aboriginal, aboriginal people, Aboriginal Rights, Alzheimers Disease, Australia, body snatchers, brain, BSE, cancer, central nervous system, CJD, CNS, CWE, disease, encephalitis, Guam, immune system, immunity, Indigenous peoples, infection, infectious diseases, ionizing radiation, kidneys, Kuru, mad cow, Marshall Islands, mutations, nuclear disaster, nuclear power, nuclear weapons testing, Papua New Guinea, pitchblende, radiation, Reindeer, spongiform encephalopathies, Strontium 90, uranium mining
This series continues here, as Part IX: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/radioactive-reindeer-nuclear-guinea-pigs-part-ix-of-a-series/ A small postscript was added below on 3 May. This post, Part VIII, is a continuation of Part VII, which focused largely on the impact of radiation on immunity; its relationship to Alzheimer’s disease and possibly to other dementias, in humans and animals. Updates on Part VII continued to 8 April. Part VIII, below, can only be fully understood-evaluated with Part VII (and Part VI) as context: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/radioactive-reindeer-chernobyl-guinea-pigs-part-vii-of-a-series/ We made a new part strictly because of length. This is related piece: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/alzheimers-disease-and-ionizing-radiation/
As noted in Part VII, twelve major nuclear weapons tests were done by the UK in Australia between 1952 and 1957. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_tests_in_Australia Additionally, “During the period from June 30, 1946, to August 18, 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, all of which were considered atmospheric. The most powerful of those tests was the ‘Bravo’ shot, a 15 megaton device detonated on March 1, 1954, at Bikini atoll. That test alone was equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima bombs.” http://www.nuclearclaimstribunal.com
Map by Palli3000, via wikimedia:
Over 2,000 nuclear explosions have been conducted, in over a dozen different sites around the world. Red: Russia/Soviet Union; blue: France; light blue: United States; purple: Britain. Black Israel, orange China, yellow India, brown Pakistan, green North Korea and light green (territories exposed to nuclear bombs) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_testing
(Note that New Zealand is to the lower right, i.e. southeast of Australia)
Prevailing Winds on Earth Map via Wikimedia
Between Australia and the Marshall Islands lies Papua New Guinea. Note that distances on this map are very compressed, apparently to get them all on one map. But, it gives the names.
Actual map from google:
As already mentioned, the human form of BSE (a TSE) aka “mad cow” is CJD (a TSE). CJD is related to Kuru, which was first noted in the Eastern Highlands and lowlands Provinces of Papua New Guinea in 1953–1959. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease) As we’ve already discussed, TSEs occur in deer, as scrapie in sheep, and are believed, by some, related to Alzheimer’s Disease in humans. Kuru is infamous for its alleged connection to ritual cannibalism in Papua New Guinea. This so-called ritual cannibalism took place in secret, in kitchen gardens, and only women and children participated. It has been hypothesized that this is because the men hoard high protein foods for themselves, leaving women and children protein and nutrient deficient. This deficiency would seemingly involve iron deficiency. Recall, as well, that BSE “mad cow” is believed to have evolved in the context of feeding sheep remains, which may have carried scrapie, and the remains of cattle to other cattle, i.e. making herbivore cows into carnivores and even cannibals. BSE appeared in the UK shortly after Chernobyl. The related new variant form of human CJD also appeared. Scrapie appeared in Australia and New Zealand during Nuclear testing.
Interestingly, “Bones and other tissues from over 20,000 corpses in Australia — and some in Papua New Guinea — were removed from 1957-1979 to test for strontium-90 arising from the atomic tests… The tests — which did indeed reveal the presence of strontium-90 from atomic blasts — were initiated by the safety committee after it learned of Marston’s findings about widespread contamination.” https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/31465 See also: “Documentary Update on Project Sunshine ‘Body Snatching“, where it was noted in January 1955, by US Atomic Energy Commissioner Libby that “human samples are of prime importance and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country.” (Emphasis added) http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet15/brief15/tab_d/br15d2.txt This clearly shows the concerns by the UK-Australian and US governments regarding the dangers of nuclear fallout, as well as the secrecy.
Kiloh et. al. (1980) found neurological disease, which they call a “neurological complex occurring in the Australian Aborigines living on Groote Eylandt and the adjacent Arnhem Land area of Northern Australia.” They noted that “Six ethnic-geographic neurological disease isolates have been identified in the Western Pacific zone all sharing some clinical features though with important differences“. They occur in Guam and in Saipan, which are islands in Micronesia; in the Kii Peninsula of Japan; in the southern coastal lowlands of West Irian; in the Highlands of New Guinea (Kuru), and in Groote Eylandt-Arnhem Land of Northern Australia. They ask the extent to which genetic and environmental factors might be involved. They wonder if the Arnhem cases are one or more conditions, but point out that “groups of disparate syndromes may have a single aetiology is well recognised.” They also discuss the cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia (PD) (aka Parkinson’s syndrome or atypical Parkinson’s), found in Guam, and that it “was only when its remarkable frequency was appreciated that its importance became apparent.” As a possible environmental factor at Groote Eylandt, they point to open-cut manganese mining dating from 1962 and the population proximity to “a dusty dump of manganese ore“. They also mention cycad nut and cassava intake. Most interesting of all, they inform the reader that “Even up to the present time clay cakes are consumed for medicinal and other reasons“. While they remark that these factors may be toxic to the nervous system, they dismiss them by saying that the usual effects of these do not closely resemble the syndromes that they are describing. They also mention that protein, iron and folic acid deficiencies occur in the group being studied, but that “there was no indication that any of these was of significance in regard to the neurological disturbances“. See:
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 1980, 43, 661-668
“An endemic neurological disorder in tribal Australian aborgines, by
L G Kiloh, A K Lethlean, G Morgan, J E Cawte, and M Harris, from the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7431026 (full text is free)
In the above context, it is with interest that we note, in the same area
“An epidemic of renal failure among Australian Aboriginals“, reported by Spencer JL1, Silva DT, Snelling P, Hoy WE., Med J Aust. 1998 Jun 1;168(11):537-41 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9640302 (full text is free) The thing which springs immediately to mind here, in the context of renal failure, is not only the potential impact of nuclear fallout, but, probably more importantly, the impact of uranium mining in the region. Like all heavy metals, uranium is extremely toxic to the kidneys. According to the Oak Ridge’s ORAU: “Depending on the form and dose of uranium, the toxic effects to the kidneys may be more important than the radiation.” http://www.orau.org/nssp/substances-1.htm As well, we must not forget the concept of synergistic effects. This area was impacted by both nuclear fallout and uranium mining. Furthermore, excess amounts of manganese are also toxic to the kidneys. For some information on uranium mining in this part of Australia, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranger_Uranium_Mine http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Minerals_Energy/Geoscience/index.cfm?header=Uranium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabiluka
Before returning to the issue of iron deficiency and eating of clay cakes, mentioned in the 1980 study of Northern Australia, and probable iron deficiency in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea – all very relevant-, we must look at Guam.
According to a retired US Army Sgt: “I and others have been able to put together an impressive package of information that clearly explains how the contamination traveled from the Marshall Islands to Guam on prevailing jet streams during the multiple test blasts; further, we collected recently declassified U.S. government documents that show how and when Guam was used as a decontamination site for naval ships that were exposed to massive amounts of radiation fallout during the nuclear/hydrogen bomb testing from 1946 to 1958 in the Marshall Islands.” From: “NUCLEAR FALLOUT/NUCLEAR DECONTAMINATION OF NAVAL VESSELS ON GUAM“, by Robert N. Celestial Sgt. U.S. Army Retired http://www.uvu.edu/ethics/seac/Nuclear%20Fallout%20Nuclear%20Decontamination%20Celestial.pdf.pdf (available at link for free)
According to a retired US Navy Lt:
“Charles Bert Schreiber, Lt. USN-Ret, in his sworn testimony regarding the fallout of the first hydrogen bomb tests of 1952, stated that Geiger readings indicated significant radiation found its way to Guam from the detonation of Ivy Mike. The testimony was corroborated by a report from the National Research Council” From: “Increased radiation compensation for Guam pushed.” Monday, 06 MAY 2013 03:00AM, by Louella Losinio See entire article here: http://www.mvguam.com/local/news/29344-increased-radiation-compensation-for-guam-pushed.html
Saturday, 12 April 2014
Ivy Mike on Enewetak Atoll, 31 October 1952, estimated as equivalent to between 578 and 867 Hiroshima bombs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_yield http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enewetak_Atoll
Enewetak Atoll before and after Ivy Mike. Note the missing island of Elugelab to the left:
Yanagihara, Garruto, and Gajdusek (1983) discuss Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia (PD), “two fatal neurological diseases of unknown cause“, which occur in “high incidence” in Guam, the southernmost island of the Marianas. They systematically studied the islands of Rota, Tinian, Saipan, and the remote Anatahan, Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan islands. They found none of these conditions in the four remote northern islands. They found that “the age-adjusted mortality rates of ALS and PD on Rota were similar to those currently observed on Guam“. They conclude that “since the origins and current genotypic composition of Chamorros on all the Mariana Islands are indistinguishable, the strikingly lower mortality rates of ALS and PD on Saipan suggest that environmental factors are far more important than genetic factors in the pathogenesis of these diseases.” (“Epidemiological surveillance of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands“, Ann Neurol, 1983 Jan;13(1):79-86, by Yanagihara RT, Garruto RM, Gajdusek DC) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6830169
Steele (2005) also believes that environmental influences are implicated, rather than “genetic predisposition“. Steel notes that this disease in the Marianas resembles the conditions found in the Kii peninsula of Japan and the coastal plain of West New Guinea, and that they appear to have “close affiliation” with Alzehimer’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As of 2004, this ALS/Parkinsonism-dementia complex “once 100 times more common than elsewhere is rare …. and only dementia remains unusually common in elderly females. The cause of this obscure malady remains uncertain, despite 60 years of international research, but its ending implicates environmental influences rather than genetic predisposition.” (“Parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam“, by J.C. Steele, Mov Disord, 2005 Aug;20 Suppl 12:S99-S107) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16092098 (Note that for the new variant CJD in the UK, it is believed that some individuals are genetically less resistant to whatever causes CJD than others. It is still unknown, however, if the less susceptible will fall ill at a later date. Living things, in general, and human beings, in particular, involve many variables. Causation is always complex, and never simple. When dealing with humans it is almost hopelessly multivariate, making a mockery of simplistic contemporary “science”. )
The coastal plain of West New Guinea mentioned by Steele (2005) is the same as Kiloh et. al. (1980)’s southern coastal lowlands of West Irian. It is the island of New Guinea. Wikipedia notes that “Speakers align themselves with a political orientation when choosing a name for the western half of the island of New Guinea. “West Papua”, which is not the official name for the western half of the island, is preferred by ethnic Papuans. The region has had the official names of Netherlands New Guinea (1895–1962), West New Guinea (1962–63), West Irian (1963–73), Irian Jaya (1973–2001), and Papua (2002–2003).” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Papua_(region) (references and more information at the link)
Monday, 14 April 2014
We pause to note that the human TSE, CJD, occurs in more than one pattern. There is sporadic CJD of unknown origin, there is a familial CJD, and there is at least one new variant of CJD, which appeared in the UK subsequent to the appearance of BSE, aka “Mad Cow” disease, right after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Two of the remarkable and worrisome things reported about CJD are an ability to evade or sneak around the immune system, and an ability to remain in soil. Scrapie, a new variety of which also appeared right after Chernobyl, also is found in soil. The ability of ionizing radiation to either damage or even collapse the immune system, has been discussed at length in this series and has been long known. This would open up an individual to catching a disease, such as CJD, if CJD is really transmissible. Additionally, there is the possibility that the disease itself is a reflection of radiological and/or chemical damage by radionuclides, especially of ingested alpha emitters, such as plutonium. It is very possible that sporadic cases of these diseases could be caused by natural concentrations of natural radionuclides in the environment, or by disruptions of natural radionuclides, in the context of mining, or by use of uranium for pottery dyes, etc. Excessive exposure to natural radionuclides could explain oral reports of cases of Guamanian disorder and Kuru, ca. 1900, if such reports are true. And, there has been reported to be at least some uranium on both the island of New Guinea, and in the Marianas.
The other location mentioned is the Kii peninsula of Japan. Although it is closer to Hiroshima than to Nagasaki, the wind direction during the bombing of Hiroshima appears to have been away from the Kii peninsula, as the wind most likely had a SSE direction, according to “Aerological data in August 1945 at Hiroshima Japan” by Michio Aoyama, et. al. in “Revisit the Hiroshima A-bomb with a Database, vol. 2“. On the other hand, the Nagasaki bomb was set off at 1,700 ft. in the air and the wind was blowing from the southwest at 3 mph, according to “The US Strategic Bombing Survey: Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki Japan, v. 1, Physical Damage Dvi., June 1947” (from archive.org). Thus wind could have dropped radiation in the area of the Kii Peninsula, especially as it is one of the rainiest parts of Japan. According to the US War Dept. Film, “Tale of Two Cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1946“, both bombs were intentionally set to explode at altitude to better dissipate the radiactivity. For Nagasaki: “The bomb had been purposely exploded high so that the greatest part of its radioactive material was dissipated in the stratosphere.” A Tale of Two Cities, Part 2, Nagasaki, http://youtu.be/U6SgiH2RooA and Part 1, Hiroshima: http://youtu.be/BtmDxeUlCGs The “EPA Assessment of Fallout in the United States from Atmospheric Nuclear Testing on September 26 and November 17, 1976 by the People’s Republic of China“, August 1977 reported that “Rainstorms in parts of the eastern United States following the September test resulted in radioiodine levels on pasture grass and in cow’s milk which were easily detectable and higher than expected.” So, if fallout from nuclear weapons in China could make it to the eastern, US, it is certainly probable that fallout from Nagasaki could make it to the Kii peninsula.
The Muro district includes the southern coastal mountainous areas of the Kii peninsula of Japan where a high incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia complex (PDC) exists. (Kuzuhara, 2007, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21301036 ) According to Hiroshige Morishima, et. al. (1977): “There were the zones enriched in uranium in the districts of Muro and Hachibuse, Nara Prefectures and uranium contents in soil collected in Nara city was somewhat higher than control.” (Hiroshige Morishima, et.al., 1977, “Studies on the Movement and Distribution of Uranium in the Environments – Distribution of Uranium in Agricultural Products“, J. Radiat. Res., 18, 139-150, full text online). The Hiroshima bomb was uranium based, but the Nagasaki bomb was plutonium based, although there appears to have been some uranium in it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Man From this 1977 article, we learn that there was at least one Japanese uranium mine: Ningytoge uranium mine in Okayma prefecture, which by now has undergone reclamation by the Japanese government: http://www.jaea.go.jp/english/04/ningyo/english/status-5.html In 1958, Sato Motoo stated “On the results of prospecting for promising uranium deposits in Japan” for the “United Nations Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Proceedings of the Second International Conference“, Geneva, September 1958, ( pp. 110-117) that “The discoveries of U deposits of non-pegmatite type in Japan have been reported from 40 localities the past 3 years. Several of these localities which are regarded as promising U resources…” Most seems to have been in the Chugoku Region, which strangely includes Hiroshima (bombed by a uranium based bomb). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chūgoku_region According to Tadashi Muto et. al. “The Uranium Deposit in Ningyo Pass, Tottori Prefecture Japan, was found in November 1955 by the Geological Survey of Japan. The area has been explored by the Atomic Fuel Corp, Japan and is now the biggest uranium mine in Japan.” (Tadashi Muto et. al., 1959, “Ningyoite, A New Uranous Phosphate Mineral from Japan,” The American Mineralogist, vol. 44, May to June, 1959.) The fact that it is the biggest uranium mine suggests that there were others! Who knew? And, so it is highly possible that the high levels of uranium found in the Muro area are natural, which might help account for earlier, sporadic, cases of “Muro disease,” whereas the post-war outbreaks may have involved natural uranium in conjunction with plutonium fallout and/or possibly mining or use of household items, dyed with uranium.
“Muro disease”, Kii paralysis, was first described in a folk literature book of 1689. High prevalence was reported in the medical literature by Kin-no-suke Miura in 1911, and described as ALS. The first epidemiological survey by Kimura and Yase in 1960s disclosed extremely high prevalence of ALS in Hohara and Kozagawa. “Kii ALS was neuropathologically characterized by classical ALS pathology together with many neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain, similar to Guamanian ALS.” Reportedly, the high incidence disappeared by the early 1980s, as in Guam. In the 1990s Kuzuhara resurveyed and found high ALS incidence but also a high incidence of PDC in the region, similar to the PDC in Guam. ALS and PDC both showed similar changes to the brain, suggesting that they were the same things showing different symptoms. They both sometimes afflicted one person or members of the same family. While the incidence of ALS declined over 50 years, that of PDC rose sharply in the 1990s, which appears similar to the “changing pattern of ALS/PDC that had occurred in Guam in 1970s“. Whereas in 2007 Kuzuhara concluded that the primary cause of Kii ALS/PDC may be genetic rather than environmental, because more than 70% had a family history of the disease, by 2011, he suggested that it may be genetic with an environmental trigger: “The authors analyzed the causative and risk candidate genes in the affected and unaffected family members, but failed to find genes related to ALS/PDC. The changing pattern of Muro disease from ALS with a younger onset and rapid progression to PDC with a later onset and longer survival suggests that some unknown environmental factor(s) might modulate the disease process, which basically might be programmed in the gene(s).” Original articles in Japanese but English abstracts with some more technical detail available at links: [ALS-parkinsonism-dementia complex of the Kii peninsula of Japan (Muro disease). Historical review, epidemiology and concept], by Kuzuhara S., Rinsho Shinkeigaku, 2007 Nov;47(11):962-5, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18210849 [Muro disease: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex in Kii peninsula of Japan], by Kuzuhara, S., Brain Nerve. 2011 Feb;63(2):119-29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21301036
One ideological underpinning of the pro-nuclear lobby appears to be survival of the genetically resistant – a very fascist, eugenics type of ideology and one which falls flat on its face before the evidence. The often late-occurring health impacts of radiation show why the less genetically fit won’t be weeded out by radiation – the impacts often occur after reproductive age. Additionally it can result in mental and physical disabilities, and infertility or miscarriage. There is the oft forgotten issue of morbidity or illness, and the weight that this has on society – the need to care for the sick and disabled – a weight which societies may soon be unable to bear, if the nuclear industry is not stopped. Imagine a couple made infertile by radiation, and who later get cancer or dementia. Who will care for them? Worse, imagine those with disabled children, who themselves fall ill with cancer or dementia? These costs have been mostly born by extended families or hidden within nursing homes. But, if there is no one left to care for the ill, or pay for nursing homes, or work in nursing homes, in a world increasingly polluted with radionuclides? Many of the most toxic radionuclides are going nowhere for hundreds or thousands of years. Rather, they are accumulating in the environment, in our food and water, and the health-related and social costs are progressively accumulating, as well. And, many of our governments are letting this happen, and ceasing to even pretend to protect us, by allowing high levels of radionuclides in food and water, by allowing the nuclear industry to not only perpetuate itself but to handle things in a half-ass, unserious manner.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Before going back to why eating clay might be a bad idea and why people might do it, we will pass back by the Marshall Islands. According to the US Congressional document, “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs“, 1986, “a retrospective study was made on the health of humans exposed to radioactive iodine, and includes as a study population the group of Marshallese Islanders exposed to fallout from early atomic bomb tests… The findings on this population were described in TID-27160, a June 1976 Progress Report to the Energy Research and Development Administration. The report noted the long latency period for the onset of clinical effects, and commented on the likely relation between exposure and thyroid nodules: ‘The lengthy interval in man is clearly shown in the Marshallese where in spite of thorough annual physical examination the first palpable nodule was not found for 9 years and neoplasms are still appearing at 22 years. (p. 4) To date 6 carcinomas had been removed from 10 individuals from several atolls, 3 from an atoll with extremely low exposure. Since this is a population which seldom if ever develops thyroid nodules, the relationship to the radiation which was primarily radioiodine is most impressive.(p. 4) At the time of the last annual report we described a 21 year old Marshallese who we had just operated for multiple benign adenomas. He was 6 months in utero when his mother was exposed to fallout. The special studies of that thyroid tissue showed /the bizarre nuclear forms recognized as evidence of radiation effect. At the time preparation of this reports we have just operated and removed several benign atypical adenomas from the thyroid of his mother who had developed masses in the last year. (p. 5) The factor of long delay in the development of neoplasms is emphasized in both animals and men… The first Marshallese lesion did not develop for 9 years. Many of the early lesions came from the atoll with the highest fallout (Rongelap) was quite some years later that lesions began appearing in people who were on the next nearest atoll (Alingnae) where the dose had been somewhat less. While lesions were appearing on the nearer atoll the low dose received on an atoll much further away (Uterik) seemed to have produced no lesions, but in the most recent years individuals have been operated and 3 carcinomas found. These observations seem to emphasize the risk of the low dose range. (p. 5). Nine years after the 1954 thermonuclear bomb accident, the first thyroid neoplasm appeared.’ (p. 6)“. “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on U.S. Citizens“, 1986, US Congress: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt (Emphasis added)
The pro-nuclear lobby wants everyone to believe that thyroid disease and its impacts and having to take thyroid medication for a life-time are no big deal. But, it is a very big deal. Among other things it makes your very life dependent upon access to medication and getting the right amount can be difficult for some people. The wrong amount – too much or too little – can even be life-threatening. (Do a search for thyroxin and you will see people complaining of side-effects of the medication; also do search about what happens if you stop taking it.) It is presumably even more important to get the right dosage, and more potentially dangerous, when it must be given to babies. Obviously many people live with this condition, but it IS a serious condition! For general info on the medications see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levothyroxine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_desiccated_thyroid_hormones
Healthguide.org, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, importantly informs us that:
“More than 50 conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia. A small percentage of dementias are reversible. Symptoms subside when the underlying problem is treated.” Possible causes include: “Hypothyroidism. This is diagnosed by measuring the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone circulating in the blood. Physicians usually recommend thyroid hormone replacement, but this treatment doesn’t always reverse the dementia.” (Emphasis added) From: “Distinguishing between Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia” http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/alzheimers_dementia.htm [Excerpt is ‘©Helpguide.org. All rights reserved. Helpguide.org is an ad-free non-profit resource for supporting better mental health and lifestyle choices for adults and children.’] (NB: For those concerned about dementia, in general, it is important to read the above link and see a medical professional. It can be caused by simple things like a nutritional deficiency and stopped if caught in time.)
A year before the “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs” report came out, Greenpeace remarked:
“Although American authorities knew of the fallout pattern and the strong winds that had been blowing toward Rongelap on the day of the test, they made no attempt to evacuate the Islanders for more than 48 hours. Many Marshallese believe the Rongelap Islanders were used by the United States as ‘guinea pigs’ to study the effects of radioactive fallout on humans. Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York State stated that, ‘The habitation of these people on the island will afford most valuable ecological radiation data on human beings.’ The Rongelapese exposed to the tests had all the symptoms of severe radiation sickness: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching and burning of the skin, eyes and mouth. They suffered from skin burns over much of their bodies, and lost much of their hair within two weeks of the Bravo explosion. Thirty one years on, 95 percent of the population alive between 1948 and 1954 had contracted thyroid cancer and a high proportion of their children suffered from genetic defects. The Rongelap people were returned to their island in 1957, in spite of the fact that it had been continually dosed with fallout from nuclear tests during their absence. No ‘cleanup’ of radiation was ever conducted. In 1979, an aerial radiation study of the northern Marshalls conducted by the United States revealed high levels of residual radiation on Rongelap Atoll – in some places even higher than at Bikini itself. But the U.S. government representative to the Marshall Islands had ruled that Rongelap was still perfectly safe, as long as the people stay away from the northern islands and eat imported tinned food.”
From: “Rongelap Evacuation“, 1985, Greenpeace Full article here:
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/ships/the-rainbow-warrior/20th-anniversary/rongelap-evacuation/ (Notice how similar this sounds to Japan)
Cronkite, 1997, et. al. reported some short and long-term effects from fallout in the Marshall Islands, including “induction of one case of fatal acute myeloid leukemia and a large number of thyroid tumors (benign and malignant) in addition to hypothyroidism in adults and children and two cases of cretinism. The hypothyroidism and cretinism responded well to administration of oral thyroxine.” “Historical events associated with fallout from Bravo Shot–Operation Castle and 25 Y of medical findings” Health Phys. 1997 Jul;73(1):176-86, by Cronkite EP, Conard RA, Bond VP. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9199227 (Emphasis added).
Does anyone still recall what cretinism is?
“In the era before newborn screening, less than half of cases of severe hypothyroidism were recognized in the first month of life. As the months proceeded, these infants would grow poorly and be delayed in their development. By several years of age, they would display the recognizable facial and body features of cretinism. Persistence of severe, untreated hypothyroidism resulted in severe mental impairment, with an IQ below 80 in the majority. Most of these children eventually ended up in institutional care.” (Emphasis added; more info at link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_hypothyroidism
“Congenital hypothyroidism can be endemic, genetic, or sporadic. If untreated, it results in mild to severe impairment of both physical and mental growth and development. Poor length growth is apparent as early as the first year of life. Adult stature without treatment ranges from 1 to 1.6 metres (3’4 to 5’3), depending on severity, sex and other genetic factors. In adults, Cretinism results in mental deterioration, swelling of the skin, loss of water and hair.  Bone maturation and puberty are severely delayed. Ovulation is impeded and infertility is common. Neurological impairment may be mild, with reduced muscle tone and coordination, or so severe that the person cannot stand or walk. Cognitive impairment may also range from mild to so severe that the person is nonverbal and dependent on others for basic care. Thought and reflexes are slower… Sporadic and genetic cretinism results from abnormal development or function of the foetal thyroid gland. This type of cretinism has been almost completely eliminated in developed countries by early diagnosis by newborn screening schemes followed by lifelong treatment with thyroxine (T4). Thyroxine must be dosed as tablets only, even to newborns, as the liquid oral suspensions and compounded forms cannot be depended on for reliable dosing. In the case of dosing infants, the T4 tablets are generally crushed and mixed with breast milk, formula milk or water. If the medication is mixed with formulas containing iron or soya products, larger doses may be required, as these substances may alter the absorption of thyroid hormone from the gut. Frequent monitoring (every 2–3 weeks during the first months of life) is recommended to ensure that infants with congenital hypothyroidism remain within the high end of normal range, or euthyroid…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretinism (Emphasis added; references and more information at the link).
Historically, before the nuclear age, thyroid problems were associated with iodine deficiencies. This is why island nations, like the Marshall Islands, would not normally have these problems, as noted in the 1976 US gov report, cited in “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs“. They would get iodine from their food. Switzerland, an inland country, introduced iodized salt in 1922 and the US followed in 1924 to prevent goiter and increase IQs:
“More mildly affected areas of Europe and North America in the 19th century were referred to as ‘goitre belts’. The degree of iodine deficiency was milder and manifested primarily as thyroid enlargement rather than severe mental and physical impairment. In Switzerland, for example, where soil does not contain a large amount of iodine, cases of cretinism were very abundant and even considered genetically caused.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretinism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodised_salt And, as we have already discussed, iodine deficiency makes you more susceptible to absorbing radioiodines. The catch, however, for iodine and other minerals, which help protect from uptake of radionuclides, is that an excess of the good minerals is also potentially dangerous-toxic. Balance is of critical importance.
While the nuclear lobby will tell us about the very short lived radioiodine, iodine 131, in the context of nuclear emergencies, they do not bother to tell us about radioactive iodine 129. Nor do they tell us that nuclear power plants routinely release radioactive iodine! Thus, we will reiterate what the US EPA says about it. It is important to know that it is not just from radioactive fallout! The US EPA is asking for comments (deadline June) about the emissions allowed by nuclear facilities. If they worsen standards, it will have horrible effects in the USA, but perhaps, on other countries, as well. Is this the origin of so much thyroid disease? According to the US EPA: “Because 129I is long-lived and relatively mobile in the environment, it is of particular importance in long-term management of spent nuclear fuel… How do iodine-129 and iodine-131 get into the environment? Iodine-129 and iodine-131 are gaseous fission products that form within fuel rods as they fission. Unless reactor chemistry is carefully controlled, they can build up too fast, increasing pressure and causing corrosion in the rods. As the rods age, cracks or wholes may breach the rods. Cracked rods can release radioactive iodine into the water that surrounds and cools the fuel rods. There, it circulates with the cooling water throughout the system, ending up in the airborne, liquid, and solid wastes from the reactor. From time to time, reactor gas capture systems release gases, including iodine, to the environment under applicable regulations. Anywhere spent nuclear fuel is handled, there is a chance that iodine-129 and iodine-131 will escape into the environment. Nuclear fuel reprocessing plants dissolve the spent fuel rods in strong acids to recover plutonium and other valuable materials. In the process, they also release iodine-129 and -131 into the airborne, liquid, and solid waste processing systems. In the U.S., spent nuclear fuel is no longer reprocessed, because of concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation. Currently, spent nuclear fuel remains in temporary storage at nuclear power plants around the country… Wherever spent nuclear fuel is stored, the short-lived iodine-131 it contains will decay away quickly and completely. However, the long-lived iodine-129 will remain for millions of years. Keeping it from leaking into the environment, requires carefully designed, long-term safeguards. The detonation of nuclear weapons also releases iodine-129 into the environment. Atmospheric testing in the 1950’s and 60’s released radioactive iodine to the atmosphere which has disseminated around the world, and is now found at very low levels in the environment. Most I-129 in the environment came from weapons testing. How do iodine-129 and iodine-131 change in the environment? Radioactive iodine can disperse rapidly in air and water, under the right conditions. However, it combines easily with organic materials in soil. This is known as ‘organic fixation’ and slows iodine’s movement in the environment. Some soil minerals also attach to, or adsorb, iodine, which also slows its movement. The long half-life of iodine-129, 15.7 million years, means that it remains in the environment. However, iodine-131’s short half-life of 8 days means that it will decay away completely in the environment in a matter of months. Both decay with the emission of a beta particle, accompanied by weak gamma radiation. How do people come in contact with iodine-129 and iodine-131? Radioactive iodine can be inhaled as a gas or ingested in food or water. It dissolves in water so it moves easily from the atmosphere into humans and other living organisms. People are exposed to I-129 from the past testing of nuclear weapons, and I-131 from nuclear power plant emissions. Some industrial facilities also emit radioactive iodine to the environment, as well as medical institutions. Radioactive iodine is usually emitted as a gas, but may contaminate liquids or solid materials as well. If a family member has been treated with I-131, you may have increased exposure to it through their body fluids. How do iodine-129 and iodine-131 get into the body? Radioactive iodine can enter the body by ingestion or inhalation. It dissolves in water so it moves easily from the atmosphere into humans and other living organisms. For example, I-129 and -131 can settle on grass where cows can eat it and pass it to humans through their milk. It may settle on leafy vegetables and be ingested by humans. Iodine isotopes also concentrate in marine and freshwater fish, which people may then eat… How can iodine-129 and iodine-131 affect people’s health? Radioactive iodine can cause thyroid problems,… Long-term (chronic) exposure to radioactive iodine can cause nodules, or cancer of the thyroid… How do I know if I’m near radioactive iodine? Living near a nuclear power plant may slightly increase your annual exposure to I-131. Detecting radioactive iodine in the environment requires specialized equipment… The thyroid cannot tell the difference between radioactive and non-radioactive iodine. It will take up radioactive iodine in whatever proportion it is available in the environment.” http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/iodine.html#inbody So, in short, those living near nuclear reactors are more at risk for thyroid problems!
The EPA forgot something! (And the CDC, in turn, forgot I-129) According to the US CDC. “Congenital hypothyroidism secondary to thyroid ablation has been reported subsequent to maternal exposure to ablative doses of 131I. In one case, an infant became hypothyroid after his mother received 99 mCi (3.7 GBq) of 131I during her sixth week of pregnancy. Growth retardation was also observed in some children who were exposed to radioiodine in the Marshall Island BRAVO cohort, early after the bomb test. Studies are suggestive of possible extra-thyroidal developmental effects of radioiodine following maternal exposures to ablative doses of 131I received 2–10 years prior to pregnancy. Dose-response relationships for these effects were not established in these studies; therefore, the observed outcomes may not have been related to the 131I exposures. The observed outcomes include low birth weights with subsequent normal growth patterns, tetrology of Fallot (pulmonic stenosis, atrial septal defect, and right ventricular hypertrophy), hypoparathyroidism, Down’s syndrome, and cardiac anomalies. The maternal 131I exposures ranged from 1 to 17 GBq (27–460 mCi). Studies of pregnancy outcomes in Belarus and Ukraine populations after the Chernobyl accident are suggestive of possible developmental effects related to radiation exposures. However, interpretation of these results is highly uncertain, as factors other than radioiodine could have affected the outcomes, including exposure to other forms of radiation, nutrition, or other chemical exposures“. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp158.pdf (Emphasis added) The CDC also appears somewhat in contradiction to Cronkite, et. al., 1997, who suggest that medications solved all. Cronkite et. al. were writing for the Health Physics journal and hence appear to have a radioactive horse in the race: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_physics However, the article does admit that there were cases of cretinism caused by the nuclear fallout.
Friday, 18 April 2014
Ingestion of soil by grazing sheep has been studied, and it was found that sheep ingest dirt, grazing from May to November. Rainfall influences ingestion. Assuming the soil was contaminated with the scrapie-causing agent, then the sheep could fall sick in that way. Length of time in the soil, and the binding abilities of the soil, impact the capacity to make sheep ill. “Scrapie-contaminated soil” and “aqueous soil extracts” were fed to hamsters after being “incubated” for 26 to 29 months. Hamsters showed scrapie symptoms at 2 wks to 6 mths, after ingestion. In Iceland in 1978, in order to try to eradicate scrapie, flocks were killed, the area was disinfected and “sheep houses were burnt; after two to three years, the premises were restocked with lambs from scrapie-free areas. Between 1978 and 2004, scrapie recurred on 33 farms. Nine recurrences occurred 14–21 years after culling as a result of environmental contamination… Soil containing the common clay mineral montmorillonite (Mte) and kaolinite (Kte) binds more effectively with” whatever the “infectious agent” is “than soil containing quartz.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapie (references at link). The wikipedia article on scrapie is written from the perspective that it is caused by an infectious protein, which we do not believe. We believe that the disfigured protein is a reaction to either an infectious agent, such as a spiroplasma, or to environmental toxins, such as plutonium, which is both a radiological and biochemical toxin. As we have endlessly repeated, ionizing radiation damages the immune system, making living beings more susceptible to disease.
This leads us back to the point that, traditionally, some Aboriginal Northern Australians, like many other traditional peoples, ate (and maybe still eat) clay or soil. This is known as “geophagy”. There is a wide literature related to geophagy, and why people (and animals) might eat clay or dirt. The most obvious is nutritional deficiencies, which might be compensated by elements such as iron, in clay. This appears a likely explanation, since it is often practiced during pregnancy. In Haiti, clay, or mud cakes, are currently bought and sold, because they are cheaper than food and fill empty stomachs. There are many reasons why eating clay or dirt can be dangerous, and why we would not recommend it. Although we can find no documentation of it in the areas of New Guinea, where Kuru was prevalent, we would not be surprised if it is practiced there, as it has been documented in much of the world. According to Smith, 2001: “Typical quantities of soil eaten by geophagics in Kenya have been reported to be 20 grams per day. This is almost 400 times more than typical quantities of soil thought to be ingested as a result of inadvertent ingestion through hand-to-mouth contact (e.g. 50 milligrams per day). Whilst eating such large quantities of soil increases exposure to essential trace nutrients, it also significantly increases exposure to biological pathogens and to potentially toxic trace elements, especially in areas associated with mineral extraction, or in polluted urban environments… Similarly, inadvertent ingestion of soils increases exposure to toxins associated with contaminated land sites within the UK and Europe. Analysis of exposure scenarios indicates that the direct ingestion of even minimal quantities of soil by the young can account for more than 50 per cent of their total exposure to a given pollutant from all other sources. This is due to the much higher concentration of contaminants in soils compared to foods and drinking-water.” (Emphasis added) From: “Geophagia: The hazards to health of soil in the diet“, by Barry Smith, Keyworth, British Geological Survey, EARTHWISE, No 17, Geology and health, 2001: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/newsAndEvents/earthwise/downloadSearch.cfc?method=viewDownloadsByCategory
Sunday, 20 April 2014
US Soil Classification, Ultisol.
“Yellow or red soil indicates the presence of iron oxides”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_color. “Clay earth pigments are naturally occurring minerals, principally iron oxides, that have been used since prehistoric times as pigments“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_earth_pigment Ultisol: “The red and yellow colors result from the accumulation of iron oxide (rust) which is highly insoluble in water“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultisols
Ferrosols, an Australian and FAO classification, are soils that are high in free iron oxide. At least some of the soil in the area of Australia where, by tradition, the Aboriginal peoples ate clay cakes and where there has been a problem with a neurological condition, is classified as ferrosol. For more info on the soils see: http://www.lrm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/348004/Land_Resources_of_the_VRD_SoilClassification.pdf.
Sullivan and Ruemmler (1988) found that absorption of Uranium (U), Neptunium (Np), Americium (Am), and Curium (Cm) was increased by factors of 3.4, 7.1, 2.7 and 1.7, when given to rats, who had an iron-deficient diet. And, retention of these radionuclides increased proportionately in the liver, kidneys and body. Uranium (233) and Neptunium (237) also increased in the urine of iron-deficient rats compared to controls. However, this was not the case for Americium 241 or Curium 244. Newly weaned rats on an iron-deficient diet, given ferric nitrate, immediately, before being given Plutonium 238 nitrate, retained between 4% and 12% of the 238 Pu retained by litter mates that were not treated with iron.
(“Absorption uranium 233 neptunium 237 plutonium 238 americium 241 and curium 244 from the gastrointestinal tracts of the rats iron deficient diet.” Health Phys, 1988 Mar, 54(3):311-6, by Sullivan, MF, and Ruemmler, PS, See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3346162)
So, once again, we see that nutritional deficiencies make one more prone to absorption of radionuclides. Iron deficiency made the rats absorb almost 3 and a half times as much Uranium, seven times as much Neptunium, almost 3 times as much Americium, and almost twice as much Curium. The lack of increased excretion of Americium and Curium, suggests that the body is holding on to these radionuclides. In humans Americium’s half-life in the body is 20 to 50 years, so this should come as no surprise. Young rats supplemented with iron before being given Plutonium, retained only a small percentage of the amounts of plutonium retained by their iron-deficient litter mates.
This suggests that the poor, who are often indigenous peoples and/or ethnic minorities, currently carry a doubly heavier burden of radionuclide contamination, because uranium mining and nuclear facilities are more likely to be placed near them, because they are poor and hence largely powerless in a world where money pays off politicians, either legally through campaign contributions or illegally; they also tend to be numerically weak, which reduces their influence as voters; there appears a tacit attempt at genocide in the case of indigenous peoples, lest they be able to take back their lands from colonizers. Recall that the Irish took back most of their country after about 800 years of English occupation. The area of the Black Hills of South Dakota, has only been really occupied for only about 150 years. It is not surprising that some of the counties of this area, highly populated by American Indians, are among the poorest counties in the USA and, to our knowledge, no efforts have been made (or even proposed) to clean up the abandoned uranium mines in this area (there are starting to be tiny efforts made in other states). Worse, new uranium mining appears to be moving forward. What is this but genocide?
The same can be said of recent uranium mining in the historically recently colonized areas of Australia, and their impact on the Australian Aboriginals.
South Dakota, USA, Sioux Reservation Map
Iron deficiency is more prevalent in women. This adds a gender dimension to humanity’s poisoning by radionuclides. However, even still, men and women are only born of woman. So, ultimately this will lead to the death of humanity. Alzheimer’s disease is also more prevalent in women, which should not be surprising if radionuclides play a role in it. As we mentioned, traditionally, in the areas of New Guinea hit by kuru, men kept the meat for themselves, making women (and children) protein deficient, and by consequence, most likely iron deficient. At least this has been given as a reason that the women allegedly ate the bodies of dead relatives on the sneak in their kitchen gardens. This would make them more susceptible to uptake of radioactive fallout. We assume that the men hunted and the women kept the kitchen gardens. Sorry to say, that we look askance at the Fair Trade, organic (bio) coffee grown in the kitchen gardens of the New Guinea Highlands, since as we have discussed, whatever causes kuru, CJD, scrapie, is believed to linger in the soil. (Please note that excess amounts of iron are toxic. Thus, except for a multi-vitamin, iron supplements should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor, who should first do a blood test to see if it is needed. There are vegetable sources of iron, as well as meat. It is always best and safest to get nutrients from your food, which is one reason it is so criminal that many governments are allowing for food to be poisoned by radionuclides. Besides, everyone has to eat! The only good news it that it appears that given the choice the body chooses the good minerals over the radionuclides, so it is important to eat well.)
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
“Iron(III) oxide or ferric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Fe2O3. It is one of the three main oxides of iron, the other two being iron(II) oxide (FeO), which is rare, and iron(II,III) oxide (Fe3O4), which also occurs naturally as the mineral magnetite. As the mineral known as hematite, Fe2O3 is the main source of the iron for the steel industry. Fe2O3 is ferromagnetic, dark red, and readily attacked by acids. Iron(III) oxide is often called rust, and to some extent this label is useful, because rust shares several properties and has a similar composition. To a chemist, rust is considered an ill-defined material, described as hydrated ferric oxide.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron(III)_oxide
Jensen et. al. (2012) point out the importance of “Understanding how a synthetic element like plutonium subverts existing biological metal-acquisition pathways to enter cells and where the pathways of plutonium and essential metals, such as iron, converge or diverge.” Since plutonium has only existed on earth, in biologically significant amounts, since it was first manufactured in 1941, living beings “have no natural mechanism for specifically recognizing plutonium.” Plutonium is radiologically (as well as a chemically) toxic and is, in their words, “strongly retained” by the body, so its uptake, due to environmental contamination “can pose significant health risks.” (Mark P. Jensen, et., al., 2012, “An iron-dependent and transferrin-mediated cellular uptake pathway for plutonium,” Nat Chem Biol.; 7(8): 560–565, NIH library: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ ) “The 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 60 to 130 years. They remark that, once plutonium is removed from the bone, it probably “will be bound to transferrin and recycled into the liver and bone” again! Morss works or worked for the US Dept. of Energy, which means he’s probably not antinuclear!
According to Jensen et. al. (2012), plutonium shares some important similarities with biologically important transition metals, especially iron. “Plutonium is highly redox active with four oxidation states (III, IV, V, and VI) potentially relevant to living organisms, although Pu(IV) has long been considered the most important under physiological conditions.” Pu (IV) is strongly hydrolyzed at physiological pH, and if there are no steric constraints, “Pu4+ tends to form complexes that are about as stable as those of trivalent first row transition metals, notably Fe3+“. The chemical similarities between Iron (Fe) and Plutonium (Pu) “are particularly important to the metal transport protein serum transferrin (Tf). Transferrin functions to strongly bind and carry two Fe3+ ions into cells, but it also binds Pu4+ strongly…” They “found that mammalian cells could acquire Pu through the common Fe uptake pathway of receptor-mediated endocytosis of metallo-transferrins. However, to be taken into the cell by receptor-mediated endocytosis, Pu needed help from Fe.” Plutonium associates in vivo with transferrin and ferritin. (The entire paper is available here: Mark P. Jensen, et. al., 2012, “An iron-dependent and transferrin-mediated cellular uptake pathway for plutonium,” Nat Chem Biol. ; 7(8): 560–565, NIH library: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ So, plutonium cannot get into the cell by itself, but it can ride into the cell, on transferrin, along with an iron ion. However, it can only fit adequately in one of the two slots available on the transferrin.
Atkinson, et. al. 2005, have presented “evidence for a more general pathway for the irradiation of target cells, mediated through the sequestration of heavy-metal radionuclides by the intracellular iron-storage protein ferritin… Since both transferrin and ferritin are capable of sequestering a multitude of other metals, including radioactive heavy metals (8–10)“, they have postulated “that ferritin may be a significant reservoir for radionuclide deposition…” (Atkinson (2005) et. al., “Intracellular sequestration of 223Ra by the iron-storage protein ferritin,” Radiat Res. 2005 Aug;164(2):230-3 See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16038594
According to Raven, et. al., 2013, the hippocampus is heavily damaged in Alzheimer’s Disease, whereas the thalamus, is resistant to Alzheimer’s Disease damage. They found that compared with healthy controls, those with Alzheimer’s Disease had increased ferritin iron in the hippocampus, but not in the thalamus. They conclude that hippocampus damage “occurs in conjunction with ferritin iron accumulation“. (Raven EP, et. al., 2013, “Increased iron levels and decreased tissue integrity in hippocampus of Alzheimer’s disease detected in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging,” J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;37(1):127-36, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23792695 )
Plutonium can only attach to transferrin, in conjunction with iron. It is found associated with the iron-storage protein ferritin. Thus, plutonium could be in the brain, along with the iron, irradiating it.
Friday 25 April 2014
Aryal, et. al. (2011) observe that plutonium can enter the body through various routes and stays there for decades. They point out that “There are currently more than 1000 metric tons of plutonium in the world, and the chances of accidental exposure to plutonium or other synthetic actinide elements is increasing with the increasing worldwide reliance on nuclear energy“. Nonetheless, “its specific biochemical interactions are poorly defined“. Although, its ability to bind transferrin and ferritin are well-known, those proteins identified as binding plutonium, in their experiments also bind calcium, magnesium or divalent transition metal ions, such as copper, and zinc. Those proteins which they identified as interacting with plutonium, also have roles in functional roles in preventing needed cell death. Thus, plutonium can contribute to cancer chemically, as well as radiologically. (Aryal BP, Paunesku T, Woloschak GE, He C, Jensen MP., (Epub 2011), A proteomic approach to identification of plutonium-binding proteins in mammalian cells, J Proteomics 2012 Feb 16;75(5):1505-14 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22146473 )
Dr. Ray Peat, Ph.D. in Biology, with an emphasis in physiology, has studied CJD, at least since the 1970s. On his web site RayPeat.com, he has an article entitled, “BSE – mad cow – scrapie, etc.: Stimulated amyloid degeneration and the toxic fats” http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/madcow.shtml In this article, among many other things, he suggests that kuru was probably caused by radiation and lack of nourishment. It was, in fact, this second thought, which reminded us that the protein deficient women and children, were probably also iron deficient. Furthermore, he informs us that “Even very low doses of ionizing radiation create an inflammatory reaction” and that “Strong radiation can even cause, after a delay of more than a year, the development of vacuoles“. This last is very interesting in that traditional CJD is well-known for vacuoles in the brain. He remarks not only the advent of BSE in the UK, subsequent to Chernobyl, but also states that BSE first occurred in the US, in Washington State, subsequent to a fire near Hanford, in 2000. Claude Ledbetter, in his book, “This Could Be YOU!”, reports a CJD cluster, downwind of Three Mile Island. See: http://www.claudeledbetter.com/three-mile-island/10316 for more information.
Investigators at the University of Rochester Medical Center, are doing research on “Mitigation of Brain Inflammation and Cognitive Impairment after Radiation Injury,” with Principal Investigators, M. Kerry O’Banion, M.D., John A. Olschowka, Ph.D. (Rochester was involved with the original human plutonium experiments and much more). Their project description states that “Neurocognitive deficits are clearly associated with radiation therapy, particularly in children where they represent a major detrimental side effect of life-saving procedures. Long-standing changes in brain function have also been described in individuals exposed to radiation in the setting of radiological accidents (e.g Chernobyl). Although not as dramatic or life threatening as the classic syndromes associated with lethal and sub-lethal radiation exposure, radiation-induced changes in cognitive capacity will likely present a significant and life-long burden to individuals surviving a radiological accident or nuclear disaster. Accumulating evidence suggests that brain radiation injury leads to a persistent alteration in the brain’s milieu, manifest in pre-clinical models over many months as activation of endogenous glial cells, recruitment of peripheral immune cells, and chronic elevation of cytokines, chemokines, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species“. Furthermore, they “hypothesize that this neuroinflammatory milieu contributes to neurocognitive deficits, including inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic function.” They “will explore this hypothesis with pre-clinical models for adults under two exposure conditions (external and internal radiation) and with pre-clinical models for neonates“, that is, newborns, where they “expect the effects to be enhanced.” They “will explore the possibility that total body irradiation combined with thermal burn exacerbates central nervous system effects.” (Emphasis added) More information here: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/o-labs/projects/mitigation_of_brain_inflammation_and_cognitive_impairment_after_radiation_injury So much for the claims that Chernobyl caused no problems! In our “Ongoing Saga” series, yesterday, we discussed “Chernobyl Heart”, i.e. heart disorders caused from Chernobyl. Research has shown impact on Chernobyl bird brains, but here we have impacts on Chernobyl human brains! Is this Rochester study on adult and newborn rats or people? We do not think that we would wish total body irradiation combined with thermal burn on rats! They’ve been doing total body irradiation (TBI) studies since the 1940s! They don’t know these answers yet!?
Sunday, 27 April 2014
“Deer at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge with Flatirons in background.
On the former site of the Rocky Flats Plant, near Denver in Jefferson County, Colorado, 2 February 2010” Photo by Footwarrior via wikimedia. The “Refuge” was “previously occupied by the Rocky Flats Plant, a nuclear weapons production facility. Contaminated by plutonium during plutonium fires and both uranium and plutonium ground leakage, there is no public access to the refuge at this time” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Flats_National_Wildlife_Refuge
Now, Dr. Ray Peat and Claude Ledbetter’s idea of disease clusters got us to thinking. Off and on since the 1980s, there have been reports of the relationship between squirrel brains and CJD, especially in western Kentucky. Before you look down on those squirrel brain eaters in western Kentucky, consider that even after the “mad cow” BSE outbreak in the UK, French bureaucrats were still eating cow brains in their canteen in Paris. Yes, there you go – Parisian cuisine at its finest and perhaps what ails some French bureaucrats? The author of a French wikipedia article observes that deer bones, especially the antlers, can be gnawed on by other animals, especially squirrels who seem to do so to recover minerals and perhaps to sharpen teeth. So this could be one way squirrels might be transmission vectors of the so-called transmissible spongiform encephalapathies (TSE) (aka “mad cow”, BSE, disease) to humans. Deer are related to cows and get a TSE called chronic wasting disease, CWD. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevreuil
The Sept. 2012 “Sellafield-Roe Deer in the Caldergate Field Pond Sector, Preliminary Report“, obtained by Radiation Free Lakeland, under the UK’s Freedom of Information law, says: “deer are excellent bio-indicators and sentinels of environmental contamination. Because of their extremely rapid and efficient deposition of minerals in bone, they are recognised as important sources of data in respect of heavy metal and radioactive isotope accumulation. Given the nature of the industrial work at Sellafield, the regular sampling of deer bone and liver tissue might be an attractive prospect for those responsible for environmental monitoring at the site.” http://mariannewildart.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/redacted_deer-report-sellafield.pdf http://mariannewildart.wordpress.com Indeed they have been long used for this in the US at Hanford, Rocky Flats and Oak Ridge Nuclear Facilities (and probably other sites).
Well, what IS in western Kentucky anyhow, besides mad squirrels? The Paducah, Kentucky Uranium Enrichment facility. It is one of several gaseous diffusion enrichment plants, using uranium hexafluoride (a known oxidant), which were operated operated in the US (K-25, Oak Ridge, Paducah, KY, Piketon, OH). See for instance: “A group of landowners has settled a long-running lawsuit for $1.75 million over allegations that water leaks from the Paducah uranium enrichment plant devalued property. The homeowners sued multiple companies in 1997, including Lockheed Martin and Union Carbide, saying radiation contamination by air and water had ruined their land and well water and sickened residents. (AP Apr. 20, 2010).” There also have been multiple leaks-contamination issues, and workers were found to have higher rates of lung, lymphatic and cancers. A US DOE technical review of past operations involving recycled uranium at gaseous diffusion plants located in Paducah, Kentucky; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Piketon, Ohio,” stated that “Up to 1977, about 107,000 tonnes of recycled uranium, containing plutonium, neptunium, and technetium-99, were processed in these plants. Plant workers had not been informed about the additional hazards from this material, compared to natural uranium.” http://www.wise-uranium.org/epusec.html
“In August 1999, in response to a number of environment, safety, and health (ES&H) allegations and concerns, the Secretary of Energy initiated an independent investigation at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP or Plant). These ES&H concerns centered on areas such as improper onsite and offsite disposal of hazardous and radioactive materials, release of contamination into site streams and drainage ditches, inadequate posting and control of contaminated areas, exposure of workers to uranium and transuranic elements, and ineffective communication of hazards to workers.” Entire report here: http://www.pppo.energy.gov/pdf/PGDP%20Industry%20Workshop/Phase%20I%20Independent%20Report.pdf
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
“At the height of work at Hanford, the animal farm housed up to 1,000 animals“, and in 2007, 40,000 tons of contaminated animal carcasses and waste were found at Hanford. http://www.hanford.gov/files.cfm/HAB_FINAL_RAP_Jan07_summ.pdf
But, it was not only animals who were guinea pigs. People were fed fallout! They were fed both real fallout from the Nevada Nuclear Weapons Test site, as well as “simulated” fallout! According to a US Congressional Commission:
“Concern about problems from the ingestion of fallout led to studies using real fallout from the Nevada Test Site; simulated fallout particles that contained Strontium-85, Barium-133, or Cesium-134; and solutions of Sr-85 and Cs-134. During 1961 to 1963, real and simulated fallout and solutions of strontium and cesium were fed to 102 human subjects. Absorption and retention of the ingested radioactivity was measured by counting the bodies of subjects. These experiments were funded by the Atomic Energy Commission and were carried out by the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory. Subjects were university students or members of the researchers’ staffs. Several different fallout or simulated fallout materials were prepared. One set of experiments used microscopic spheres of radioactive strontium, cesium, or barium. A total of 27 volunteers ingested the spheres. Transit time of the spheres through the gastrointestinal tract was measured by counting excreted matter. A second set of experiments used real fallout, obtained from the Nevada Test Site following land detonation of the nuclear test Small Boy, on July 14, 1962. Fallout samples were placed in gelatin capsules and were fed to 10 subjects. In these and subsequent experiments retention of activity was followed by counting subjects bodies. Two types of simulated fallout were also prepared. They were distinguished by the size of microscopic spheres used, which simulated the size of fallout particles close to or far from the site of detonation. 21 subjects were fed simulated local fallout, and 22 simulated distant fallout. Finally, 22 subjects were fed solutions of strontium or cesium. The amounts of radioactive material fed to subjects in all experiments ranged from 0.4 to 2.5 microcuries of Strontium-85, or 0.5 to 14 microcuries of Cesium-134… The Department of Energy reported no long term medical follow up on these subjects. These experiments were reported in a scientif- ic paper, G.V. LeRoy et al., Health Physics 12, 449-473, 1966“. (Emphasis added: From:
“American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on US Citizens, Report, US House of Representatives“, US Gov, Nov., 1986 http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt
Based on the abstract, the focus of the resulting paper, “The Consequences of Ingestion by Man of Real and Simulated Fallout“, by Leroy, George V.; Rust, John H.; Hasterlik, Robert J., Health Physics 12, 449-473, 1966, appears to be only the shorter lived isotopes of strontium (85 with half life of 64 days) and cesium (134, with a half-life of 2 years), and possibly barium. Plutonium and other long-lived radionuclides from the Nevada Test site magically disappear. Only gamma emissions appear to have been tested. Interesting that even today plutonium, americium and more, appear to have mostly magically disappeared at Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the rest of the world. In general, for all of this research, if you don’t look you don’t find. Or, perhaps they found but didn’t wish to mention their finds? A most amazing thing, today, is that while Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole (WHOI)-MIT, wrote his dissertation on testing for plutonium, he appears to discuss mostly caesium 134, for Fukushima. (In fact, Buesseler did plutonium research at the Savannah River Site, according to his dissertation).
At the Savannah River Site, in the US, “The first procedure for plutonium urinalysis (Sanders 1956) was implemented in 1954 and used until 1959.” ( “The Evolution of Internal Dosimetry Bioassay Methods at the Savannah River Site“, by George A. Taylor http://www.c-n-t-a.com/srs50_files/253taylor.pdf) This means that the technology was there. So, they fed people nuclear fallout and they didn’t even bother to study the impacts of the most dangerous parts of it? Or, they didn’t want to report the results? Would it be a surprise if either the people of New Guinea or Aboriginal Australians were fed fallout, if Americans were? They may not have had to eat clay cakes to eat fallout. Some Aboriginal Australians were given tritiated water, supposedly to study how they survived in such an arid climate!
It is with good reason that Marshall Islanders suspect that they were considered nuclear guinea pigs! They are tested for plutonium via urinalysis, decades after their islands were used for Nuclear Weapons Tests. Plutonium did not magically disappear from the Marshall Islands, just like it has not really magically disappeared from anyplace else (unless it was a short lived isotope which turned into Americium). According to the US Livermore Nuclear Lab: “Plutonium is an important radioactive element produced in nuclear explosions. Plutonium emits alpha particles (or alpha rays). Alpha particles have a short range in tissue (about ~40 µm) and cannot be measured by detectors external to the body. However, as heavy, slow moving, charged particles, they have a high relative effectiveness to disrupt or cause harm to biological cells. As a consequence, in-vitro bioassay tests have been developed to test for the presence of systemic plutonium in the human body based on measured urinary excretion patterns and modeled metabolic behaviors of the absorbed radionuclides… plutonium is a major concern to people living in the northern Marshall Islands because of its long half-life and persistence in the environment. Moreover, radioactive debris deposited in lagoon sediments of coral atolls formed a reservoir and potential long-term source for remobilization and transfer of plutonium through the marine food chain and potentially to man. Elevated levels of plutonium in the terrestrial environment also represent potential inhalation and/or ingestion hazards.” (emphasis added) https://marshallislands.llnl.gov/plutonium.php https://marshallislands.llnl.gov/wbc.php
Thursday, 1 May 2014
(High-LET), Alpha particles from plutonium:
“The image … is an autoradiograph of a tracheobronchial lymph node from a former worker at the Laboratory. It shows alpha tracks radiating in a typical star pattern from tiny alpha-active clumps of matierial. Chemical analyses of the radioisotopes in this individual’s lungs and lymph nodes indicated that those clumps most likely consisted of an aggregate of plutonium particles.” (pp. 234-235, James McInroy, “True Measure of Exposure“, Los Alamos Science, No. 23, 1995 (Emphasis our own).
One thing which appears, conspicuously, mostly lacking, is research on plutonium and the brain, or the brain and other (internal) radionuclides. One rare article is “Effects of Total Body X-Irradiation and Plutonium Injection on the Cholinesterase of Erythrocytes and Brain“, by Jean C. Sabine, American Journal of Physiology, 31 October 1956,Vol. 187, no. 275-279. Most available research appears to be about the impacts of external x-rays or gamma rays. (One exception is Technetium, the short-lived tracer version, of which, gives a 1 in 1,000 chance of getting a solid cancer or leukemia in a patient http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium-99m). It is even more strange since nuclear researchers have appeared very anxious to get hold of people’s brains, when they had been exposed to plutonium. It looks like they either know or suspect an impact.
In the US, over a 35 year period, thousands of bodies were analyzed for plutonium, starting with Cecil Kelley. As soon as Kelley died, a terrible death, on the 1st of January 1959, shortly after a criticality event on December 30, 1958, his organs were taken, and stored for later analysis, reportedly to see if the plutonium in his body matched his exposure estimates, as extrapolated from the earlier plutonium injection experiments: “Autopsy samples were taken from throughout Kelley’s body so that plutonium concentrations could be measured. (The accident itself, an exposure to neutrons and gamma rays, had no impact on the levels or distribution of plutonium in his body.) It was found that about 50 per cent of the plutonium was in the liver, 36 per cent in the skeleton, 10 per cent in the lungs, and 3 per cent in the respiratory lymph nodes. Intravenous injection of plutonium in humans had shown a somewhat different distribution: 65 per cent in the skeleton and 22 per cent in the liver,…” (Moss and Eckhardt, 1995, p. 213, Number 23 1995, Los Alamos Science for quote; see also Weilsome, 1999, “The Plutonium Files” ) What is striking here, and in the Silkwood case description, is both location and movement within the body, according to how recently exposure had occurred. Also notice the difference between the stats given for Kelley and the stats below:
(James McInroy, “True Measure of Exposure“, Los Alamos Science, No. 23, 1995, p. 244) While the brain is presumably part of the small percentage of “other”, it probably would not take much alpha radiation in the brain to damage it. Remember the BEIR “no safe dose” is for less intensive, Low-LET, x-rays, gamma rays, and beta, whereas the High-LET alpha radiation of plutonium is more damaging.
Even the earlier victims of plutonium experiments had their brains studied – or at least one did: When HP-4, Jean Daigneault’s, body was dug up, her brain was missing. Additionally, Karen Silkwood’s brain was taken to Los Alamos in 1974-she had been exposed to plutonium, only to die in a mysterious auto accident. (See the Eileen Weilsome book: “The Plutonium Files“, 1999; along with Los Alamos Science, No. 23, 1995: “The Human Plutonium Injection Experiments“, by William Moss and Roger Eckhard; and McInroy, “True Measure of Exposure“; plus various original documents. For more on Silkwood, see: “The Killing of Karen Silkwood“). Kristen Iverson, in her 2013 book “Full Body Burden” chronicles the death of Don Gabel, a Rocky Flats worker, who started working in the plutonium facility in 1971. By January of 1976, chromosomes in his blood and brain cells had been altered by radiation, and he had developed a tumor on the side of his head the size of a grapefruit. He died on the 6th of September 6, 1980. Within hours of his death, the US Dept of Energy called his wife and wanted to examine his brain. They later claimed that they had LOST HIS BRAIN FOR THREE MONTHS! They claimed that it was too deteriorated to test for plutonium. (See Iverson, 2013, “Full Body Burden” for this story and much more about Rocky Flats). At the minimum this is incompetence, of the sort which we are now used to with the nuclear industry, but it really appears BS. As discussed in the UK Redfern Inquiry, volume 1, p. 160: “The analytical process was destructive,…” And, we know that the plutonium didn’t go anywhere in 3 months! The brain must surely have been frozen too! Doing an autopsy on a brain, in general, is also not a given: “When special circumstances require, the brain is removed…” (p. 240, A True Measure of Exposure, by James F . McInroy, Los Alamos Science Number 23 1995 ) This is from a page about autopsies in general, apparently not about Los Alamos autopsies, in particular.
In the UK, “An extraordinary range of organs was taken in the Sellafield cases. The liver was taken in all 64 cases and one or both lungs in 63. Vertebrae, sternum, ribs, mediastinum/lymph nodes, spleen, kidneys and femur were removed in the majority of cases. Testes were taken in 26 cases while other organs taken from time to time included the brain, heart, patella and tongue.” (p. 572, “The Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities“, Volume 1: Report, Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 16 November 2010 ) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229155/0571_i.pdf (Emphasis added)
Postscript note, 3 May 2014: When considering historic and sporadic cases of scrapie, human CJD, etc, it is worth looking at historic mining. In “The Pitchblende of Cornwall, England.“, R. A. F. Penrose, Jr., 1915, it is remarked that “Pitchblende has long been a well-known mineral, but has attracted a greatly increased interest since it became important as a source of radium… In 1789 Klaproth discovered a new metal in it, which he called uranium…“. See: http://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/RESUGGA-Mine/South-Terras.pdf Scrapie has been noted for over 250 years. Sporadic, human CJD has been described since ca 1920.
THIS POST IS ONGOING AND WILL OPEN INTO A NEW POST ON SATURDAY UTC. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS GENERAL TOPIC OF RADIATION, RADIONUCLIDES, AND DISEASE, PLEASE COME BACK SOON. This is basically a learning, exploration, review series. There will be sometimes technical, sometimes not so technical things.
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