The Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) is a nonprofit educational and scientific organization, established by scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding the relationships between low-level, nuclear radiation and public health.
RPHP’s mission includes:
• Research: Studying the links between low-level radiation and increases in diseases, especially cancer and those affecting the newborn and children.
• Education: Publishing the results of research dealing with the impact of low-level radiation on public health and to disseminate this information to the public, media, policy makers and the scientific community.
• Public awareness: Promoting public awareness and responsible public policy related to radiation and environmental policy.
History and Accomplishments of the Radiation and Public Health Project
RPHP was founded in 1989 as a fiscally sponsored project of the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice by Jay M. Gould and Benjamin A. Goldman. In 1995, it was established as an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization after many years of work by Jay Gould, Ernest Sternglass, and others.
Given RPHP’s threefold mission in the areas of research, education and public awareness, the history of RPHP can best be traced through its books and articles on radiation and nuclear issues-
– by Jay Gould, Ben Goldman, Ernest Sternglass, Joseph Mangano, Bill McDonnell, Janette Sherman and Jerry Brown.
During the Nuclear Age a growing body of medical and scientific evidence has emerged to suggest a causal link between low-level internal radiation from the ingestion of man-made fission products and increases in immune-related conditions, especially cancer and those affecting the newborn. RPHP has assembled much of the epidemiological evidence documenting these links, including 32 articles and letters in peer-reviewed journals and 8 books.
The major findings from RPHP include:
• Levels of radioactive Strontium-90 in baby teeth near nuclear reactors are higher than those far from reactors; are rising over time; and are linked with local rates of child cancer.
• Rates of radiation-sensitive cancers like child cancer, breast cancer, and thyroid cancer, often exceed national and state rates in areas closest to nuclear plants.
• After nuclear plants close, local rates of infant deaths and cancer cases in young children plunge immediately.
These findings are critical in the U.S., where 41% of Americans can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Identifying factors that cause cancer, and eliminating them will reduce risk, and reduce future cancer rates.
RPHP findings, disseminated with the help of many concerned citizens and groups, have reached millions of people. Group members have published over 55 op-ed pieces, and over 20 letters to the editor in newspapers with a total circulation of about 15 million.
The group has participated in 26 press conferences, most of which it has arranged with citizen groups. Much local media has followed, and national media coverage has included the New York Times, USA Today, NPR, CNN, and Fox News.