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This is a continuation of: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/radioactive-reindeer-chernobyl-guinea-pigs-part-v-of-a-series/ It continues here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/radioactive-reindeer-chernobyl-guinea-pigs-part-vii-of-a-series/

Guinea Pig with cat and tortoise

Granja de cuyes en ecuador.

Radiation impacts blood and the immune system

To scratch the surface on this matter a bit, we must first start with a rather dreary sounding and hard to spell, even for maestro spellers, question(s): What is Haemopoiesis? What is hematopoiesis? What is haemopoiesis? What is hemopoiesis? (No wonder it’s hard to spell!)
Hematopoiesis simple
Hematopoiesis diagram via wikimedia
Haematopoiesis (from Greek αἷμα, “blood” and ποιεῖν “to make”; also hematopoiesis in American English; sometimes also haemopoiesis or hemopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in the medulla of the bone (bone marrow) and have the unique ability to give rise to all of the different mature blood cell types and tissues….All blood cells are divided into three lineages. [5]
Erythroid cells are the oxygen carrying red blood cells. Both reticulocytes and erythrocytes are functional and are released into the blood. In fact, a reticulocyte count estimates the rate of erythropoiesis.
Lymphocytes are the cornerstone of the adaptive immune system. They are derived from common lymphoid progenitors. The lymphoid lineage is primarily composed of T-cells and B-cells (types of white blood cells). This is lymphopoiesis.
Myelocytes, which include granulocytes, megakaryocytes and macrophages and are derived from common myeloid progenitors, are involved in such diverse roles as innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and blood clotting. This is myelopoiesis.
Granulopoiesis (or granulocytopoiesis) is haematopoiesis of granulocytes.
Megakaryocytopoiesis is haematopoiesis of megakaryocytes….
Red and white blood cell production is regulated with great precision in healthy humans, and the production of leukocytes is rapidly increased during infection.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haematopoiesis (bold added for emphasis)
Many aspects of aging are characterized by an inability to return to homeostasis following stress, and the blood cell system is associated with many age-related changes. This includes a decreased resistance and response to infections, and an increased incidence of pathologies, including leukemia.http://www.med.lu.se/english/expmed/research/developmental_hematopoiesis

Extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH) is the proliferation of hematopoietic cells outside of the bone marrow in response to production of too few blood cells to satisfy the body’s demand…. The liver, spleen, kidney, lymph nodes, and posterior mediastinum are the most common sites of EMH, with EMH often occurring in more than one site, although instances of isolated hepatic(6) and renal(7) EMH have been reported. EMH also may occur in uncommon locations, such as the skin(8), central nervous system(9), adrenal gland(10), middle ear(11), spine(12), paratracheal region(13), abdomen(14), and pelvis(15)“. (bold added for emphasis) The above is from:
Case 126: Extramedullary Hematopoiesis” By Yahya M. Berkmen†, MD, and Benjamin A. Zalta, MD, Dept of Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, December 2007, Volume 245, Issue 3 http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/radiol.2453040715

More information on Extramedullary Hematopoiesis (EMH or EH) is discussed here:
Homeostatic and pathogenic extramedullary hematopoiesis” By Chang H Kim, Journal of Blood Medicine 2010:1 13–19 13
Abstract: Extramedullary hematopoiesis (EH) is defined as hematopoiesis occurring in organs outside of the bone marrow; it occurs in diverse conditions, including fetal development, normal immune responses, and pathological circumstances. During fetal development, before formation of mature marrow, EH occurs in the yolk sac, fetal liver, and spleen. EH also occurs during active immune responses to pathogens. Most frequently, this response occurs in the spleen and liver for the production of antigen-presenting cells and phagocytes. EH also occurs when the marrow becomes inhabitable for stem and progenitor cells in certain pathological conditions… Thus, EH occurs either actively or passively in response to diverse changes in the hematopoietic environment…
© 2010 Kim, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd. This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. Full article is here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262334/pdf/jbm-1-013.pdf (bold added for emphasis)

Remember Strontium 90? Like Plutonium, it’s one of the “bone seekers” that JFK spoke about in his speech about stopping above ground nuclear testing:
The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard—and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby—who may be born long after we are gone—should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, July 26th, 1963 (bold added)

(See minutes 12 -14)

The Mayak Facility is one we hear rarely about and yet we need to. Although they discuss Strontium 90 in the below article about Mayak, there’s a pretty clear chance there was Plutonium. If you glance at the wikipedia article on Mayak, there is much talk of plutonium and none of strontium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayak We remain convinced that it’s because you can say, after a few decades, that strontium and caesium have declined. Not so for Plutonium-239 with a half-life of 24,100 years, nor for Plutonium 241, which decays to Americium-241, also a bone-seeker, with a half life of 432 years “which is a major contributor to the radioactivity of nuclear waste on a scale of hundreds or thousands of years“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-241 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu-239The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements“, Lester R. Morss, et. al. ed. Springer, 2006, p. 1817, cites Bulman, 1980 as estimating that plutonium stays in the bone for a “half-time” of 65 to 130 years. They think that, once it is removed from the bone, it is probably recycled to the liver and to the bone, again! We assume this means, if the person is still alive! Morss works or worked for the US Dept. of Energy, which means he’s probably not anti-nuclear! When they tell you that the plutonium leaked by WIPP is not a problem, just think about how old you are and how long 130 years is!
(Most give the half-life in the liver as 20 years, and in the bone as 50 years, essentially a life-time, anyway. Recently we read that for the gonads it is considered permanent.)

Satellite image map of Mayak
Long-Term Hemopoiesis and Immunity Status after Chronic Radiation Exposure of Red Bone Marrow in Humans“. By Alexander V. Akleyev, Galina A. Veremeyeva, Larisa A. Silkina and Alexander V. Vozilova, Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Chelyabinsk, Russia,
Immunity, CEJOEM 1999 5(2):113-129
ABSTRACT: The focus of the paper is on the results of clinical observations and laboratory investigations performed for individuals exposed to chronic radiation due to discharges of about 3 million Ci of radioactive waste from the Mayak Industrial Association into the river Techa in 1949–1956. The population of the riverside villages was exposed to a combined external gamma- and internal (mainly due to Sr-90) radiation. Given the nature of the exposure, the red bone marrow (RBM) was a critical organ for the exposed residents. During the first 2–4 years after the onset of chronic exposure, changes observed in the peripheral blood were manifested by leukopenia (mostly due to reduced neutrophil counts), thrombocytopenia and inhibition of non-specific immunity factors, at equivalent dose rates to RBM of 300–500 mSv per year, and higher. In the 1950s 940 residents with highest exposure doses were diagnosed with chronic radiation sickness. At late times (43–48 years after the beginning of exposure) the status of hemopoiesis and immunity is normal among most of the exposed subjects. However, proportions of the exposed persons are still noted to show an increased frequency of chromosomal aberrations (both stable and unstable types) and CD3 – CD4+ mutant T-lymphocytes in the peripheral blood.http://www.omfi.hu/cejoem/Volume5/Vol5No2/Ce992-02.htm

Then we must ask, what is leukopenia?
Leukopenia (also known as leukocytopenia, or leucopenia, from Greek λευκό – white and πενία -deficiency) is a decrease in the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) found in the blood, which places individuals at increased risk of infection.
Neutropenia, a subtype of leukopenia, refers to a decrease in the number of circulating neutrophil granulocytes, the most abundant white blood cells. The terms leukopenia and neutropenia may occasionally be used interchangeably, as the neutrophil count is the most important indicator of infection risk. This should not be confused with agranulocytosis.

Low white cell count may be due to acute viral infections, such as with a cold or influenza. It can be associated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, myelofibrosis and aplastic anemia (failure of white cell, red cell and platelet production). HIV and AIDS are also a threat to white cells“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leukopenia

T cells or T lymphocytes are a type of lymphocyte (itself a type of white blood cell) that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. They can be distinguished from other lymphocytes, such as B cells and natural killer cells (NK cells), by the presence of a T-cell receptor (TCR) on the cell surface. They are called T cells because they mature in the thymus.[1] There are several subsets of T cells, each with a distinct function.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cell

Monday, 24 February 2014

Interestingly enough, one of the long-term impacts of ionizing radiation is similar to that of HIV-AIDs! They both impact “CD4 helper-T lymphocytes (a major subset of T lymphocytes responsible for antigen-specific immunity)“. http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/late_e/immunity.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_helper_cell

An ongoing study, by the US and Japanese “Radiation Effects Research Foundation” (RERF), of the survivors of the atomic bombings of Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki have found both short and long-term effects of atomic bomb radiation on survivors: “CD4 T lymphocytes recovered only incompletely…reduced ability of the thymus to produce new T cells…Tests show that CD4 T cells from high-dose persons tend to have less reactivity to an infectious agent. Also, as a compensation for decreased T-cell function, cells responsible for innate immunity are activated and produce inflammatory proteins, and our studies have shown that persons with higher radiation exposures have lower numbers of CD4 T cells and elevated levels of various inflammatory proteins in their blood. These trends parallel what is seen with advancing age, suggesting that radiation exposure may accelerate immune aging processes…, a slight dose-related decrease in immunity has been observed against certain viral infections. For example, the proportion of people who carry the hepatitis B virus increases by A-bomb dose.http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/late_e/immunity.html

The importance of helper T cells can be seen from HIV, a virus that infects CD4+ cells. Towards the end of an HIV infection the number of functional CD4+ T cells falls, which leads to the symptomatic stage of infection known as the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There are also some rare disorders that result in the absence or dysfunction of CD4+ T cells. These disorders produce similar symptoms, and many of these are fatal“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_helper_cell See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD4

(Note that Gy is Gray unit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_(unit)

From RERF: “Radiation Health Effects > Late effects on survivors > Details

Effects on the immune system
Immune cells are known to be vulnerable to radiation, through induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in mature T and B lymphocytes (long-lived white blood cells responsible for adaptive immunity) and by lethal damage in bone marrow stem cell precursors of monocytes and granulocytes (short-lived white blood cells responsible for innate immunity) as well as natural killer cells (lymphocytes responsible for innate immunity).

In persons receiving heavy doses of A-bomb radiation, both mature lymphocytes and bone marrow stem cells were severely damaged, causing profound depletion of granulocytes and natural killer cells, which together defend against microbial (or bacterial and viral) invasion. As a result, many people died from active infections.

About two months after exposure, marrow stem cells recovered, and deaths due to infection generally ended. Studies of survivors since the 1980s have shown no abnormalities in monocytes, granulocytes, and natural killer cells, indicating that damage to innate immunity occurred only during the early period following the bombings.

The recovery of CD4 helper-T lymphocytes (a major subset of T lymphocytes responsible for antigen-specific immunity) took longer, and studies have shown that CD4 T lymphocytes recovered only incompletely. Even today, the relative number of CD4 T cells is, on average, 2% lower per Gy. More in-depth studies have shown that among those with higher radiation doses a greater proportion of T cells are “memory” T cells rather than newly formed naïve T cells, indicating reduced ability of the thymus to produce new T cells. In contrast to diminished CD4 T-cell numbers and function, the number of B cells is slightly higher in exposed persons, perhaps as a compensation. Tests show that CD4 T cells from high-dose persons tend to have less reactivity to an infectious agent. Also, as a compensation for decreased T-cell function, cells responsible for innate immunity are activated and produce inflammatory proteins, and our studies have shown that persons with higher radiation exposures have lower numbers of CD4 T cells and elevated levels of various inflammatory proteins in their blood. These trends parallel what is seen with advancing age, suggesting that radiation exposure may accelerate immune aging processes.

To date, there has been no clear evidence that any specific health effects have resulted from the persistent abnormalities observed in the T and B lymphocytes of A-bomb survivors. The reason may be that wide variations in specific immune responses make it difficult to identify persons with radiation-impaired immunity to specific pathogens. For example, in tuberculin testing for vaccination against tuberculosis, some people show immediate positive results, and others do not. There is also no evidence of radiation effects on risks for chronic infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, a slight dose-related decrease in immunity has been observed against certain viral infections. For example, the proportion of people who carry the hepatitis B virus increases by A-bomb dose.http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/late_e/immunity.html

Depressed immunity means that HIV has lead to an increase of worldwide tuberculosis incidence: “HIV infection has contributed to a significant increase in the worldwide incidence of TB.(1, 3) By producing a progressive decline in cell-mediated immunity…http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/insite?page=kb-05-01-06

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The below study by Rotstein et. al. (1985) of women who received local radiation therapy for breast cancer, shows similar results. Total lymphocyte (type of leukocyte or white blood cell, fundamental for immunity) counts were still significantly reduced 10 to 11 years after radiation treatment. This was mainly due to below normal levels of T-cells. Helper-inducer T cell (CD4+ lymphocytes) were also significantly reduced 10 to 11 years later. See:
Long term effects on the immune system following local radiation therapy for breast cancer. I. Cellular composition of the peripheral blood lymphocyte population. By Rotstein S, Blomgren H, Petrini B, Wasserman J, Baral E, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1985 May;11(5):921-5.
Local radiation therapy for breast cancer depletes the blood of various subsets of lymphocytes. Previous studies showed that the recovery is still incomplete at 30 months. To further elucidate the recovery we examined blood lymphocyte counts of 138 disease-free women and various lymphocyte subsets in 102 of these patients. These patients, 5-6 and 10-11 years earlier, had entered a clinical trial in which preoperative irradiation (45 Gy) was evaluated against postoperative irradiation (45 Gy) or surgery only. Patients who had undergone surgery only served as controls. Total lymphocyte counts of the irradiated patients were still significantly reduced 10-11 years after treatment. This reduction was mainly attributable to a subnormal level of T-cells as determined by the monoclonal antibody Leu-1 and the ability to form rosettes with sheep erythrocytes, whereas the number of non-T cells, expressing C’3 receptors, did not differ significantly from the controls. Within the T-cell population a subset with helper/inducer phenotypes, detected by Leu-3a antibodies, was significantly reduced even 10-11 years after irradiation. T-cells with suppressor/cytotoxic phenotypes, stainable with Leu-2a antibodies, however, had already recovered 5-6 years after irradiation. The duration of the radiation induced reductions of different lymphocyte subsets may be related to the physiological turn-over of the cells or a changed distribution of cells in the body
“. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3157666
T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer
Subpopulation of CD4+ lymphocytes that cooperate with other lymphocytes (either T or B) to initiate a variety of immune functions. For example, helper-inducer T-cells cooperate with B-cells to produce antibodies to thymus-dependent antigens and with other subpopulations of T-cells to initiate a variety of cell-mediated immune functions. Year introduced: 1993

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh?Db=mesh&term=T-Lymphocytes,+Helper-InducerCD4 helper-T lymphocytes (a major subset of T lymphocytes responsible for antigen-specific immunity)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_helper_cell

Why Few Speak of Plutonium and Americium or What is LET?

We have mostly evaded this topic due to laziness and absent-mindedness. Others, appear to be prancing around it in order to confuse and deceive. Besides the long half-lives, Plutonium and Americium emit alpha radiation:
Upon ingestion, inhalation or injection, alpha emitters “become extremely dangerous. Because of this high mass and strong absorption…alpha radiation is the most destructive form of ionizing radiation. It is the most strongly ionizing, and with large enough doses can cause any or all of the symptoms of radiation poisoning. It is estimated that chromosome damage from alpha particles is anywhere from 10 to 1000 times greater than that caused by an equivalent amount of gamma or beta radiation, with the average being set at 20 times.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_particle Except in the context of mining, we also hear little reference to uranium, another alpha emitter, even though it is fuel for atomic bombs and for power plants and was ejected from Chernobyl’s core. Note that thorium is also an alpha emitter.

From the US Dept. of Energy:
What is LET?

Each type of radiation has a characteristic atomic make up and can be delivered over a range of different energies. As the radiation interacts with matter, it loses its energy through interactions with the atoms with which it associates. The average amount of energy that is lost over a defined distance; for example the energy deposited in ten cells is known as the Linear Energy Transfer (LET).

The distribution of energy in cells has a marked influence on the amount of biological damage done by a fixed amount of radiation. Some types of radiation, like alpha particles, deposit a large amount of energy in a small distance and are called high-LET radiation. For alpha particles, all the particles’ energy can be deposited in a few cells. Other radiation types such as x-rays or gamma rays penetrate tissues very easily and for any event deposit energy very infrequently. The energy deposition events from these low-LET sources are separated in space so that, on average, few ionizations or damaging events occur in any one cell from a single x-or gamma ray.

High-LET radiation is more effective in producing cancer and other cellular and molecular damage per unit of exposure or dose than low-LET exposure. This may be related to the concentration of energy from a single particle in a single cell and the ability of this energy concentration to trigger bystander effects that influence many more cells than are “hit” by the alpha particles.

NCRP National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, (1990). The relative biological effectiveness of radiations of different quality. NCRP Report No. 104. Issued December 15, 1990 Bethesda, Maryland“. http://lowdose. energy.gov/faqs.aspx#07 (bold added for emphasis)

So, in other words, while all are dangerous, alpha emitters such as plutonium, americium, uranium and thorium, are the most dangerous, assuming ingestion, inhalation, injection or cuts. Contrary to what is often written, uranium and thorium can also be absorbed through the skin. (This topic was discussed, last May, in the piece on thorium and uranium mining in Haiti).

According to wikipedia:
At least the following radioactive materials are known to emit alpha particles.
209Bi, 211Bi, 212Bi, 213Bi
210Po, 211Po, 212Po, 214Po, 215Po, 216Po, 218Po
215At, 217At, 218At
218Rn, 219Rn, 220Rn, 222Rn, 226Rn
223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra
225Ac, 227Ac
227Th, 228Th, 229Th, 230Th, 232Th
233U, 234U, 235U, 236U, 238U
238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241 Pu, 244Pu

244Cm, 245Cm, 248Cm
249Cf, 252Cf
(Strangely enough this list forgot Plutonium 241, but we added it! The Plutonium 241 article still says that it is an alpha emitter. Hopefully the pronuclear lobby won’t start changing the truth that much! At least wikipedia is trying to make people disclose if they are paid.)

Beta is also bad. Beta radiation is dangerous externally and internally:
Of the three common types of radiation given off by radioactive materials, alpha, beta and gamma, beta has the medium penetrating power and the medium ionising power. Although the beta particles given off by different radioactive materials vary in energy, most beta particles can be stopped by a few millimeters of aluminium. Being composed of charged particles, beta radiation is more strongly ionising than gamma radiation. When passing through matter, a beta particle is decelerated by electromagnetic interactions and may give off bremsstrahlung x-rays.

Beta particles are able to penetrate living matter to a certain extent and can change the structure of struck molecules. In most cases such change can be considered as damage with results possibly as severe as cancer and death. If the struck molecule is DNA it can show a spontaneous mutation
“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_particle6decu

A longer wikipedia blurb about Alpha Radiation:
Because of the short range of absorption, alphas are not, in general, dangerous to life unless the source is ingested or inhaled, in which case they become extremely dangerous. Because of this high mass and strong absorption, if alpha-emitting radionuclides do enter the body (upon being inhaled, ingested, or injected, as with the use of Thorotrast for high-quality X-ray images prior to the 1950s), alpha radiation is the most destructive form of ionizing radiation. It is the most strongly ionizing, and with large enough doses can cause any or all of the symptoms of radiation poisoning. It is estimated that chromosome damage from alpha particles is anywhere from 10 to 1000 times greater than that caused by an equivalent amount of gamma or beta radiation, with the average being set at 20 times. The powerful alpha emitter polonium-210 (a milligram of 210Po emits as many alpha particles per second as 4.215 grams of 226Ra) is suspected of playing a role in lung cancer and bladder cancer related to tobacco smoking.[5] 210Po was used to kill Russian dissident and ex-FSB officer Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006.[6]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_particle (references at link, bold added, if it sounds repetitive it’s because we put part of it at the top, today)

So, there you have it: “It is estimated that chromosome damage from alpha particles is anywhere from 10 to 1000 times greater than that caused by an equivalent amount of gamma or beta radiation….” Therefore, if you are still eating sardines, don’t eat the bones! There can be plutonium in the flesh, but even more in the bones! If you used to eat a lot of sardines or other fish bones, just say your prayers, it’s all you can do by now! Worry won’t remove that plutonium! If you used to eat a lot, by all means stop eating the sardines now, or at least get deboned ones!

See also: http://www.helencaldicott.com/2011/07/internal-radioactive-emitters-invisible-tasteless-and-odorless/

Friday, 28 February 2014

(We will continue with this important digression (aside) about alpha radiation, but we do have a few more things to say on the topic of immunity soon.)

Besides forgetting Plutonium 241 in the list of alpha emitters, wikipedia forgot Americium 243. Was this intentional?
Americium-243 has…a half-life of 7,370 years, the longest lasting of all americium isotopes. It is formed in the nuclear fuel cycle by neutron capture on plutonium-242 followed by beta decay.[13] Production increases exponentially with increasing burnup as a total of 5 neutron captures on 238U are required. It decays by either emitting an alpha particle (with a decay energy of 5.27MeV)[13] to become 239Np, which then quickly decays to 239Pu, or infrequently, by spontaneous fission.[14] 243Am is a hazardous substance, because it can cause cancer. 239Np, which is formed from 243Am, emits dangerous gamma rays, making 243Am the most dangerous isotope of Americium.[7]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_americium#Americium-243 (references at link)

The US Japan RERF project states clearly that AT THE SAME DOSE damage from the alpha particles, which occur in Plutonium, Americium, Uranium, Thorium, Radium (etc), cause dense localized DNA damage which is harder to repair than the more spread out DNA damage caused by low-LET of x ray and gamma rays:
high-LET radiations are more destructive to biological material than low-LET radiations–such as X and gamma rays–because at the same dose, the low-LET radiations induce the same number of radicals more sparsely within a cell, whereas the high-LET radiations–such as neutrons and alpha particles–transfer most of their energy to a small region of the cell. The localized DNA damage caused by dense ionizations from high-LET radiations is more difficult to repair than the diffuse DNA damage caused by the sparse ionizations from low-LET radiations.http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/basickno_e/radcell.htm

The BEIR studies deal primarily with low LET ionizing radiation, like x-rays and gamma rays. However, even for these they clearly state that there is no safe dose, the “linear-no-threshold (LNT)” model. Increase of exposure leads to increase risk. They too note that low LET is considered less destructive than high LET ionizing radiation, i.e. alpha particles and neutrons.
BEIR VII focuses on the health effects of low levels of low linear energy transfer (low-LET) ionizing radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays….
In general, BEIR VII supports previously reported risk estimates for cancer and leukemia, but the availability of new and more extensive data have strengthened confidence in these estimates. A comprehensive review of available biological and biophysical data supports a “linear-no-threshold” (LNT) risk model—that the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and that the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans…Most radiation sources have a mixture of high- and low-LET radiation. Compared to high-LET radiation, low-LET radiation deposits less energy in the cell along the radiation path and is considered less destructive per radiation track. The BEIR VII report defines low doses as those in the range of near zero up to about 100 mSv (0.1 Sv) of low-LET radiation.

In other words low LET is bad and high LET is worse, if it gets into the body. And, as the world is increasingly polluted with alpha emitting radionuclides high LET will increasingly get into our bodies via air, water and food. And, they generally stay in the environment for generations. Rather they do, in theory, because if the nuclear industry is not stopped soon, there won’t be “generations.” That’s the sad truth, which everyone must realize. Even the nutty nuclear lobby must get off the drugs or whatever is wrong with them that makes them want to take these unnecessary risks for themselves and the future of humanity.

This is what the Los Alamos US Nuclear Lab Magazine has said:
When ionizing radiation traverses living cells, it leaves behind a trail of ions and uncharged molecular fragments, called free radicals, which are highly reactive and can damage other molecules in the vicinity. Such damage disrupts cellular mechanisms and can lead to the death of cells. If the exposure is very high, it will destroy the cells of the immune system and lead to illness and possibly death by infection. Even more massive exposures kill cells in the central nervous system and can cause death within hours or days.

At the lower exposures typically encountered by radiation workers or the general public, the body is able to replace the dead cells with new ones without degradation of bodily functions. The potential danger at those lower levels is mutation, which is damage to the DNA molecules, the genetic material of the cell. Usually the damage is kept to a minimum through DNA repair mechanisms or self-checks that direct the cell to die. However, if the mutation has occurred in the regulatory genes, the cell may survive the self-checks and develop the runaway growth we know as cancer. Finally, a mutation may occur in a germ cell and be passed on to future generations, but the probability of a successful passage is so small that the inheritance of such mutations has not been observed in human populations“. p.2
Typical energies for beta particles are hundreds of keVs (a factor of ten lower than for alpha particles), although some radioisotopes emit beta particles with energies (several MeV) that range higher than alpha particles. However, the fact that electrons are almost 8000 times lighter than alpha particles means that the beta particles travel much faster.” p. 17
“Ionizing Radiation” by Roger Eckhardt, Los Alamos Science Number 23 1995 http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/00326627.pdf We are pretty certain that the author is wrong and that inherited radiation-induced mutations have been recorded, but have no time to look for this right now.
Los Alamos Science, 1995, Pllutonium
(p. 15)
“Ionizing Radiation” by Roger Eckhardt, Los Alamos Science Number 23, 1995 http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/00326627.pdf (Here it appears that he is speaking of the impact of a shotgun up close, as opposed to scatter shot from a distance, which seems to be the case for gamma. That is, the shot-pellets, hit close together in Alpha, as opposed to spaced apart-scattered out with gamma.) See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Impact of Alpha vs. Gamma Radiation on Chromosomes: A Study of Mayak Plutonium and Non-Plutonium Workers

One of the most interesting and important studies yet is that by Hande et. al. (2005) who examined the impacts of alpha radiation vs. gamma radiation on chromosomes by examining the peripheral-blood lymphocytes of Mayak plutonium (nuclear weapons) workers vs. those who had worked in the nuclear reactor only and presumably been exposed only to gamma radiation. In this study they define stable (translocations) complex chromosome aberrations “as those involving three or more breaks in two or more chromosomes.” They found complex chromosome aberrations (i.e. defects) in all of the highly exposed plutonium workers that they examined. This is as would be expected because alpha radiation and neutrons produce highly localized clustering of DNA damage, whereas chemicals, x-rays, gamma rays and aging create damage which is evenly scattered. Breaks that are spatially closer to one another, such as occur from alpha radiation and neutrons, are more likely to result in chromosomal damage (aberrations). The plutonium workers were exposed to alpha radiation from plutonium inhalation, as well as to gamma rays. Whereas the frequency of complex aberrations was significantly higher for the plutonium workers, “the frequency of simple translocation aberrations was comparable in these two groups“. “Simple translocations involve two breaks on any heterologous pair of chromosomes.

Although the workers in their study appeared healthy,”The Mayak workers have been reported to have an increased risk of lung (Kreisheimer et al., 2000), liver (Gilbert et al., 2000), and bone (Koshurnikova et al., 2000) cancer“. Furthermore, they found a significant correlation between the estimated plutonium dose to the bone marrow and the yield of complex aberrations. Finally, they “note that the complex chromosome aberrations detected in the present study were strikingly similar to those found in some tumor cells (Brizard et al., 2004; Muller et al., 2004).”

Their data shows that simple chromosomal translocations, are produced efficiently both by sparsely (gamma) and by densely (alpha) ionizing radiation. “[I]n contrast, the yield of complex chromosomal aberrations was significantly greater in the workers exposed to plutonium than in the reactor workers, who were exposed only to high gamma-ray doses.”

They remind us that whereas the external gamma rays ended with employment, the impact of internalized plutonium continues to occur: “It is important to note that, unlike exposure to gamma rays, which terminated with the end of an individual’s employment at Mayak, some of the plutonium exposure occurred subsequently because of long-term retention of a fraction of the plutonium intake.” They inform us that both sparse (gamma, x-ray) and densely ionizing (alpha, neutron) radiation create simple chromosomal translocations and are a more general biomarker for exposure to ionizing radiation. But, they found a significantly greater increase in complex chromosome aberrations (defects) for the workers exposed to plutonium, in contrast to the reactor workers who were only exposed to high gamma radiation levels. In fact, they found that the complex chromosomal aberrations (defects) for those working in the reactor were close to the zero dose controls. Hence, they suggest that the complex chromosome aberrations may be a biomarker for exposure to alpha or neutron radiation.

The above represents our attempt to summarize this important, brilliant, ground-breaking study:
Complex Chromosome Aberrations Persist in Individuals Many Years After Occupational Exposure to Densely Ionizing Radiation: An mFISH Study“, By M. Prakash Hande,Tamara V. Azizova, Ludmilla E. Burak, Valentin F. Khokhryakov, Charles R. Geard, and David J. Brenner, “Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer”, 44:1–9 (2005) The original may be found here: http://www.columbia.edu/~djb3/papers/gcc1.pdf and is an important read. If you are interested in anything other than general reading please refer back to the original.

For general information of Chromosomal Translocations see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosomal_translocation

Chromosomal translocations
Overview of some chromosomal translocations involved in different cancers, as well as implicated in some other conditions, e.g. schizophrenia, with chromosomes arranged in standard karyogram order. Abbreviations:
ALL – Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
AML – Acute myeloid leukemia
CML – Chronic myelogenous leukemia
DFSP – Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

Tuesday 4 March 2014

The previous research showed damage in Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) which “are mature lymphocytes that circulate in the blood, rather than localising to organs (such as the spleen or lymph nodes). They comprise T cells, NK cells and B cells“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peripheral_blood_lymphocyte We’ve already discussed the impacts of radiation on T cells.

Earlier in the post we discussed high levels of viral hepatitis among Japanese Atomic Bomb survivors, which increased according to radiation exposure. The exposure mentioned seems to be gamma. However, was there a potential for internal alpha contamination subsequent to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or was exposure “just” external gamma? Contrary to some misleading statements found online, and as we will soon discuss, the Nagasaki bomb was plutonium based and plutonium fallout fell as Black Rain and remains in Japan and can be distinguished from weapons testing fallout. Hiroshima bomb uranium fallout from Black Rain is still in Japan, as well. Sure it went up in the air, but much came back down nearby!

What is hepatitis?
… a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ… The condition can be self-limiting (healing on its own) or can progress to fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, anorexia (poor appetite) and malaise. Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer. Worldwide, hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition, but hepatitis can be caused by other infections, toxic substances (notably alcohol, certain medications, some industrial organic solvents and plants), and autoimmune diseases“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatitis
Cirrhosis … is characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis (scar tissue) and regenerative nodules (lumps that occur due to attempted repair of damaged tissue).[1][2][3] These changes lead to loss of liver function.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrhosis

Research about Hepatitis B in Atomic Bomb survivors, by Nerisshi et. al. (1995), suggests that Japanese atomic bomb survivors, once infected by Hepatitis B, remain in an active state of Hepatitis B infection and that the development of immune antibodies, i.e. seroconversion, may be impaired. The repercussions of this are huge! It means that they would not be able to be immunized against disease nor would they build immunity to disease:
Prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B e antigen and antibody, and antigen subtypes in atomic bomb survivors”. Radiat Res. 1995 Nov;144(2):215-21.
By Neriishi K, Akiba S, Amano T, Ogino T, Kodama K.
“On the basis of previous studies showing an association between hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity and radiation exposure in atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivors, we investigated further the active state of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection by incorporating tests for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B e antibody (anti-HBe) and HBsAg subtypes into our biennial health examinations. Among 6548 A-bomb survivors for whom HBsAg was assayed between July 1979 and July 1981, 129 persons were HBsAg positive. HBeAg and anti-HBe were measured in 104 of these persons and subtypes of HBsAg in 98 persons. Among those exposed to radiation (average liver dose 0.58 Sv), the odds ratio of HBsAg positivity tended to increase with radiation dose (P for trend = 0.024). The P values for association between the prevalence of HB e antigen and radiation dose and between the prevalence of anti-HBe and radiation dose were 0.094 and 0.17, respectively. The HB antigen subtype adr was predominant over other subtypes in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the distribution of subtypes did not seem to differ in relation to radiation dose. These results suggested that A-bomb survivors remain in an active state of HBV infection and that the mechanism(s) of seroconversion may be impaired.
” PMID: 7480648 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] (bold added) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7480648
Seroconversion is the development of detectable specific antibodies to microorganisms in the blood serum as a result of infection or immunization. Before the seroconversion point, the antigen is prevalent and the corresponding antibody is not detectable in sera. After seroconversion, the antibody becomes prevalent and the corresponding antigen is no longer detectable in sera.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroconversion
The tests, called assays, for detection of hepatitis B virus infection involve serum or blood tests that detect either viral antigens (proteins produced by the virus) or antibodies produced by the host…The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is most frequently used to screen for the presence of this infection. It is the first detectable viral antigen to appear during infection… Shortly after the appearance of the HBsAg, another antigen called hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) will appear. Traditionally, the presence of HBeAg in a host’s serum is associated with much higher rates of viral replication and enhanced infectivity… During the natural course of an infection, the HBeAg may be cleared, and antibodies to the ‘e’ antigen (anti-HBe) will arise immediately afterwards. This conversion is usually associated with a dramatic decline in viral replication“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatitis_B

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Not only does ionizing radiation make people more susceptible to viral hepatitis and cripple their immune response, but it appears to create a higher risk of autoimmune hepatitis. Below we have a study which involves approximately 79 with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), in Nagasaki Prefecture. About 89 had the clinical features. So, between 79 and 89 have AIH. The study group for Nagasaki in 1999 would have been between 7,564 and 8,259 persons (If they are part of Life Span Study and based on numbers by Ozasa et. al., 2013 “Invited Commentary: Missing Doses in the Life Span Study of Japanese Atomic Bomb Survivorshttp://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/20/aje.kws474.full)
And, “The prevalence of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) in Europe is estimated as being in the range of 10-17 cases per 100,000 persons.http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/autoimmune-hepatitis Note that the study below is for Nagasaki Prefecture ONLY and hence excludes those who were victims of the Hiroshima bomb.

The Life Span Study “includes a large proportion of the survivors who were within 2.5 km of the hypocentres at the time of the bombings and still resided in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1950, plus a random age and sex matched sample of people 2.5 to 10 km from the hypocentre” (Shimizu et. al. 2010, “Radiation exposure and circulatory disease risk: Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor data, 1950-2003” BMJ 2010;340:b5349, doi:10.1136/bmj.b5349 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2806940/pdf/bmj.b5349.pdf ) However, the “black rain” fell away from the center, in the area of Nishiyama Reservoir, approximately 3 km east. It also fell in the Manose district which is 7.4 km NW of the epicenter (See: Kouya Honda, “Study into epilation among residents and “black rain” fallout in the Manose district of Nagasaki City following dropping of the atomic bomb ” http://ir.lib.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/metadb/up/kiyo/ipshu_en/ipshu_en_28_66.pdf (This article notes hair loss in the Manose district, which recalls the hair loss following Chernobyl.) Although the random age and sex matched sample of those 2.5 to 10 km from the hypocentre is statistically supposed to give the same result, risk-probability-wise, as counting everyone, the fact that the study cohort includes everyone surviving at 0 to 2.5 km and only random people where most of the black rain of radionuclides fell, would appear to create the need for a weighting factor. The black rain seems to have fallen on less densely populated areas. On the other hand, many people in the densely populated city centers were killed in the blast. To further complicate things, plutonium and cesium from the black rain have been found within and in the area of the Nishiyama District-Reservoir (approx 3 km from the ground zero epicentre), which seems to provide water to other parts of Nagasaki, leading to internal contamination via food and water. In fact, the highest level of plutonium “contamination was discovered in the soil at the edge of the Nishiyama reservoir, a level about 10-30 times higher than in other areas of Nagasaki.” (See Yasunori Mahara, and Shojiro Miyahara, Journal of Geophysical Research, 01/1984; 89:7931-7936. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/JB089iB09p07931/abstract (NB: Sorting out such methodological issues really matters as these cohorts are still used as the baseline in determining risk of ionizing radiation).

So, the approximately one percent with Autoimmune hepatitis at Nagasaki is probably a low figure, but it seems significantly higher than the risk of 0.01 percent in Europe! Greater than one per 100 risk in Nagasaki vs. one per 10,000 in Europe.

The 89 women studied appear to have been children or born around the time of the bombings or to have been born shortly thereafter, since they were in their 50s in 1999:
Clinical features of 89 patients with autoimmune hepatitis in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, J Gastroenterol, 1999 Apr;34(2):221-6, Omagari K, Kinoshita H, Kato Y, Nakata K, Kanematsu T, Kusumoto Y, Mori I, Furukawa R, Tanioka H, Tajima H, Koga M, Yano M, Kohno S.
We examined the clinical characteristics of 89 patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan… The majority of patients were middle-aged women in their fifties. All patients showed a hepatitic picture. Forty-three patients (48%) had an insidious or chronic onset, while 34 (38%) had an acute onset, and 12 (14%) had liver cirrhosis at presentation. Seventy-nine patients (89%) were positive for antinuclear antibody (ANA), and 5 (6%) were positive for antibody to the hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV)…certain factors, such as negative ANA, positive antimitochondrial antibody, concurrent infection with hepatitis B or C virus, and insufficient response to treatment precluded the diagnosis of AIH in some patients. Whether these patients were indeed ‘true’ AIH patients is not clear at present, and further investigation of such patients may be useful for a better understanding of AIH
PMID: 10213122 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10213122

The online atomic bomb museum discusses the Black Rain:
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions yielded some 200 different kinds of radioactive isotopes, that is, nuclear fission particles of uranium and plutonium that escaped fission…The mixing of enormous amounts of airborne irradiated materials combined with heat and thermal currents from the firestorms led to rainfall in both cities within 30-40 minutes of the bombings. As the fallout particles were mixed with carbon residue from citywide fires, the result was the awesome—and injurious—’black rain’. This ‘black rain’ reached ground level as sticky, dark, dangerously radioactive water. It not only stained skin, clothing, and buildings, but also was ingested by breathing and by consumption of contaminated food or water, causing radiation poisoning“. See images and more here. Lest we forget: http://www.atomicbombmuseum.org/3_radioactivity.shtml

Sunday 9 March 2014

Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease caused by an abnormal immune response against liver cells.[23] The disease is thought to have a genetic predisposition as it is associated with certain human leukocyte antigens.[24]…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatitis
Recall that “genetic predispositions” can be caused by mutations.

A study published last July, based on research in mice, suggests that autoimmune hepatitis is caused by a genetic mutation. The Mount Sinai Hospital/Mount Sinai School of Medicine: “Mechanism behind development of autoimmune hepatitis identified.” ScienceDaily, 23 July 2013. .
And, ionizing radiation can cause mutations, something which everyone knows or used to know.

The general why and wherefore of autoimmune responses:
The human body has many defence mechanisms against pathogens, one of which is humoral immunity. This defence mechanism produces antibodies (large glycoproteins) in response to an immune stimulus. Many cells of the immune system are required for this process, including lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells) and antigen presenting cells. These cells coordinate an immune response upon the detection of foreign proteins (antigens), producing antibodies that bind to these antigens.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_antibodyAutoimmunity is the failure of an organism in recognizing its own constituent parts as self, thus leading to an immune response against its own cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AutoimmunityAn autoantigen is usually a normal protein or complex of proteins (and sometimes DNA or RNA) that is recognized by the immune system of patients suffering from a specific autoimmune disease. These antigens should, under normal conditions, not be the target of the immune system, but, due to mainly genetic and environmental factors, the normal immunological tolerance for such an antigen has been lost in these patients.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigen#Autoantigens Notice they say “genetic and environmental factors”. However, environmental factors, such as ionizing radiation, can become genetic ones and even genetic inheritance, which rather complicates things. It also means that ionizing radiation can impact people (and many other living things) twice over!

Recall that the tests for Autoimmune Hepatitis, among the Japanese survivors of Nagasaki, included the ANA test: “Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs, also known as antinuclear factor or ANF[1]) are autoantibodies that bind to contents of the cell nucleus. In normal individuals, the immune system produces antibodies to foreign proteins (antigens)” but not to its own autoantigens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_antibody

In short, in an autoimmune response, the body attacks itself as a foreign invader. However, could it sometimes simply be appearing to be attack itself? Perhaps it could be attacking radionuclides, such as plutonium, within the cells? As you may recall, plutonium likes to settle in the liver, as well as the bones. ANA can also be high in cancer.

Thompson et. al. state in “Regulation, mechanisms and proposed function of ferritin translocation to cell nuclei“, Journal of Cell Science 115, 2165-2177 (2002), that “Ferritin is traditionally considered a cytoplasmic iron-storage protein, but recent reports indicate that it is also found in cell nuclei.” Entire article here: http://jcs.biologists.org/content/115/10/2165.full.pdf
As we have previously discussed, plutonium and some other radionuclides mimic iron and are transported by transferrin and stored like iron by ferritin. Hence, plutonium can also reach the nucleus of the cell. Antinuclear antibodies attack the cell’s nucleus, as implied by the name. Ferritin is found in the liver. Also, toxins are found in the liver. Radionuclides, such as plutonium, could thus be present in the liver as both mimics of iron and as toxins:
The liver is a gland and plays a major role in metabolism with numerous functions in the human body, including regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_liver

Additionally a high Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) titer can indicate hepatocellular carinoma. So, rather than autoimmune hepatitis maybe these patients actually had liver cancer?
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is the most common type of liver cancer. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitis infection (hepatitis B or C) or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatocellular_carcinoma Imaging studies can be used to distinguish autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) from hepatocellular carcinoma. http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/autoimmune-hepatitis However, some cases of AIH develop into hepatocellular carcinoma. See: “Development of hepatocellular carcinoma in autoimmune hepatitis patients: a case series“. By Wong RJ, et. al. Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Feb;56(2):578-85. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21046244 A study in Japan found that almost one third (57 of 183 or 31%) of patients with Hepatocelllular carcinoma were positive for Anti-nuclear antibodies. See: “Increasing titers and changing specificities of antinuclear antibodies in patients with chronic liver disease who develop hepatocellular carcinoma.” By Imai H et. al., “Cancer”, 1993 Jan 1;71(1):26-35. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8380118

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The impact on the liver should come as no surprise. As you may recall, plutonium likes to settle in the liver, as well as the bones:
A Russia-USA investigation was made on distribution of plutonium between the liver and the bone and on the urinary excretion rate in workers at the Mayak radiochemical plant (Russia) and USA nuclear industry facilities, according to their state of health. It was based on autopsy research of 400 workers “who died suddenly from acute coronary diseases” [presumably heart attack or heart failure] and “accidents” (“relatively healthy workers”) “and those who died from serious diseases (mainly tumors) of the organs”. [Heart attacks aren’t serious?] For Mayak, the healthy individuals [We don’t know if this includes those dying of heart disease or not] had average bone to liver plutonium contents of 50% and 38%. With the start of the disease process in the body, the part deposited in the liver decreased and a large part of the plutonium in the body left for the bones. [Apparently this was based on their disease state at death?] In those with serious liver disease such as cirrhoses and carcinoma (cancer) the amount of plutonium in the liver actually decreased 25%, most of which went to the bones, which increased the bone plutonium content by 24%, making the average shift to 74% in the bone and 13% in the liver. “In persons of normal health”, the amount of plutonium in the liver averaged 50% and in the bones was 37%. If the person had a “marked liver impairment”, the amount in the liver was 31%, but as health was increasingly bad the plutonium in the bones increased from 37% to 56%. With increasing liver disease, not only did the plutonium leave the liver for the bones, but there was an increase in urinary excretion. [But weren’t these people dead? How do dead people urinate (pee)?] The abstract ends by saying that “research data indicates that using the urinary excretion factor, Ke, without consideration of the health state of an individual can lead to serous overestimation of plutonium body burden…” [This last sounds seriously fishy as in people as guinea pigs fishy. Perhaps this is based on those known to have been exposed, and who were studied up until death. Still it is really, truly strange!]
The above was our attempt to put the abstract of the paper below in daily language. Only the abstract is available at the link below:
Effect of Health on Systemic Distribution and on Urinary Excretion of Plutonium in Workers Exposed by Inhalation at Radiochemical Plants
By Ron E. Filipy*, Klara G. Suslova, and Valentin F. Khokhoryakov
*United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries, Washington State University, Richland, Washington 99352; Branch No. 1. SRC RF Institute of Biophysics, Ozyorskoe shosse 19, Ozyorsk, Russia 456780 (351) 71-63683
http://www.ustur.wsu. edu/publications/Files_Abstracts/Abstracts00/USTUR-0162-00.pdf

There is a similar Mayak only study which states that they “chronically inhaled plutonium” and so perhaps they constantly checked their urine until death? But why were they allowed to inhale plutonium over a lengthy period of time?
The effect of state of health on organ distribution and excretion of systemic plutonium in the Mayak workers“, Radiat Prot Dosimetry, 2003;105(1-4):229-33. By Suslova KG, Khokhryakov VF, Tokarskaya ZB, Nifatov AP, Sokolova AB, Kudryavtzeva TI, Miller SC, Krahenbuhl MP.
The extrapulmonary distribution of plutonium in 20 organs (excluding the respiratory tract) was studied in workers who chronically inhaled plutonium at the radiochemical plants of the Mayak Production Association (Ozyorsk, Russia). The data were obtained by radiochemical analysis of soft tissue and bones samples collected at autopsy of 591 workers. The systemic plutonium distribution was determined in healthy individuals as well as in those with health impairment, specifically for those with liver diseases. Twenty-five years after the beginning of inhalation, systemic fractions in the liver and skeleton of individuals who were healthy at the time of death approximate the ratio 45%:45% proposed in the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 30. Pathological processes in the liver, accompanied by fatty dystrophy of hepatocytes, increased plutonium clearance from the liver. There was a considerable shift of the plutonium from the liver to the skeleton in individuals who died from liver disease. The average fractions of systemic plutonium in the liver and skeleton of those individuals were 14% and 78% respectively, which did not correspond to ICRP models, indicating a significant effect of disease conditions. Plutonium that was not redistributed was excreted. The urinary excretion rate of plutonium also correlated with state of health. The observed excretion as a fraction of systemic content was 1.64 x 10(-5) d(-1) for individuals in good health and 2.34 x 10(-5) d(-1) for individuals with various chronic diseases. The current models do not account for the influence of different pathological processes in the body on plutonium distribution and retention in systemic organs. This could have significant consequences for dosimetry calculations and risk estimations
“. PMID: 14526961 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14526961

Additional food for thought: “Hepatitis A: CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Belarus, regardless of where you are eating or staying.http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/belarus Recall that Belarus was heavily impacted by Chernobyl.

Due to the fierce urgency of educating the public about the dangers of nuclear power, before the nuclear lobby and its minions destroy humanity and the earth, we are currently unable to handle comments. So, we apologize not only for any errors found by our readers in the past, but we also apologize in advance for future errors. We try our best, but are mortals, unlike the nuclear lobby who think they are immortals. We may allow comments again in the not too distant future, or maybe not, as we are very behind in posting.

We are the tortoise in the photo at top…way too slow as the world (guinea pigs), including ourselves, are endangered by the nuclear lobby (cat). The many guinea pigs represent how we all and all of nature are being made into experimental guinea pigs. We have left Reindeer in the title for continuity. There may or may not be Reindeer in this post. Deer and Reindeer appear the best studied for radiation in both Europe and North America, so there will surely be at least one in this post or the next. We had some research about guinea pigs too, which we will surely find again some day.

So, much more science to come and probably the occasional diatribe.