Both the great Truths and the great Falsehoods of the twentieth century lie hidden in the arcane, widely inaccessible, and seemingly mundane domain of the radiation sciences

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: EXHIBIT F continued

What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.

EXHIBIT F continued:

The previous examples come from Europe and Asia, but health and longevity can be compromised just as easily by reactors operating within the United States. Evidence substantiating this was published in the Archives of Environmental Health in the article “Elevated Childhood Cancer Incidence Proximate to US Nuclear Power Plants” [1]. Mangano et al. compiled data on rates of cancer and leukemia in people living within a 30-mile radius of 14 commercial nuclear power plants located in the eastern United States. The 49 counties under investigation were home to approximately one-third of the 50 million Americans who live within 30 miles of a nuclear reactor. The rates of illness in the study area were then compared to rates compiled by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) of the National Cancer Institute. SEER data is widely regarded as an accurate proxy for national incidence data. It compiles statistics from established tumor registries in five states and four metropolitan areas, representing about one-tenth of the US population.

In their study, Mangano et al. discovered that the incidence of total cancers in children under five years of age during the period 1988 to 1997 was higher near every one of the 14 nuclear plants than the national incidence rate represented by SEER data. The smallest excess in the cancer rate, + 0.7%, was observed near the Salem/Hope Creek nuclear facility in New Jersey. The largest excess, +29.1%, occurred near both the Turkey Point and St. Lucie power plants in Florida. The childhood cancer rate for all 49 counties combined was 22.51 per 100,000. This was 11.4% greater than the SEER rate.

For the same period, cancer incidence in children between the ages of five and nine exceeded the SEER rate in 13 of the 14 areas under study. Cancer incidence was 12.15 per 100,000 — 12.5% higher than the SEER rate of 10.80. The smallest excess of +2.2% was found near the Millstone reactors in Connecticut. The largest excess, +73.6%, occurred near the St. Lucie reactors in Florida. (For the sake of comparison, the incidence rate near the Crystal River facility in Florida was 6.5% below the SEER rate.)

When the two age groups were combined, the rate of cancer incidence was calculated to be 17.42 per 100,000 children, which is 12.4% above the national rate found by SEER. In 38 of the 49 counties studied, cancer incidence rates in children from birth to nine years old exceeded the rate for the US as a whole. When the incidence of childhood cancer occurring in counties within 30 miles of the reactors under study were compared to the rates for the remaining counties in states where the reactors were located, cancer incidence was once again discovered to be higher. The total excess incidence between the two groups of counties was 5.0%.

Investigating the incidence of childhood leukemia, Mangano et al. examined the rate in the 23 counties near five nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania. These regions accounted for slightly more than half the population of the state. Leukemia in these counties exceeded the US rate by 10.8% while the remainder of the state showed an incidence that was 11.5% below the US rate. According to the authors: “This finding supports the considerable evidence that, although the risk of all forms of childhood cancer is increased by radiation exposure, the risk may be greatest for leukemia.” For all other cancers, no difference was seen in the rate of incidence between the nuclear and non-nuclear counties even though they both exceeded the national rate by 2.6% and 3.2% respectively. The researchers concluded:

"This study found a consistent pattern of increased childhood cancer incidence in all study areas less than 30 mi (48 km) from nuclear plants in the eastern United States. Our findings support the biologically plausible concept that susceptibility to carcinogens, such as radioactivity, is greatest in utero and in early childhood. They also support numerous analyses documenting elevated childhood cancer rates near nuclear facilities in the United States and other nations. The finding that cancer incidence for children less than 10 yr. is 12.4% greater in the study counties than the US as a whole suggests that emissions from nuclear power plants may be linked with 1 of 9 local cases of childhood cancer. These descriptive epidemiological findings suggest a relationship between radioactive nuclides and childhood cancer and should be taken seriously in future research."


[1] Mangano J.J., Sherman J., Chang C., Dave A., Feinberg E., Frimer M. Elevated Childhood Cancer Incidence Proximate to U.S. Nuclear Power Plants. Archives of Environmental Health. February 2003.