No Safe Level of Radiation
Radiation damage and protection levels are based on “Reference Man,” a healthy, white male in the prime of life, and mostly ignore the more vulnerable fetus, growing infant and child, the aged, those in poor health, and women who are, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 37- 50% more vulnerable than adult men to the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.
These levels, therefore, do not take into account the far greater vulnerability of women and children, especially pregnant women and unborn children. Further, a panel from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences charged to investigate the dangers of low-energy, low-dose ionizing radiation has concluded, “that it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers… (BIER VII, 2005)”
Therefore, saying that there can be a “safe” level of radiation exposure is simply wrong. There is no guarantee that even the smallest doses of radiation will not cause harm.
Radiation treatment for cancer may increase risk for new cancers later in life. The report Second Cancers Caused by Cancer Treatment, American Cancer Society, January 31, 2012, discusses the risk of some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, increasing a person’s risk of developing a different type of cancer later in life.
How Radiation Harms
Ionizing radiation (the kind expelled from nuclear reactors) travels through our living tissue with much more energy than either natural chemical or biological functions. This extra energy tears mercilessly at the very fabric of what makes us recognizably human—our genetic material.
Elderly and people with immune disorders are more susceptible to ionizing radiation.
Women are more susceptible to this damage than men and children more susceptible than adults. Children and the unborn are especially susceptible because of their rapid and abundant cell division during growth. Female children are the most susceptible.
Recent French and German studies indicate higher rates of leukemia for children living near nuclear power plants. The well respected 2007 German KiKK study found children under age five living near nuclear power plants had over twice the normal rate of leukemia. See Table V and chart below.
- Over twice the normal rate (2.19) if they lived within 3.1 miles (5 km).
- 1.33 times the normal rate if they lived within 6.2 miles (10 km).
KiKK German Study: Estimated dose response curve for leukaemias (upper curve) based on conditional logistic regression model (593 cases, 1,766 matched controls; distance axis cut off at 50 km). Lower curve: estimated lower one-sided 95% confidence band. Dotted lines: categorical results for inner 5- and 10-km zone.
Cancers linked to ionizing radiation exposure include most blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma), lung cancer, and many solid tumors of various organs.
Heart ailments are also associated with radiation exposure.
Additionally, evidence exists that radiation is permanently and unpredictably mutating the gene pool and contributing to its gradual weakening. The New Scientist quotes a report that calls genetic or chromosomal instabilities caused by radiation exposure a “plausible mechanism” for explaining illnesses other than cancer, including “developmental deficiencies in the fetus, hereditary disease, accelerated aging and such non-specific effects as loss of immune competence.”
A living being’s genetic material is the library that houses the instructions for many important aspects of that being and his or her offspring including the ability to defend against a myriad of diseases. If we allow ionizing radiation to tamper with our genes, it could cause irreversible damage, not just to this generation through cancer, but to future generations through gene mutations and ensuing disease.
The health consequences of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster are continuing. See this important video on the health consequences of Chernobyl and how the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAAE) is involved in suppressing the information.
Dr. Don Mosier October 15, 2013 San Clemente presentation on cancer risks from mammograms (xrays). See more from the October 15th Nuclear Waste symposium.
Medical reference for cancer risk from mammogram: Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach (2012), Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Authors: Committee on Breast Cancer and the Environment: The Scientific Evidence, Research Methodology, and Future Directions; Institute of Medicine. Appendix F contains information on the mammogram (xray) cancer risks referenced in Dr. Mosier’s presentation as well as the current NRC nuclear worker occupational radiation dose limits. The NRC webpage for occupational dose limits is http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part020/part020-1201.html
Amy Berrington de González, D.Phil, is a senior investigator at National Cancer Institute and has done numerous reports on the cancer risks of radiation. Much of her research is referenced in the above report. Click here to see her biography and links to her studies.
- Beyond Nuclear Fact Sheet – Radiation Basics
- Leukaemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants (KiKK study) pdf version
- Beir VII: Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation
- Environmental Protection Agency – Health Effects of Radiation
- Childhood leukemia – French study confirms findings in Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland of childhood leukemias near nuclear power plants
- Childhood leukemia higher around French nuclear power plants—Geocap study, 2002–2007 – International Journal of Cancer 2012
- Runaway Use of Radiation Harming Patients - Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Genomic Medicine and theheart.org 12/17/2012
- Tuna with higher than normal levels of radiation found near San Diego – OC Register 05/25/2012
- Potassium Iodide (KI) Fact Sheet