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

Volume 3, Number 2
July 31, 2003
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) for the first half of 2003.

On June 30, the New Jersey state legislature voted to appropriate $25,000 to RPHP for its study measuring Strontium-90 (Sr-90) in baby teeth from children with cancer. The following day, Governor Jim McGreevey signed the appropriations bill into law. New Jersey lawmakers represent the second government body to support RPHP; the Westchester County (NY) legislature was the first.

RPHP is conducting of a "case-control" study evaluating whether children with cancer have higher Sr-90 averages than healthy children. We have tested 47 "cancer teeth" thus far. Although results are preliminary, children with cancer have about a 55% higher average Sr-90 level than those without cancer.

The "case-control" study received a big boost in April when the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology in Hackensack NJ agreed to encourage parents of children with cancer to donate teeth. The Imus Center is part of Hackensack University Medical Center, which follows hundreds of childhood cancer survivors.

A scientific paper describing results of the RPHP baby tooth study has been accepted (pending some changes) in the medical journal The Science of the Total Environment. In the 1990s, this journal published papers on baby teeth studies in Greece, the Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. When published, it will be the 19th medical journal article by RPHP associates since 1994.

RPHP presented results of the research this spring at press conferences in Miami FL (April 9) and Trenton NJ (May 19, with Alec Baldwin making a presentation on behalf o RPHP). The study of nearly 3500 teeth has shown that the average Sr-90 levels are highest in counties near each of seven nuclear plants, and jumped about 50% in the 1990s, reversing decades of decline. In late 2002, RPHP had presented findings in Westchester County NY.

On April 3-4, the documentary Fatal Fallout by Dr. Gary Null was shown at a film festival in New York City. The film, which covers the history of the U.S. nuclear program and the health threat it poses to Americans, includes footage of several RPHP scientists. About 400 persons attended each night, and the film was introduced by artist Peter Max and actress Susan Sarandon. Null is a nutritionist and environmental expert, who has written many books and articles on the subject, and has a nationally-syndicated radio program.

Fatal Fallout has since been shown at various other film festivals.

Velir Studios of Cambridge MA is currently revising and upgrading the RPHP web site. In several months, RPHP expects to unveil its new web site, which will include more updated information on our activities, be more user-friendly, and feature more links with related web sites.

On February 28, RPHP National Coordinator Joseph Mangano presented testimony before the New York City Council on the health and safety issues of the Indian Point nuclear plant, located 35 miles north of New York City. Mangano's tesimony focused on the elevated rates of certain cancers near the plant (which RPHP has begun to correlate with radioactive emissions from the plant), and of the catastrophic health consequences of a meltdown.

Since September 11, 2001, extensive public discussion has been held about the safety risks posed by the continued operation of Indian Point. A meltdown from a terrorist attack would constitute the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, as 20 million Americans live within 50 miles of the plant.

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