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Thyroid cancer rates are alarming
Joseph J. Mangano, MPH, MBA
Letters To The Editor
Westchester Journal News
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Re "Cancer-nuke plant link seems pretty weak," Nov. 20 article:

New research reveals that thyroid cancer rates near the Indian Point nuclear power plant are among the highest in the nation. Government statistics show that, compared to the U.S., thyroid cancer rates are 106 percent higher in Rockland County; 102 percent higher in Putnam County; 87 percent higher in Orange County; and 42 percent higher in Westchester County.

These figures are alarming. Unfortunately, Westchester County Health Commissioner Joshua Lipsman maliciously attacks this research, done by the Radiation and Public Health Project. RPHP, which I direct, comprises professional scientists. Our research is factual, while he has no proof to support his statements. My colleagues and I have published 25 papers on radiation health risk in scientific journals, including the esteemed Lancet and British Medical Journal. All papers were peer-reviewed by expert scientists who found them to meet high professional standards. Lipsman never published a single journal article on radiation health.

Lipsman mistakenly calls radiation releases from Indian Point "below what experts say is acceptable." The 2005 blue ribbon panel report by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that even low radiation doses harm humans, based on hundreds of scientific papers.

A rapidly rising number of local residents are being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Many are young and middle-aged, with no prior health problems. To prevent cancer, all causes must be considered and understood. Research on one of these causes must be taken seriously.

Joseph J. Mangano
Ocean City, N.J.

The writer is executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project

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