- BY LEUREN MORET
- RADIOACTIVE TIMES
- VOL. 6 NO. 2 March 2008
- RIVERBANKS AND COASTLINES HAVE HIGHEST CANCER RATES
- Fresh water has higher concentrations of radionuclides
than seawater because there is a greater dilution factor in seawater, and
salts in seawater control uptake of radionuclides. It is clear that dilution
is not the solution to pollution. Dumping radioactive contaminated materials
into bodies of water has a boomerang effect. It is not long before the
radiation is washing back up on riverbanks and shorelines. In fact, in
the first cancer mapping survey in history (1850-60) in the Lake District
of Britain, Alfred Haviland reported that the highest cancer rates (from
natural background radiation) were along riverbanks and shorelines providing
a strong environmental link to cancer before manmade radiation was introduced
into the environment after 1900. Pre-1900 cancer rates represent the true
baseline for cancer studies.
- The chance discovery of an abstract in the Journal of
Environmental Radioactivity, "Radiocesium in North San Francisco Bay
and Baja California coastal surface waters", provided me with an answer
to a puzzling question about breast cancer. Hundreds of millions of dollars
have been spent by the University of California to identify the cause of
what may be the highest breast cancer rates in the United States in Marin
County, California, just north of San Francisco.
- Fig. 1: San Francisco Bay Area, with Marin County in
upper left corner.
- Even more surprising, the radiocesium reported in the
paper had been measured by the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab,
from the north end of San Francisco Bay to the coastal waters at the tip
of Baja California, Mexico. By mapping the pattern of breast cancer in
Marin County, I identified the San Francisco Bay shoreline of the Marin
County peninsula as the environment where the highest rates of breast cancer
occur in the county. The deepest part of San Francisco Bay is offshore
from Marin, and the highest volume of sediment-laden water passes through
this area each day with the tides. The lowest breast cancer rates are along
the Pacific coastline of Marin. The spatial distribution of breast cancer
made it clear that there had to be an environmental cause. Large areas
of mudflats and estuaries along the bay side shoreline of Marin, like the
Welsh seacoast, provide a low energy environment for radioactive contaminated
fine sediments to settle out.
- CONTAMINATION OF REGIONAL WATER SUPPLIES
- Most of the fresh water coming into San Francisco Bay
is from the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of the California coastline, a
very high mountain range running north and south along the border with
Nevada. The soils of the Sierras are now contaminated with radioactive
materials from nuclear bomb testing, Chernobyl, and the emissions from
the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, which operated east of San Francisco
until it was shut down in 1989. Most of the drinking water for the San
Francisco Bay area comes from the Sierras. Approximately 95% of the radioactive
emissions from Rancho Seco were rained and snowed out into the Sierra Nevada
Mountains. During the lawsuit, which eventually shut down Rancho Seco nuclear
power plant in 1989, the citizens who owned the Sacramento municipal power
company contracted with Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab to measure
fission product emissions in the Rancho Seco environment. I obtained the
Livermore radiation reports and communications with lawyers, from Dr. Ernest
J. Sternglass who had been an expert witness on the lawsuit. It was a surprise
to discover that Livermore nuclear weapons lab has not only secretly conducted
extensive global monitoring of radiation for decades, but local radiation
monitoring as well. In fact, I saw fresh samples from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
lying on a table in a Livermore environmental laboratory in 1991. When
I asked why they were still monitoring Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was told
"Because they are still radioactive."
- LIVERMORE NUKE LAB SECRETLY MONITORING GLOBAL RAD LEVELS
- Livermore nuclear weapons lab reported measuring one
Curie of radiocesium per year, passing through San Francisco Bay attached
to fine sediment. Clay particles are highly charged and act as scavenging
agents for radioactive particles suspended in water. This has been a chronic
and cumulative source of low-level radiation washing up daily on the San
Francisco Bay side of the Marin shoreline for at least 60 years since
bomb testing started. The European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) report
has stated that chronic exposure to low-level radiation is "up to
1000 times more biologically damaging than the ICRP standards and risk
model predict". The ICRP standards and risk model are based on the
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb studies, which were deceptively conducted
by the U.S. Government. Radiocesium is just one of hundreds of radionuclides
produced in the fission process, which means far more radiation has been
washing through north San Francisco Bay than the 1 Curie of cesium reported
in the Livermore report. Even worse, the public health impact from global
pollution by depleted uranium, was not officially measured or reported
from bomb testing, but someone must have been monitoring it. All atomic
and hydrogen bombs have large amounts of depleted uranium packed as "tamping"
around the small plutonium core weighing less than 20 lbs. A global diabetes
epidemic is the result primarily of the uranium pollution which is particularly
damaging to the pancreas and insulin function. Pancreatic cancer mortality
in Japanese males increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak
of atmospheric testing.
- Fig. 2: Trend of mortality rate from pancreatic cancer
in Japan (Males) for the period prior to and following the release of fission
products into the environment."
- From M. Segi, M. Kurihara, and T. Matsuyama, "Cancer
Mortality in Japan (1899-1962)", Department of Public Health, Tohoku
University, Sendai, Japan, 1965.
- MARIN COUNTY: A NATURAL CONTROL STUDY
- The Marin County study is the kind of natural experiment
geoscientists find useful in their research, with the Pacific coastline
as a natural control and San Francisco Bay mudflats in Marin County as
the study area. It is also a good comparison of the public health effects
of radionuclide concentrations in contaminated freshwater compared to seawater.
When the mud samples from the Marin County bay side shoreline and the Pacific
coastline are analyzed, low-level radiation from the Sierras will be identified
as the cause of what may be the highest breast cancer incidence in the
United States. High rates of autism also occur in areas, between the Sierras
and Marin County, in low energy environments where swampy still water and
mudflats occur and are recharged with contaminated water washing down from
the Sierras. Radiation in the environment has a cumulative effect.
- I'M THE "MOUSE LADY"
- The University of California, as the unchallenged manager
for 61 years of the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos National Lab,
Lawrence Livermore Lab, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, has received billions
of dollars to make a global radioactive environmental mess, hundreds of
millions of dollars more to "study" the breast cancer clusters
in Marin County, and has still failed to identify the cause. Yet, during
a breast cancer conference on January 21, 2006, by the Bay Area Breast
Cancer and Environmental Research Center (BABCERC), Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff
from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, who introduced herself as "the mouse
lady", stated very clearly during her presentation to 600 women, that
"radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice".
She spoke repeatedly in her talk about her experiments on mice, saying
"Radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice and that
is why I use it to cause breast cancer in mice." She said they never
identified the cause of breast cancer in women.
- THE MOUSE THAT ROARED
- When it was time for questions, I held up an enlarged
breast cancer map using US Government data, which identified a 100-mile
radius from nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons labs as the location
of 2/3 of all breast cancer deaths in the United States from 1985-89.
- Fig. 3: Left High-risk counties within 100 miles
of nuclear reactors where 2/3 of breast cancer deaths occurred 1985-1989.
Source: J. Gould, The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear
Reactors, Four Walls Eight Windows, NY/London (1996), p.187.
- Right - Nuclear power plant locations in the U.S. Source:
"The Madness of Nuclear Energy", The Ecologist, Vol. 29 No. 7,
November 1999, back cover.
- I asked the speaker, Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, if
BABCERC was investigating radiation as a cause of breast cancer around
these sites. She quickly replied, "Oh, I'm a microbiologist!"
distancing herself from exposing radiation as the obvious cause.
- The University of California will forever be known as
the University that poisoned the world.
- Haviland, A., The geographical distribution of heart
disease and dropsy, cancer in females and phthisis in females in England
and Wales, London: Swan Schonnenschein, 1875.
- Volpe, A.M., B.B. Bandong, B.K. Esser, G.M. Bianchini,
"Radiocesium in North San Francisco Bay and Baja California coastal
surface waters", Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 60 (2002)
- Laurie, J., "Alarming breast cancer rates in northern
California county", World Socialist Web, Oct. 31, 2002. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/canc-o31.shtml
- Volpe, et al., 2002.
- "ECRR: 2003 Recommendations of the European Committee
on Radiation Risk", Regulator's Edit.: Brussels, 2003, p.182.
- Glasstone, S., The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, Dept.
of the Army Pamphlet No. 50-3, Headquarters Dept. of the Army, March 1977,
p. 15 sec. 1.50.
- Segi, M., M. Kurihara, T. Matsuyama, "Cancer Mortality
in Japan (1899-1962)", Department of Public Health, Tohoku University,
Sendai, Japan, 1965.
- Fowler, J.M., Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium
90, and Survival, Basic Books NY, 1960, p. 59 Fig. 11.
- Nichols, B., "Breast cancer meeting fails people
of Hunters Point, San Francisco, Marin County", Indybay.org, January
26, 2006. http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/01/28/17987821.php