[This article was written in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster, and it was then published at Counterpunch, Globalresearch and many other outlets. The real problem is the Big Lie centering around how dangerous radioactivity actually is. That’s right: high officials at UN and elsewhere deceive the public with fraudulent science that minimizes and plays down the damage from radiation contamination of populations.]
The Future Children of Fukushima
“[A] woman in her fourth month of pregnancy was contaminated with 137Cs [radioactive cesium]… The concentration of 137Cs in the mother (0.91 kBq/kg bw) was similar to that in her newborn child (0.97 kBq/kg bw) 1.”
Children in Belarus, Ukraine and certain provinces of Russia tell us what to expect from a massive radiation contamination such as Japan is currently experiencing. Radiation attacks the young to a harsher degree than it does adults, and yet we do know that it kills adults. Radioactivity causes numerous illnesses including terminal cancers, and not just from a large initial dose but over time from absorbed emitting particles inside the body.
A senior nuclear adviser to the Japanese Prime Minister, professor Toshiso Kosako resigned in protest from his government. This as the Japanese government raised the level of permissible exposure to schoolchildren twenty fold, from 1mSv/year to 20mSv.
The atomic power industry, it can be proved, has been an unprecedented catastrophe for mankind.
One of the world’s leading experts on radionuclide contamination is Dr. Yury Bandazhevsky based in Minsk, Belarus. Near Chernobyl’s “ground zero” Bandazhevsky has published hundreds of scientific papers and has studied the radioactive contamination absorbed by children there for decades.
The parents of northern Japan had best investigate Dr. Bandazhevsky’s dietary recommendations. He’s found that apple pectin helps remove radioactive cesium-137 from the body.
However, food grown and animals grazed in contaminated regions will pass along radiation to human populations for centuries. The Japanese reliance on fish will soon produce another shock to their nation as larger fish absorb more radioactive particles up the food chain.
Dr. Bandazhevsky has placed hard numbers on the dangers of internal contamination from radiation, “Chronic Cs-137 levels over 30 Bq/kg body weight is often associated with serious cardiovascular diseases 2.” For children with cesium 137 in excess of 50 Becquerels/kg body weight, “pathological disorders of the vital organs or systems will occur 3.” These levels can produce grotesque malformations in newborn babies and increase the risk of spontaneous abortions.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) says, “Both 134Cs and 137Cs emit beta particles and gamma rays, which may ionize molecules within cells penetrated by these emissions and result in tissue damage and disruption of cellular function 4.”
Expecting Japanese mothers should flee the north of Japan as quickly as possible. Abandon the region for the sake of their children’s safety. Fetuses are in imminent danger and are many times more vulnerable to radiation than are adults.
How much radiation is Japan bathed in right now?
Nature magazine online reported that soil 40km northwest of the plant contained, “Cesium-137 levels of 163,000 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) and iodine-131 levels of 1,170,000 Bq/kg, according to Japan’s science ministry 5.”
Tellingly, the new official “exclusion zone” is only a 30km radius from the plant. This means that those living atop the irradiated soil described above will not even be prompted to leave. Most will not. They will eventually return to life as usual. Only the colorless, tasteless, odorless radioactive isotopes will poison their families ceaselessly for the rest of their lives. Cesium, strontium, iodine and other radionuclides will continue to attack life forms in that contaminated environment despite any hollow assurances to the contrary.
Plutonium, the most toxic substance on earth, has been detected at eight different monitoring stations in Korea.
Radioactivity is a highly contested and controversial subject. Vast caches of medical evidence are routinely ignored in the mainstream media. At the nerve center of the controversy is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose entire purpose is to promote the atomic power industry worldwide. Many don’t know, but the IAEA has the authority on all health matters concerning radiation, both military and civil.
The World Health Organization can simply be blocked – by the IAEA – from publishing its findings concerning radioactive disasters like Chernobyl. This exact scenario occurred in 1995 under the tenure of WHO Director Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima 6.
A Swiss documentary team discovered that Dr. Nakajima’s 1995 international conference of “700 experts and physicians” was prevented from publishing its findings on Chernobyl by the IAEA. The 2004 Swiss film Nuclear Controversies documents this battle between doctors and scientists on the scene vs. the IAEA.
Regarding the IAEA, Dr. Nakajima said, “for atomic affairs, military use and civil use, peaceful or civil use they have the authority. They command 7.”
The elephant in the room is that word “military,” and the desire of Western militaries to pummel other lands with “depleted uranium” (sic) munitions. These nations must deny that the uranium contamination will harm the civilian population there. That admission alone would constitute a confession of war crimes, and so the fiction continues.
Radiation attacks DNA and causes horrific malformations, sudden mortality, and diseases that persist for the rest of the person’s life. Several films have documented the radiation effects on the children of Chernobyl including the Academy Award winning Chernobyl Heart (2003). This film shows harrowing images of deformed infants and numerous teenagers who suffer from thyroid cancers and other thyroid diseases. Fewer than 20% of children in the nation of Belarus can be classified as “healthy,” according to official government studies.
A Ukrainian study found that, “for each case of thyroid cancer there were 29 other thyroid pathologies 8.”
Dr. Bandazhevsky found further health effects at even lower levels of cesium contamination. For “children having 5 Bq/kg more than 80% are healthy, while having 11 Bq/kg only 35% of children are healthy 9.”
Chernobyl Heart, The Battle of Chernobyl (2006) and Nuclear Controversies (2004) have been available streaming online for all to see. The evidence that radiation destroys the lives of entire populations is irrefutable. Official United Nations studies have failed to reflect this reality on the ground. What the UN has fallen back on as a rationale for its behavior is found in the 2008 UNSCEAR report on Chernobyl:
“As discussed previously in the section on the attribution of effects to radiation exposure, because presently there are no biomarkers specific to radiation, it is not possible to state scientifically that radiation caused a particular cancer in an individual 10.”
By their own logic it is also not possible to scientifically rule out that radiation caused the epidemic of cancers found in the highly contaminated regions. But, that’s exactly what the UN has shamelessly done in a series of reports that deliberately under-count the deaths from the Chernobyl catastrophe.
While the IAEA refuses to accept medical consequences of the radioactivity it promotes, it does acknowledge that radiation has spread from the crippled Fukushima plant. Readings as high as 25 Megabecquerels per sq. meter iodine-131, and 3.7 Megabecquerels per sq. meter cesium-137 were reported “at distances of 25 to 58 km 11” from the still out of control plant. These numbers should prompt massive evacuations at much greater distances than the official exclusion zone (read: uninhabitable zone) of 30km.
Facing that reality would render a large chunk of Japan a wasteland with economic costs beyond calculation. The numbers of refugees would surpass anything that the government could possibly manage. The absolute insanity of atomic power would instantly become an unavoidable fact to the entire (sane) world.
All exposures to radiation increase the risks of cancer, and there is no such thing as a “safe dose.” This is the determination of the National Academy of Sciences 12, the EPA 13, NRC 14, CDC 15 etcetera. Thus, when a population is exposed to any increase in radioactive particles, some percentage of people and animals will be adversely affected. The exact number is difficult to determine, but estimates are made through extrapolation.
Dr. Chris Busby has predicted “400,000” cases of cancer for the population within 200 kilometers of Fukushima 16. That includes the suburbs of Tokyo. Studies from Europe after Chernobyl were used in his calculations. Cancers include thyroid, leukemia, pancreas, prostate, lung, skin, bone – every type of cancer that exists. This is what radiation does to living organisms.
The evidence is clear. Children living “in contaminated regions, in a radius of 250 – 300 km from Chernobyl show an increase in mutations 17.” From the years 1987 to 2004, “the incidence of brain tumors in children up to 3 years of age doubled and in infants it increased 7.5-fold 18.”
Thousands of studies from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the surrounding countries were compiled in 2009 by Dr. Alexey Yablokov and Drs. Vassily and Alexey Nesterenko. Chernobyl, Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment was published by the New York Academy of Sciences and cites 5,000 studies. Forty percent of Europe was dosed with significant radiation. Radioactivity spread across the northern hemisphere where it continues to affect human health to this day.
The most contaminated provinces show human devastation directly correlated to radiation levels. Gomel province in Belarus had 90% healthy children in 1985, the year before the meltdown. By 2000, “fewer than 10% of children were well 19.” Effects were directly related to the levels of contamination, eliminating other possible factors.
Rare deformities in infants increased radically. Severe Congenital Malformations (CMs) “such as polydactyly, deformed internal organs, absent or deformed limbs, and retarded growth increased significantly in the contaminated districts… officially registered CMs increased 5.7-fold during the first 12 years after the catastrophe 20.” This is what the parents of Northern Japan should expect if they decide to stay. This is what the promotion of high risk atomic power has bequeathed to the next generations of those who live near the contaminated zone.
The IAEA’s methodology showed obvious holes in the counting of victims, post-Chernobyl. Stillbirths aren’t counted at all. The reality is that up to 2004, “the estimated total number of miscarriages and stillbirths in Ukraine as a result of Chernobyl was about 50,000 21.” Those are fifty thousand human deaths in the single nation of Ukraine that did not even merit a mention in the UN’s so-called “official death toll.”
How many really died from Chernobyl’s meltdown?
The Yablokov/Nesterenko book places the death toll at about one million.
“Thus the overall mortality for the period from April 1986 to the end of 2004 from the Chernobyl catastrophe was estimated at 985,000 additional deaths. This estimate of the number of additional deaths is similar to those of Gofman (1994a) and Bertell (2006). 22“
Three independent studies arrived at similar findings.
The atomic energy industry today across many nations displays a reckless disregard for human life bordering on Crimes Against Humanity. The Rome Statute, employed by the International Criminal Court, added the following category to Crimes Against Humanity:
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
As all nuclear plants regularly and routinely discharge harmful radioactive particles, which all governments admit are unsafe, the case is pretty clear. Nuclear power must be abolished while there is still enough uncontaminated arable farmland to sustain us. In a strictly moral sense, these reckless plants endanger millions of other people’s children, perhaps 12,000 human generations yet to be born 23. Radioactive power generation places us in jeopardy at risk for catastrophic illnesses. This is a gross deliberate violation of millions of people’s human rights. Plutonium remains a threat to future civilizations. This reckless, uncontrolled release of radioactive isotopes has fouled the earth.
The people of Japan should remember the people of Belarus. Birth defects in children “whose mothers live in contaminated zones is twice as high as compared to those, whose mothers live in clean regions 24.”
1. World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC, Monographs on the Evaluatiion of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Vol. 78 Ionizing Radiation Part 2: Some Internally Depostited Radionuclides, 2001, IARCPress, Lyon France, p. 343.
2. Yuri Bandazhevsky, Chronic Cs-137 incorporation in children ’s organs, 488 SWISS MED WKLY, 2003;133:488–490 · http://www.smw.ch (peer reviewed), Official journal of, the Swiss Society of Infectious disease, Swiss Society of Internal Medicine, Swiss Respiratory Society
3., 17., 24. The Chernobyl Catastrophe and Health Care, By Dr. Michel Fernex, Professor emeritus, Medical Faculty of Basel, F-68480 Biederthal, France.
4: Center for Disease Control Publication p157-c2, CESIUM, 2. RELEVANCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH, CDC website.
5. Nature Journal Online, Radioactivity Spreads in Japan, March 29 2011, http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110329/full/471555a.html
6., 7. Nuclear Controversies, 2004, Swiss TV, Film by Wladimir Tchertkoff, Feldat Film Switzerland.
8. ,18., 19., 20., 21., 22. Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, Alexey V. Nesterenko, 2009,Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol.1181.
9. V.B. Nesterenko’s report at the International conference “Medical Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe: results of 15-year researches”, June 4-8, 2001, Kiev, Ukraine.
10. SOURCES AND EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation UNSCEAR 2008 Report to the General Assembly with Scientific Annexes, VOLUME II Annex D Health effects due to radiation from the Chernobyl accident
11. IAEA website, Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log, March 30, 2011, http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/fukushima300311.html
12. National Academy of Sciences, 2006, Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11340&page=1#
13. EPA website, Radiation Risks and Realities, “The more radiation dose a person receives, the greater the chance of developing cancer… Current evidence suggests that any exposure to radiation poses some risk, however, risks at very low exposure levels have not been definitively demonstrated.“ [“very low” not defined –JG] http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/402-k-07-006.pdf
14. NRC website, Fact Sheet on Biological Effects of Radiation, “This dose-response hypothesis suggests that any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.”
15. Center for Disease Control website, Prenatal Radiation Exposure: A Fact Sheet for Physicians, “However, the human embryo and fetus are particularly sensitive to ionizing radiation, and the health consequences of exposure can be severe, even at radiation doses too low to immediately affect the mother. Such consequences can include growth retardation, malformations, impaired brain function, and cancer.”
16. Dr. Chris Busby, Reuters, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S0H-mtsdsgg.
23. Al Jazeera, April 4, 2011, No safe levels’ of radiation in Japan by Dahr Jamail, quoting Dr. Kathleen Sullivan.
Arne Gunderson and Ian Goddard analyze the National Academy of Sciences BEIR report from 2006 on cancer risks from radiation exposure. Also, more recent studies of nuclear industry workers shed light on increased cancer risk from even allegedly “low levels” of radiation exposure.
A video speech by Steven Starr, MT (ASCP) from Physicians for Social Responsibility that covers many of the same points: