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Nuclink: Journal of Current Radiation and Public Health Issues

Volume 4, Number 2
August 27, 2004
Published by RPHP
PO Box 60 Unionville, NY 10988
Editor: Joseph Mangano

A note from the editor:
The following covers activities of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) From January through August of 2004.

RPHP has collected 55 baby teeth from New Jersey children who have cancer during the first half of 2004. Most teeth were obtained by a mailing to each member of the Tomorrow Children's Fund cancer support group, at the request of Hackensack University Medical Center's Deirdre Imus.

The teeth are now being tested for levels of radioactive Strontium-90 to understand whether children with cancer have higher in-body radiation levels than healthy children. Results of the project, funded with a $25,000 grant appropriated by the New Jersey state legislature, will be shared with the public this fall.

The total number of cancer teeth collected by RPHP has now reached 157, the majority of which are from northern New Jersey and southern Florida.

In August, RPHP's Joseph Mangano published an article on the largely incomplete research of health effects near Three Mile Island. The article appeared in the latest edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and can be accessed on the internet at www.thebulletin.org/issues/2004/so04/so04mangano.html.

Mangano pointed out that no journal articles have ever been published on local trends of many disorders sensitive to radiation, including low weight births, infant deaths, childhood cancer, and thyroid cancer.

Mangano was inspired to write the article as he prepared a presentation at the Three Mile Island site in March, on the 25th anniversary of the largest nuclear accident in U.S. history. A press conference was held in the Pennsylvania state capitol building on August 17 discussing the importance of the contents of the article.

Up-to-date results of the RPHP baby tooth study were published in January, in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The article featured two major findings. First, counties closest to nuclear plants have about a 30-50% higher average level of Strontium-90 than other counties in the same states. Second, average Sr-90 levels near nuclear plants have risen in the 1990s near each plant, by about 50%.

At the time of publication, RPHP had tested about 3500 baby teeth (the current number is about 4000), mostly near seven U.S. nuclear plants including Diablo Canyon in California; St. Lucie and Turkey Point in Florida; Oyster Creek in New Jersey; Brookhaven and Indian Point in New York; and Limerick in Pennsylvania.

This publication, along with the one on Three Mile Island this summer, brings the RPHP total of articles in medical journals and conference proceedings to 20 since 1994. Articles must undergo a rigorous peer review process from experts before they are allowed to be published.

In the first half of 2004, news stories on RPHP appeared in various publications. These included USA Today (January), Z magazine, online (April), E! magazine (April), and the Asbury Park Press (June). Channel 3 in Hartford, a CBS affiliate, also ran a story on the group's activities in February.

The new RPHP web site went live on June 23, after much hard work by the consulting firm of Velir Studios. The site's address is the same as before: www.radiation.org

The site's information architecture is now much more robust, coupled with a user-friendly environment with new graphics and interface design. What all this means to the visitor is that the site is better organized and does a much better job of presenting RPHP's many aspects.

New features include

  • Each of RPHP's three main projects are now much more specifically described.
  • Our published articles and books are now clearly listed by category.
  • Our press arlicles are also more fully organized.
  • There is now the possiblility for visitors to sign on to our on-line mailing list.
  • There is also now the ability for St Louis teeth donors to submit updated information about themselves directly at the site
  • We also now have the ability for those so inclined to make tax-deductible contributions to RPHP.

Since the new site opened we have had 1239 new visitors from 74 countries.

Please take some time to visit the site and browse around. We think you will be pleasantly surprised. And please feel free to sign our mailing list by clicking on "mailing list" on the bottom menu.

This new site was made possible through a generous grant from Marjorie Roswell.

RPHP received a $5,000 appropriation from New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a long-time RPHP supporter who is concerned with safety issues linked to the Indian Point nuclear plant.

RPHP provided information on the health of populations living near two nuclear plants early in 2004, and local activists used these data in public hearings. The federal government is considering extending licenses of these plants (Millstone in Connecticut and Dresden in Illinois) an additional 20 years beyond their current 40-year limit. The first 26 applications filed by utilities to extend licenses have all been approved by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has paid little consideration to disease rates in local residents.

Two New Jersey residents concerned about cancer asked their wedding guests to contribute to RPHP instead of gifts. Paulo and Mariana Madeira found out about RPHP through a friend who works for the Hackensack University Medical Center's chief executive officer. Mariana, who lost both parents to cancer, wanted to make a donation to a worthy organization that will lower future cancer rates by finding out causes of the disease. The couple recently presented RPHP with a check for $1000.

Newsletter Edited by Joseph Mangano, RPHP National Coordinator.
To contact RPHP please email Joseph Mangano at odiejoe@aol.com.