FOX NEWS BREAKS STORY ON THYROID CANCER EPIDEMIC AROUND INDIAN POINT NUCLEAR PLANT NEAR NY CITY
March 10, 2009 – An unusually high local rate of thyroid cancer, documented in new official data, near the Indian Point nuclear reactors just north of New York City, was the subject of a Fox News story entitled "Cancer Cluster" broadcast on March 8 as part of the evening Fox Report.
Click here to read the transript.
The Fox story featured Chris Peterson, a victim of thyroid cancer (which has spread to his lungs) who grew up 5 miles from Indian Point, and Joseph Mangano of the research group Radiation and Public Health Project. Mangano, whose group has published 23 scientific articles and 7 books, presented data on thyroid cancer incidence near Indian Point at a public hearing held in February by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on its draft statement of environmental risks of extending Indian Point’s license 20 years.
Mangano's report reviewed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention county-specific cancer incidence data for the U.S. (42 states plus DC), recently made available for the first time. The CDC provided thyroid cancer rates for 806 U.S. counties that have 15 or more cases of the disease; 70% of Americans live in these 806 counties. Among them, Rockland ranked 5th, Orange 15th, Putnam 26th, and Westchester 122nd.
Thyroid cancer is unusually sensitive to radiation. Radioactive iodine, found only in nuclear weapons and reactors, destroys and injures cells in the thyroid gland, leading to cancer and other disorders. A 1997 study National Cancer Institute study estimated that up to 212,000 Americans developed thyroid cancer from atomic bomb fallout.
The Fox story reported that Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester Counties, which flank Indian Point, had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th highest thyroid cancer rates in 2001-2004 of all 62 New York State counties. A total of 992 local residents were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in this period.
“It is disturbing that local thyroid cancer rates are among the highest in the U.S.,” says Mangano, adding that experts know little about thyroid cancer causes other than radiation exposure. “Thyroid cancer is associated strongly with manmade radioactive isotopes. Any study of impacts of keeping Indian Point operating should take these data seriously.”
Official statistics show that in the late 1970s, the four-county thyroid cancer rate was 1.5% below other New York counties, but is now 54% higher (67% above the U.S.). The two Indian Point nuclear reactors began operating in 1973 and 1976. Over 70% of thyroid cancer cases occur in young/middle age adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Note to Editors and Producers: For more detailed, sourced information on thyroid cancer incidence in this area, or to arrange interviews with Joseph Mangano, local thyroid cancer victimes, and other experts, contact Stephen Kent, KentCom LLC at 914-589-5988.
|Rosalie Bertell, PhD, GNSH
||William Reid, MD
|Samuel S. Epstein, MD
||Susanne Saltzman, MD
|Agnes Reynolds, RN
||Janette Sherman, MD
From 2001-2004, thyroid cancer incidence in Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester (NY) counties was 14.3 per 100,000 persons. The rates for other NY state and the U.S. was 9.3 and 8.6, respectively, so the four-county rate was 54% and 67% greater
, respectively. Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov
. Rates per 100,000, adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population.
- In 1976-1980, the four-county thyroid cancer rate was 3.40, or 1.5% below the rate for other NY state. By 2001-2005, the rate was 14.55, or 48.1% above other NY state. Source: NY State Cancer Registry, www.nyhealth.gov/statistics/cancer/registry. Rates per 100,000, adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population.
- In 2001-2004, of the most populated 806 U.S. counties in 42 states, the thyroid cancer rate of counties closest to Indian Point were
||Rate = 18.7 ( 5th highest)
||Annual cases = 55
||Rate = 16.5 (15th highest)
||Annual cases = 59
||Rate = 15.5 (26th highest)
||Annual cases = 16
||Rate = 12.0 (122nd highest)
||Annual cases = 118
|Excluded are IL, MD, MN, MS, NH, ND, TN, VA. The 806 Counties represent 70% of U.S. population. Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov
In 2001-2004, of the 51 most populated New York State counties, the thyroid cancer rate of counties closest to Indian Point were Rockland (1st highest), Orange (2nd highest), Putnam (3rd highest), and Westchester (8th highest).
Excluded counties (fewer than 4 cases/year) are Cortland, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Lewis, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins, Wyoming, and Yates Counties. Rates adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population. Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov