Minimising radiation record by deceptive means

“We should pay particular attention to the fact that the presence of even relatively small amounts of Cs-137 in children from 10-30Bq/kg…leads to a doubling in the number of children with electrocardiographic disorders.”

 200 Bq/kg, in a pregnant woman can result in fetal death according to the Belarus studies.

 the longer someone stays in a contaminated area, eats contaminated food and/or raises a family in these conditions, the more damage will accumulate and the more, even what were once considered small doses, will have great detriment on health.

Deception in Sieverts: how a measure of radiation damage can actually be used to hide damage http://www.beyondnuclear.org/children-health/2012/8/17/deception-in-sieverts-how-a-measure-of-radiation-damage-can.html According to a research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), levels of internal cesium
contamination after Fukushima are “low…much lower than those reported in studies years after the Chernobyl incident”.

However, longer-term, internal exposure to even low levels of cesium can cause a range of
diseases and pre-disease conditions, including cancer. The contamination levels found in the people examined in this research are within this range of concern.

For this letter to the editor (Tsubokura, et al.) researchers used
actual counts of gamma radiation coming from people’s bodies. Roughly,
this count per second of gamma (given in the unit Becquerels or Bq) is
then divided by the person’s weight, given in kilograms (kg).  This
gives a whole body count that is used to derive the amount of
radioactive cesium inside the person.  While not entirely a direct
measurement, fewer assumptions and estimates are associated with Bq/kg
than with the more highly favored Sievert (Sv).

The Sievert is an estimate of radiation damage based on a number of
assumptions (not all of which are correct or applicable to any
specific individual) and can end up hiding health damage depending on
how it is used.  In this letter, the researchers claim that, even
though some cesium concentrations were as high as 196.5 Bq/kg, no
person had an estimated dose above 1millisievert – a dose that is
considered low by nuclear experts.

However, in the early 2000s, a medical doctor in Belarus, Yuri
Bandajevski, examined 3000-4000 tissue samples from approximately 400
deceased individuals. Disease or pre-disease conditions were compared
to radioactive cesium contamination levels (in Bq/kg) of those same
individuals. He replicated his results in animals and also examined a
number of living people. There were strong associations between (pre-)
pathologies observed, and contamination levels in Bq/kg, across all
study subjects.

Bandajevski says “We should pay particular attention to the fact that the presence of even relatively small amounts of Cs-137 in children from 10-30Bq/kg…leads to a doubling in the number of children with electrocardiographic disorders.” Cesium-137 can cause “…in relatively small doses (20-30 Bq/kg); a breach of the regulatory processes in the
body. This contributes to the emergence of pathological processes and
diseases. This emergence is based on the latent genetic predisposition
due to mutagenic action, including the same Cs-137, on gametes of the
parental generation.”

For adults the concentration of cesium in the Tsubokura letter ranges
from 2.3 to 196.5 Bq/kg. 200 Bq/kg, in a pregnant woman can result in
fetal death according to the Belarus studies. For children, the
concentration of cesium ranges from 2.8 to 57.9 Bq/kg, which is within
the range of concern shown, including impacts on the heart and hormone
imbalance shown in the Belarus studies.

Therefore, to imply that internal cesium contamination at the levels
found after Fukushima are low and of little concern, doesn’t account
for what previous research has demonstrated based on the Bq/kg
measurement. And while nuclear experts and proponents can claim that 1
millisievert is a “small” amount, it is obviously well within the
range that can cause health problems. These health problems can be
compounded with continued exposure, to even small amounts of cesium,
across generations, indicating that the longer someone stays in a
contaminated area, eats contaminated food and/or raises a family in
these conditions, the more damage will accumulate and the more, even
what were once considered small doses, will have great detriment on
health.

In this way, the Sievert as a unit of damage is obviously not precise
or foolproof enough to accommodate the many natural variations among
humans and exposure scenarios. It can, in fact, lead to misleading
assessments about just how dangerous exposure to radioactivity is. A
more direct measurement like Bq/kg equated with disease is, at least
for cesium, a much truer representation of damage.

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