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Nuclink: Journal of Current Radiation and Public Health Issues

Volume 5, Number 1
January 27, 2005
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 July through December of 2004.

RPHP Meets with Congressional Staffs
RPHP met with members of Congress to educate them about the cancer risks near nuclear reactors. On November 22, RPHP National Coordinator Joseph Mangano met with staffs of

  • Edward Markey of Massachusetts, long concerned with health near nuclear plants
  • H. James Saxton of New Jersey, who opposes extending Oyster Creek's license
  • Four members near Indian Point who have all endorsed the shutdown of the plant.

Mangano was accompanied by Diane D'Arrigo of the Nuclear Information Resource Service. Discussion focused on risk of low dose emissions from reactor operations, especially if licenses are extended and new reactors are constructed.

Report on NJ Child Cancer Teeth Completed
RPHP has found that Strontium-90 in baby teeth of New Jersey children with cancer is elevated for children under age ten. The finding is part of a report submitted to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey on November 10th, 2004.

With the help of Deirdre Imus of the Hackensack University Medical Center, RPHP collected and tested 52 teeth from children with cancer, using a $25,000 appropriation from the New Jersey state legislature. Strontium-90 levels were highest in children living close to the Oyster Creek nuclear plant, and highest for children with leukemia (vs. another type of cancer).

RPHP Active in Battle Over New Reactors
RPHP has produced reports on potential health effects to infants and children if new nuclear reactors are built in Illinois, Mississippi, and Virginia. Utilities in these three states have submitted preliminary requests to the U.S. government for new reactors, which would be the first ordered in the nation since 1978. RPHP's reports note that more local infants and children died after reactors started at these sites in the 1980s. This health data was used at a Mississippi press conference in April.

RPHP Continues Involvement in License Extensions
RPHP submitted information to concerned citizens in Connecticut opposed to the license extension of the Millstone nuclear plant, which were used at a January 11 hearing. The data show rising levels of Strontium-90 in local baby teeth, and lower local infant/child death rates when Millstone was closed in 1996-97.

Thus far, 30 of 103 reactors have been granted a 20-year extension to its initial 40-year license by the federal government (none rejected), with 14 more approvals expected this year alone. RPHP data was also used at a September 21 extension hearing on the Nine Mile Point (NY) plant.

Baby Tooth Collection Begins in Vermont
Local activists, one dressed up as the Tooth Fairy, distributed 65 baby tooth mailing envelopes at a meeting near the Vermont Yankee plant on December 16, urging citizens to donate teeth so RPHP can measure levels of Strontium-90 in them. The public meeting called by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was attended by over 500 people, many who oppose the plant's proposed 20% capacity expansion.

Price Foundation Renews Grant to RPHP
The Harold and Louis Price Foundation has informed RPHP that it will extend its grant through 2005 and 2006. The Foundation will contribute $25,000 to $50,000 per year if certain fund-raising goals are met. Price has supported RPHP every year since 2001.

BNL Linked With Environment/Teeth Contamination
RPHP has found that trends in average Strontium-90 trends in eastern Long Island -- a decline in the 1980s and an increase in the 1990s -- is similar to trends in radiation levels in the air, water, and precipitation near the Brookhaven National Laboratories. The discovery is included in a draft report to be shared with the public early in 2005. The report was prepared under a grant with the Citizens Technical Assessment and Monitoring Fund, an independent commission funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

RPHP Presents Information to American Cancer Society
RPHP National Coordinator Joseph Mangano presented results of the Tooth Fairy Project at a conference for nurses on the environment and cancer sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Mangano spoke on November 3 in Staten Island NY, and described rises in average Strontium-90 in baby teeth since the late 1980s, and the elevated levels of Sr-90 closest to nuclear reactors. Over 100 nurses attended the conference.

Mangano Wedding Guests Contribute to RPHP
Guests at the September 4 wedding of RPHP National Coordinator Joseph Mangano to Susan Burke contributed over $4,000 to the group.

Tooth Study Approaches Landmark
The RPHP Tooth Fairy Project ended 2004 with a total of 4407 baby teeth, approaching the study's original goal of 5000. About 80% of these teeth are from areas near seven nuclear plants. The number of teeth from children with cancer has reached 162.

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