Radiation andPublic Health Project
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Nuclink: Journal of Current Radiation and Public Health Issues

Volume 4, Number 1
January 31, 2004
Published by RPHP
PO Box 60 Unionville, NY 10988
Editor: Joseph Mangano

A note from the editor:
This issue covers events of the second half of 2003. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Joseph Mangano, National Coordinator

RPHP National Coordinator Joseph Mangano and Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey spoke at a recent press conference announcing that state legislature's grant of $25,000 to RPHP. The grant mandates RPHP to study radiation levels in baby teeth of New Jersey children with cancer. McGreevey's remarks included a declaration that "we know that there is an environmental connection with cancer," and praised the tooth study as one way to better understand this connection.

The November 12 event, held at Hackensack University Medical Center, also included presentations by pediatric oncologist Michael Harris, state Assemblyman Matthew Ahearn, Deirdre Imus (director of The Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology), and 13 year old cancer survivor Cory Furst.

The New Jersey initiative is part of a nationwide effort to collect teeth from children with cancer, and test them for levels of radioactive Strontium-90. RPHP has collected 106 such teeth to date; and results from the first 49 show that children with cancer have a 60% higher average Strontium-90 level.

On November 11th the front page feature story of the New York Times Metro Section was a lengthy article on RPHP's work. The article appeared in the national as well as local edition, and attracted the attention of environmentalists and scientists interested in working with RPHP, as well as parents wishing to donate their children's teeth.

Click here for a link to the article. (If you have not already registered with the New York Times, you will have to register at this time, but you probalby want to be able to read the NY Times free on-line anyway, and it only takes a minute).

USA Today published an article on RPHP's new medical journal article providing results of its Tooth Fairy Project. This appeared in the paper's January 2, 2004 issue. The NY Times and USA Today's daily circulation exceed 1 million and 3 million, respectively.

While RPHP has always had consistent coverage from local news media, these articles represent a continuation of our recent national stories about the group's work. Other national and international coverage includes the British Broadcasting Company, Newsweek and Reuters.

With a November 19 press conference in Pottstown PA, RPHP has attained its goal of publicly presenting results of its baby tooth study in each area where over 100 teeth have been donated. Previous press events were held in Long Island NY, Miami FL, Port St. Lucie FL, Trenton NJ, and White Plains NY. In each area, average Strontium-90 in baby teeth rose steadily in the 1990s, and was highest in the counties closest to nuclear plants. Trends in average local Sr-90 were roughly similar to trends in local childhood cancer rates, suggesting a cause-and-effect relationship. Findings are presented in the January 2004 Science in the Total Environment, RPHP's 19th medical journal article. Click here for an abstract of the article.

RPHP plans to increase the number of teeth tested near several of these plants in order to increase the statistical significance of its findings, and plans also to continue collecting in areas where teeth have been collected, but 100 teeth have yet to be donated. At the same time, RPHP will actively pursue its other two major initiatives--of studying teeth from children with cancer, and examining the long-term health effects of above-ground bomb-testing (by testing teeth and doing a health questionaire of those who submitted teeth 40 years ago to the St. Louis study). (see below)

RPHP has targeted funds to begin a follow-up health study of St. Louis children who donated baby teeth to a 1958-1970 study of atomic bomb test fallout in the body.

RPHP is very interested in pursuing this line of inquiry because it could make a substantial contribution to solving the largely-unanswered question "Did the atomic bomb tests in Nevada harm U.S. citizens?"

Early in 2004, RPHP researchers will select a sample of the 85,000 baby teeth remaining from the study; locate current addresses for tooth donors, now mostly in their mid-40s; identify those who are deceased; and identify those who have survived cancer through health questionnaires.

Eventually, RPHP will determine if those St. Louis "Baby Boomers" who developed cancer and other diseases had higher radiation levels in their bodies than those who remained healthy. (This study became possible after the 2001 discovery of these teeth, which had been stored in a remote ammunition bunker for over 30 years.)

Local childhood cancer rates near 14 of 14 nuclear power plants in the eastern U.S. exceed the national average, according to a medical journal article published by RPHP. In 60 years since the first U.S. nuclear plant began operation, only four articles have been published on the topic, and the RPHP study is easily the most comprehensive. New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who has long been concerned about the potential harm from the Indian Point plant, moderated the program at an August 21 news conference at the Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla NY.

RPHP's annual meeting, held December 10, drew 22 supporters to a New York City restaurant, nearly double that of last year's event. The luncheon included comments from RPHP's Joseph Mangano, nutritionist Gary Null, and Hackensack University Medical Center's Deirdre Imus. Actor Alec Baldwin, who could not attend due to scheduling conflicts, had Mr. Mangano read a short statement on his strong belief in RPHP's mission and the need to decommission and decontaminate nuclear plants: Mr. Baldwin wrote

We must never let up. We know we have the facts on our side and that this issue, more than nearly any other, will not be adequately addressed by any government oversight or industry initiative. It is truly left to us.

RPHP was also fortunate that Executive Director Tim Jones of the Louis and Harold Price Foundation, which has long supported RPHP, was traveling from Colorado to New York on business and was able to attend. Joseph Mangano thanked the Price Foundation for its continued backing of RPHP's work. Mangano also recognized other major donors to RPHP, including Alec Baldwin and New York businessman David Friedson. The work of RPHP founder and major donor Dr. Jay Gould (who was present with his wife Jane), and chief scientist Ernest Sternglass were acknowledged as well for their research work and their generous donations.

RPHP's current website has grown from one page to a vast conglomeration of information, comprising scientific studies, popular articles, links, reviews, comments, and more. For some time RPHP has realized the need to restructure and reorganize. We have been very fortunate in receiving a generous grant from Marjorie Roswell to have the site redesigned. After discussing our requirements with various design firms, last summer the group commissioned The Velir Studios to perform the work. The primary goal of the redesign has been to give the site a clean, elegant, and professional look, and increase accessibility, as well as clean up the site's information architecture. Prototypes of the new RPHP site are really impressive. The new site will be fully functional in the spring of 2004. The web address will remain www.radiation.org.

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