Edison. The agency and utility were challenging contentions filed by the environmental coalition on Jan. 11, 2012 concerning NRC's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) about the new Fermi 3 reactor, a proposed General Electric-Hitachi ESBWR (so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor"). The new contentions involve such issues as impacts on endangered and threatened plant and animal species, and their critical habitats, from the overall Fermi 3 proposal, as well as related sub-proposals, such as the contemplated transmission line corridor; radiological health impacts on the Monroe County community from Fermi 3, which has already suffered a half century of radiological and toxic chemical harm from the Fermi 1 and Fermi 2 reactors, as well as a number of giant coal burning power plants; and impacts on the Walpole Island First Nation, just 53 miles away across the U.S./Canadian border. Joe Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Human Health Project, serves as expert witness for the environmental coalition. The coalition includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizen Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. Among health impacts happening at an elevated rate in Monroe County are infant mortality, low birth weight babies, and various childhood cancers.

Beyond Nuclear has compiled all the filings relating to the battle over the Fermi 3 Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Tuesday
Feb072012

Health hazards tritium and hydrazine released 600 yards from tribal day care center at Prairie Island

NRC file photo of Prairie Island nuclear power plantXcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant has made what appears to be two admissions of separate toxic chemical and radiological spills in less than a week. Residents, and the tribal day care center, of the Prairie Island Indian Community are located within hundreds of yards of the nuclear power plant. Read more...

Monday
Feb062012

Infant mortality and low birth weights noted in vicinity of Fermi nuclear power plant

NRC file photo of Fermi 2, located in Monroe County, MIchigan on the Lake Erie shorelineThe Detroit News has reported, in an article entitled "Fermi 3 foes urge health analysis," that indications of health damage from the operations of Fermi 2 be further studied before any plans for a new reactor at Fermi 3 move forward. The article reports on the questions raised in a recent report by Joe Mangano, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, such as why Monroe County suffers from inexplicably high rates of infant motality, low birth weights, cancer mortality, and non-fatal cancer incidence.

Mangano serves as an expert witness for the international environmental coalition officially intervening against the Fermi 3 proposal. The coalition's member groups are Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizen Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

The article quoted from Mangano's submission: "Of 19 indicators, the Monroe County rate change (before and after Fermi 2 began operating) exceeded the state or nation for all 19...".

The article also quoted from Don't Waste Michigan's Michael Keegan: "It's important to establish what the situation is...If you're talking about putting another reactor into play, you need to know where you are with baseline cancer statistics."