alpha emitters, alpha particles, alpha radiation, americium, atomic bomb, atomic veterans, cancer, dangers of ionizing radiation, dangers of nuclear, genocide, high LET, High LET Radiation, Holocaust, human experimentation, ionizing radiation, Joseph Hamilton, LET, Low LET Radiation, mad scientists, magic bullet, Manhattan project, nuclear, nuclear age, nuclear annihilation, nuclear extermination, nuclear facilities, nuclear genocide, nuclear holocaust, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear waste, nuclear weapons testing, plutonium, plutonium experiments, radiation disease, radiation experiments, radiation syndrome, radioactivity, Radionuclides, radium girls, x-rays
In 1950 Dr. Joseph Hamilton, a Manhattan Project physician involved with human plutonium injections, on unknowing victims, from 1945 to 1947, advised using chimpanzees rather than humans, for total body irradiation experiments, because “If this is to be done in humans, I feel that those concerned in the Atomic Energy Commission would be subject to considerable criticism, as admittedly this would have a little of the Buchenwald touch.” Cited in “Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments Final Report,” October 1995, p. 377 (archive.org)
Joseph Hamilton, in Berkeley, California, January, 1939 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_radiation_experiments
Unfortunately, many ignored Hamilton’s advice, and now generations of people (along with animals) have been senselessly experimented upon, both directly and indirectly, and often unaware. The very mind set which created the nuclear age, nuclear “scientists”, the nuclear industry, and today’s nuclear lobbyists, is the same one which created Nazi Germany, Nazi experiments, and the Holocaust -a will to power; a will to be as gods, by wielding the power of life and death, and the concomitant supercilious, callous disregard for life itself; in conjunction with a view of life as machine; life as instrumental means to an end. At the time, exposing people to large doses of ionizing radiation was a “little of the Buchenwald touch“. Now we are moving toward nuclear extermination of all life itself, a nuclear holocaust, where gamma radiation burns us from without, and explosive alpha radiation burns us from within.
While in Buchenwald 56,545 died or were killed, approximately 2/3rds of Europe’s 9 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, from the Greek, literally “whole burning“, where the “victim is utterly destroyed and burnt up“. It is also known, from the Hebrew, as the Shoah or catastrophe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_(sacrifice) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchenwald_concentration_camp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust
The numbers, as well as the Nazi intent, make the Jewish Holocaust clearly genocide. (Others also died or were killed by the Nazis, because they were political opponents, mentally and physically disabled, belonged to other ethnic minorities, or were otherwise considered “unfit” by the Nazis.)
Since the dawn of the nuclear age, approximately 70 years ago, deadly radionuclides have been increasingly spread throughout the environment. They continue to accumulate in the environment, which is something that we are never told, but the facts do not lie: radionuclides with half-lives of hundreds and even thousands of years are obviously still here. If the nuclear age is not stopped in its tracks, we will have not just a Holocaust genocide of an ethnic group, but indeed of the entire world. Given the high-handed, callous disregard for life by most leaders, and by agencies which are supposed to protect food and the environment, it is hard to judge when we will cross the threshold from life to extermination.
The long-accepted standard of no safe dose of ionizing radiation, increasing dose is increasing risk, applies to external x-rays and gamma rays (gamma emitters are also accumulating in the environment). The impact of internal, more powerful, alpha radiation, such as comes from plutonium and americium, is recognized as much more severe. Alpha radiation is internal, more intensely damaging, and some alpha emitters, such as plutonium and americium, can stay in the body for a life-time, continuing their intensive bombardment. The same nuclear energy which makes powerful weapons bombards our cells and our very DNA.
After over two thousand nuclear tests, of which at least 500 were above ground http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_testing (the tests themselves often involved multiple bombs, and some underground tests vented, making a count difficult), and after numerous nuclear accidents large and small, known and unknown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents, and the fact that nuclear (and medical) facilities are legally allowed to emit some radionuclides into the environment (and may illegally emit more), and the problem of nuclear waste, which is also emitted legally and illegally – plutonium and other radionuclides with half-lives of hundreds and thousands of years are building up in the environment and being ingested in food and water, absorbed through skin, and breathed in the air.
No Magic Bullet Against The Explosive Power and Toxicity of Radionuclides
Finding a “magic bullet” which will cure the damage done by this high power radiation, especially in the context of a contaminated environment, is more impossible than hoping to heal the anti-Nazi German women in the picture below, or other victims.
No sane person sits in a burning house with the hope that doctors can cure the burns, the tissue damage, induced by the fire. When people self-immolate, and set themselves afire in protest, it is to commit suicide. And, yet we are led to believe that there will be some magic bullet, magic cure for the damage done by nuclear ionizing radiation, which damages tissue, cells and even our very DNA, both externally and internally!
“Ryszard Siwiec – Polish accountant, teacher and former Home Army soldier who was the first person to set himself on fire in protest against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, 08.09.1968”
Over one hundred years ago, in 1908, Dr. Charles Allen Porter, reported about the many victims of the ionizing radiation from x-rays, who came for skin grafts: “From my experience and personal communications from patients, I believe that the agony of inflamed X-ray lesions is almost unequaled by any other disease.” cited in Caufield, 1989. In 1904, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Clarence Dally, had already become the first person known to have died from cancer due to the ionizing radiation of x-rays, first having suffered amputations. According to Caufield, 1989, “The dangers of over-exposure were clear; the equipment needed for protection against radiation was available, but radiologists continued to injure themselves and their patients.” Importantly, it was noted by Dr. Charles Leonard that “A seeming disbelief renders…experienced operators careless…Because they cannot see immediate effects, they cannot appreciate that any injury is being done“. (Caufield, C.,1989, “Multiple Exposures: Chronicles of the Radiation Age“, U. of Chicago Press, pp. 13-14, emphasis added)
During the 1928 lawsuit against US Radium Corp., on behalf of the “Radium Girls”, it was pointed out that the alpha emitter “radium was a different kind of poison… This wasn’t a matter of a one time exposure, but rather a permanent one. These women were still being poisoned; poisoned every day by a radioactive element that never left, simmered in the body, bubbled in the bones.“(Blum, D., 2011: http://blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience/2011/03/26/a-dazzle-in-the-bones/ , emphasis added )
We are increasingly convinced that the reason that there is so little monitoring of radionuclides, in the aftermath of accidents, and the primary reason that the focus is always on short or intermediate lived radionuclides like Iodine 131 and Caesium 134 or 137, is that we can watch them decline in the environment over time. Not so with many radionuclides such as the hyper-dangerous alpha emitters, plutonium and americium (see further down). As they accumulate in the environment, so too they will accumulate in the body. Even in a clean environment many stay for extensive time-periods. But, in a contaminated environment they reach steady-state equilibrium. Most are toxic biochemically, as well as radiologically.
Biological Effects of Alpha Particles
“Because of this high mass and strong absorption, if alpha-emitting radionuclides do enter the body (upon being inhaled, ingested, or injected,… 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#Biological_effects (references at link; emphasis added)
“Acute radiation syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation poisoning, radiation sickness or radiation toxicity, is a constellation of health effects which present within 24 hours of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation. The radiation causes cellular degradation due to damage to DNA and other key molecular structures within the cells in various tissues; this destruction, particularly as it affects ability of cells to divide normally, in turn causes the symptoms. The symptoms can begin within one or two hours and may last for several months. The terms refer to acute medical problems rather than ones that develop after a prolonged period.
The onset and type of symptoms depends on the radiation exposure. Relatively smaller doses result in gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting and symptoms related to falling blood counts such as infection and bleeding. Relatively larger doses can result in neurological effects and rapid death. Treatment of acute radiation syndrome is generally supportive with blood transfusions and antibiotics, with some more exotic treatments such as bone marrow transfusions being required in extreme cases.
Similar symptoms may appear months to years after exposure as chronic radiation syndrome when the dose rate is too low to cause the acute form. Radiation exposure can also increase the probability of developing some other diseases, mainly different types of cancers.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome (references at link, emphasis added) “Animal studies found that a few milligrams of plutonium per kilogram of tissue is a lethal dose.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium
No Safe Dose of Ionizing Low LET Radiation, But High LET Alpha Is Worse
The long-accepted standard of no safe dose of ionizing radiation, increasing dose is increasing risk, applies to external x-rays and gamma rays. The impact of internal, more powerful, alpha radiation, such as from plutonium and americium, is recognized as much more severe. Alpha radiation is internal, more intensely damaging, and plutonium and americium can stay in the body for a life-time, continuing their intensive bombardment. Their half-life in the body is 20 to 50 years or more, assuming contamination free food, water, air.
“The amount of energy that the radiation transfers per unit of path length is called its linear energy transfer (LET) and is measured in units of MeV/µm. This feature reflects a radiation’s ability to produce biological damage. Radiation is classified as either high linear energy transfer (high LET) or low linear energy transfer (low LET), based on the amount of energy it transfers per unit path length it travels. Alpha radiation is high LET; beta and gamma radiation are low LET. Alpha particles are classified as high LET radiation because their large +2 charge and relatively large mass (about 7,200 times that of an electron) cause them to move relatively slowly and interact strongly with any material they pass through, producing dense ionization along its path. Beta particles, which are energetic electrons, are classified as low LET radiation. Even though they interact with matter in a manner similar to alpha particles, their smaller +1 or -1 charge and smaller mass result in a greater distance between ionizing collisions and, thus, a lower rate of energy transfer“. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp149-c2.pdf (emphasis added)
Note that 239Pu is an alpha emitter with a half-life of 24,110 years, 240Pu is an alpha emitter with a half life of 6,561 years, 241Pu is a Beta emitter with a half-life of 14.325 years, but which becomes 241 Americium which is a strong alpha emitter with a half-life of 432 years, and 242Pu is an alpha emitter with a half-life of 373,300 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_plutonium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_americium#Americium-241 Plutonium has a half-life in the body of about 20 to 50 years (some authors give 60 or 70 years or more).
The BEIR VII report is well-known for its Linear No-Threshold Model (LNT), i.e. no safe dose: “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.” However, BEIR only “focuses on the health effects of low levels of low linear energy transfer (low-LET) ionizing radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays.” And, as they point out “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.” (emphasis added) http://www.dep.state.pa.us/brp/radon_division/BEIR%20VII%20Preliminary%20Report.pdf
In other words, ionizing radiation from high LET alpha particles, which may be inhaled, ingested and even absorbed through skin, is even more dangerous! The BEIR report focuses on x-ray and gamma-ray exposure, which is considered less dangerous and destructive, than internal alpha radiation. The alpha radiation is more “destructive per radiation track” and it stays in the body over time. Gamma-ray exposure can also occur over time in a contaminated environment.
Hamilton’s Plutonium Experiments
“Under the Manhattan District contract, Hamilton’s studies originally had involved exposing rats to plutonium in an effort to determine its metabolic fate and thereby project the risk to workers at atomic plants. Toward the end of the war, Hamilton began to conduct plutonium studies on humans for the government. Experiments with humans could be handled expeditiously, Hamilton wrote, because of the close relationship between the Rad Lab and the medical school at the University of California at San Francisco. In January 1945, Hamilton confirmed to the Manhattan District that he planned ‘to undertake, on a limited scale, a series of metabolic studies with [plutonium] using human subjects.’ The purpose of this work, Hamilton wrote, ‘was to evaluate the possible hazards … to humans who might be exposed to them, either in the course of the operation of the [Chicago] pile, or in the event of possible enemy action against the military and civilian population.’ (p.249)
The most likely route of worker exposure to plutonium would be inhalation. Hempelmann and others wrote to Oppenheimer in March 1945 that ‘the very important and difficult problem of detection of alpha active material in the lungs has been studied only at this project and here only on a very limited scale. This problem should be given much higher priority here and at other projects.’ L. H. Hempelmann, Los Alamos Laboratory Health Division Leader et al., to J. R. Oppenheimer, Director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, 15 March 1945 (“Medical Research of Manhattan District concerned with Plutonium”)(ACHRE No. DOE-051094-A-17), 1. Inhalation experiments with rodents were undertaken, starting in 1944, at the University ofCalifornia’s Radiation Laboratory and the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory, although these
studies did not result in extensive analysis of data until the latter half of the 1940s. (p. 270)
The First Injection
A few days after Hempelmann’s March 26, 1945, recommendation that a hospital patient be injected with plutonium, Wright Langham, of the Los Alamos Laboratory’s Health Division, sent 5 micrograms of plutonium to Dr. Friedell, with instructions for their use on a human subject. The subject, as it turned out, was already in the Oak Ridge Army hospital, a victim of an auto accident that had occurred on March 24, 1945. He was a fifty-three-year-old ‘colored male’ named Ebb Cade, who was employed by an Oak Ridge construction company as a cement mixer. The subject had serious fractures in his arm and leg, but was otherwise ‘well developed [and] well nourished.’ The patient was able to tell his doctors that he had always been in good health.
Mr. Cade had been hospitalized since his accident, but the plutonium injection did not take place until April 10. On this date, ‘HP-12′ (the code name HP—’human product’ — was later assigned to this patient and to patients at the University of Rochester) was reportedly injected with 4.7 micrograms of plutonium. (It is important here to distinguish between administered dose and retained dose; not all of the injected dose would remain fixed in the body. It was not known with certainty, however, how much of the 4.7 micrograms of plutonium would remain in his body.) The small amount of material injected into Mr. Cade would not be expected to produce any acute effects, and there is no indication that any were experienced. However, except for his fractures, Mr. Cade was apparently in good health and at age fifty-three could reasonably have been expected to live for another ten to twenty years. Thus, in Mr. Cade’s case, the risk of a plutonium-induced cancer could not be ruled out.
Dr. Joseph Howland, an Army doctor stationed at Oak Ridge, told AEC investigators in 1974 that he had administered the injection. There was, he recalled, no consent from the patient. He acted, he testified, only after his objections were met with a written order to proceed from his superior, Dr. Friedell. Dr. Friedell told Advisory Committee staff in an interview that he did not order the injection and that it was administered by a physician named Dwight Clark, not Dr. Howland. The Committee has not been able to resolve this contradiction. Measurements were to be taken from samples of Mr. Cade’s blood after four hours, his bone tissue after ninety-six hours, and his bodily excretions for forty to sixty days thereafter. His broken bones were not set until April 15—five days after the injection~when bone samples were taken in a biopsy. 30 Although this was several weeks after his injury, during this era when antibiotics were only beginning to become available, it was common practice to delay surgery if there was any sign of possible infection. One document records that Mr. Cade had ‘marked’ tooth decay and gum inflammation/ (p. 240)
and fifteen of his teeth were extracted and sampled for plutonium. The Committee has not been able to determine whether the teeth were extracted primarily for medical reasons or for the purpose of sampling for plutonium. In a September 1945 letter, Captain David Goldring at Oak Ridge informed Langham that ‘more bone specimens and extracted teeth will be shipped to you very soon for analysis.’ It remains unclear whether these additional bone specimens were extracted at the time of the April 15 operation or later.
According to one account, Mr. Cade departed suddenly from the hospital on his own initiative; one morning the nurse opened his door, and he was gone.’ Later it was learned that he moved out of state and died of heart failure on April 13, 1953, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The experiment at Oak Ridge did not proceed as planned. ‘Before’ and ‘after’ urine samples were mistakenly commingled, so no baseline data on kidney function was available. Thus, the subject’s kidney function would be difficult to assess. In May 1945, 36 Dr. Stone convened a ‘Conference on Plutonium’ in Chicago to discuss health issues related to plutonium, including the relationship between dose and excretion rate, the permissible body burden, and potential therapy and protective measures. Wright Langham spoke about the Oak Ridge injection at the conference, carefully qualifying the reliability of the excretion data obtained from Mr. Cade. Langham observed that ‘the patient might not have been an ideal subject in that his kidney function may not have been completely normal at the time of injection’ as indicated by protein tests of his urine.” (Advisory Committee on HumanRadiation Experiments, Final Report, October 1995: https://ia700402.us.archive.org/10/items/advisorycommitte00unit/advisorycommitte00unit.pdf (emphasis added) Note the last statement which indicates why they conducted experiments on healthy people, and probably mostly on healthy people, including military draftees, despite claims to the contrary.