Posted by: Dr Churchill | April 13, 2011

Radiation in the USA

The US Environmental Protection Agency – recently gutted by the GOP led US Budget compromise cuts – fails to report the fresh or most current data on radioactivity across the land and it only releases older data as accumulated in a backlog, two to three weeks old.

The US – EPA continues to release weeks old data that still are showing that various milk and water supply samples from across the US are testing increasingly high for radioactive elements such as Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137, all of which are being emitted from the ongoing Fukushima Daiichia nuclear fallout. As of April 10, 2011, 23 US water supplies have tested positive for radioactive Iodine-131 (http://opendata.socrata.com/w/4ig7-…), and worst of all, milk samples from at least three US locations have tested positive for Iodine-131 at levelsexceeding EPA maximum containment levels(MCL) (http://opendata.socrata.com/w/pkfj-…).

Again, these figures do not include the other radioactive elements being spread by Fukushima, so there is no telling what the actual cumulative radiation levels really were in these samples. The figures were also taken two weeks ago, and were only just recently reported. If current samples were taken at even more cities, and if the tests conducted included the many other radioactive elements besides Iodine-131, actual contamination levels would likely be frighteningly higher.

But in typical old school bureaucratic government fashion – mainly in order to avoid panic and a backlash against nuclear energy –  the EPA insists that everything is just fine.

All is hanky-dory they say, even though an increasing amount of US city water supplies are turning up positive for even just the three radioactive elements for which the agency is testing. And the radiation levels seem to be constantly increasing as a direct result of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant, which continues to emit radio-isotops with no end in sight.

Water although most important for human life, may be the least of our problems. Because the new data the EPA just released, shows that at least three different milk samples — all from different parts of the US and two weeks old — have tested positive for radioactive Iodine-131 at levels thatexceed the EPA maximum thresholds for safety, which is currently set at 3.0 pico Curies per Liter (pCi/l).

In Phoenix, Ariz., a milk sample taken on March 28, 2011, tested at 3.2 pCi/l. In Little Rock, Ark., a milk sample taken on March 30, 2011, tested at 8.9 pCi/l, which is almostthree times the EPA limit. And in Hilo, Hawaii, a milk sample collected on April 4, 2011, tested at 18 pCi/l, a level six times the EPA maximum safety threshold. The same Hawaii sample also tested at 19 pCi/l for Cesium-137, which has a half life of 30 years, and a shocking 24 pCi/l for Cesium-134, which has a half life of just over two years.

But why is the US milk supply contamination significant?

Mainly because it is consumed mainly by the most vulnerable – the children – and also because milk, typically represents the overall condition of the food chain because cows consume grass and are exposed to the same elements as food crops and water supplies. In other words, when cows’ milk starts testing positive for high levels of radioactive elements, this is indicative of radioactive contamination in the entire food supply.

And as far as water supplies are concerned, it is important to note that the EPA is only testing for radioactive Iodine-131 amongst the many elements released into the air, sea water, ground water and soil from the Fukushima disaster. For example Strontium is one of the deadliest substances known to man and nobody is testing for it although it was found released from Fukushima in Japan well outside the evacuation zone and even outside the voluntary exclusion zones demarkated around the nuclear plants.

Still in the US, as a way to calm public fears, it’s often reported in the various news media daily outlets, that background and airplane travel radiation is a common source of ambient radiation people are exposed to annually, and it is almost comparable to the low levels of radiation received from the atmospheric discharges coming out from the emissions of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

And although this is calming frayed nerves, it’s total Bull. Complete Bullshit. Not only it’s BS but it is also a false start. A red herring if you will. A smart PR construct, coming to you directly from the companies that construct the nuclear reactors and have vested Media interests too. Ambient radiation is natural and even that received from your dentist and the ground or space and sun radiation, aren’t at all the same like ingesting radioactive compounds like strontium or iodine from Fukushima… floating in the atmosphere.

Yet it is important to note that airplane travel radiation – most commonly compared – is a small increments of time exposure, and most importantly that it is an external emitter of radiation, while Fukushima-induced radiation in food, air and water is an internal emitter. And because it enters our bodies and stays causing damage from within is far more dangerous and often lethal. And since internal damage, like internal cancers, bleeding and organ failure devastations caused by this form of radiation are far more serious and next to impossible to repair. The former – ambient radiation – which is considered “normal” radiation, hits your body from the outside, while the latter nuclear radiation goes directly inside your body and into your digestive tract.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the immense difference between the two, and the much more severe consequences associated with literally ingesting radiation vs having it hit your outer protective layer, namely your skin cells tasked with that specific protective role amongst it’s many functions.

In all honesty, there really is no safe level of nuclear radiation, beyond the trace amounts of natural ambient radiation.

No matter how many times the EPA and others repeat the well rehearsed lie that Fukushima radiation levels are too low to have any significant impact, the statement itself is patently false. Their own data streams speak otherwise. Even when they release them weeks after the event.

Many experts, including Jeff Patterson, former President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, have stated that radiation exposure at any level is unsafe.

And methinks, they are correct.

Because, “There is no safe level of radionuclides exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period.” said Patterson.

“Exposure to radionuclides, such as Iodine-131 and Cesium-137, increases the incidence of cancers throughout the insides of the human body and the population at large. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclides content in food and water.”

And now that radioactive levels in some areas of the USA have actually exceeded many times the EPA maximums, Patterson’s statement is even more chilling.

So while the mainstream media continues its near-total blackout on the radiation levels of the US food supply stemming from our use of nuclear energy and the Fukushima disaster in particular, the situation is actually becoming more severe than it has ever been.

Time will surely tell how severe the long-term effects of this disaster will be, but one thing is for sure right now: The Fukushima radiation releases cannot and should not be taken lightly... and the general state of Power & Utility businesses using nuclear energy plants for base load energy generation has to be reversed.

And direct EPA data openness, radiation level information transparency has also to be reinstated fully.

Period.

Friday’s vote in the German Parliament for the banning of Nuclear Energy is an important step forward.

Finally someone sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

May the US sees the light and follows suit too.

Soonest, before it irradiates it’s children too.

Because in places like the Three Mile island or the Indian Point NY or even the new South Carolina Plutonium MOX fuel reprocessing plant, or the Tri-city Richland Hanford nuclear reservation on the Columbia river; the reality of living with cancer is all too evident with the median age of people living there, being far less than elsewhere…

within the United States of America.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

There are no readings or data available either for cesium, uranium, or plutonium — all of which are being continuously emitted from Fukushima.

Although, these elements are all much more deadly than Iodine-131.

Even so, the following water supplies have thus far tested positive for Iodine-131, with the dates they were collected in parenthesis to the right:
Los Angeles, Calif. – 0.39 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Baxter), Penn. – 0.46 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Belmont), Penn. – 1.3 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Queen), Penn. – 2.2 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Muscle Shoals, Al. – 0.16 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Niagara Falls, NY – 0.14 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Denver, Colo. – 0.17 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Detroit, Mich. – 0.28 pCi/l (3/31/11)
East Liverpool, Oh. – 0.42 pCi/l (3/30/11)
Trenton, NJ – 0.38 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Painesville, Oh. – 0.43 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Columbia, Penn. – 0.20 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (4442), Tenn. – 0.28 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (772), Tenn. – 0.20 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (360), Tenn. – 0.18 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Helena, Mont. – 0.18 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Waretown, NJ – 0.38 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Cincinnati, Oh. – 0.13 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Pittsburgh, Penn. – 0.36 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Oak Ridge (371), Tenn. – 0.63 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Chattanooga, Tenn. – 1.6 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Boise, Id. – 0.2 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Richland, Wash. – 0.23 pCi/l (3/28/11)


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