By Majia Nadesan.
Can This Be True?
No radioactivity found in Fukushima mothers’ breast milk. The Asahi Shimbun http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201211060058
I question this assertion that no radiation was detected in Fukushima mothers’ breast milk. The study was done by the prefectural government of Fukushima. No scientists were mentioned in the Asahi story, nor was the methodology explained. The story was just too brief:
“A prefectural official said the results brought a sense of relief, but called on more mothers to take the test, as the number of the applicants was significantly lower than predicted.”
There are several reasons I’m suspicious about the truth of this claim that the mothers’ milk was free of all contamination.
First, the Japanese government has used inappropriate methods for detecting radiation in other products, particularly food products. Food should be tested in a scintillator for contamination. Geiger counters are not an effective means for testing radiation contamination unless the contamination is massive.
Yet, Japan has used geiger counters rather than scintillators to evaluate food contamination, as illustrated in this picture accompanying an article in the Asahi Shimbun on rice detections, available here Look at the photo and see how rice contamination is being detected.
Bloomberg actually reported on the fact that geiger counters are not reliable indicators of radiation contamination in food:
Geiger Counters Unlikely to Detect Radiation in Food, Water http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-12/geiger-counters-to-find-radiation-in-meals-may-be-meaningless-.html
Are geiger counters being used to detect radiation in breast milk? How is the radiation being tested? The story doesn’t tell us.
Second, the Japanese government and Tepco don’t have a great track record for transparency on this disaster.
Indeed, the Asahi Shimbun recently reported on the government’s unwillingness to “alarm the public” and raise fears about nuclear safety:
“TEPCO acknowledged for the first time last month, in a document outlining company reforms, that it had failed to anticipate and tackle the March 2011 disaster. It said it had feared that implementing accident measures would alarm the public and boost Japan’s anti-nuclear movement.” TEPCO seeks more govt support as Fukushima costs soar. The Asahi Shimbun http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201211070086
Alarming, but as of yet unsubstantiated allegations, have been made about government deception over thyroid screening of Fukushima children. The story was first reported by a blogger documenting the Fukushima disaster.
Original story here: http://ianthomasash.blogspot.jp/2012/11/the-mothers-and-their-children-part-2.html
Majia here: The story linked above implies that the Japanese government may be LYING about the presence of thyroid nodules in Fukushima children. Children receive private doctors’ confirmations of nodules after being told by government health care providers that they have no nodules.
So, it is hard to have confidence that Fukushima mothers’ breast milk is free of contamination.
Third, scientists’ tests on animals in Fukushima prefecture are finding very high levels of radiation contamination and so it seems strange that women in the area would not have radioisotopes in their milk:
Scientists in groundbreaking study on effects of radiation in Fukushima. The Asahi Shimbun http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201210040003
[Excerpted] In April last year, researchers from Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (NVLU), along with other institutions, began sampling muscle tissue of wild Japanese macaques caught in the provincial capital, Fukushima, for radioactive cesium content. The concentrations ranged between 10,000 and 25,000 becquerels per kilogram immediately after the nuclear crisis began to unfurl the month before. The readings fell to 500-1,500 becquerels per kg in June, but rose again to more than 2,000 becquerels per kg from last winter to spring….
While Fukushima mothers are unlikely to be eating leaf buds, they are likely to be exposed to much of the same background contamination experienced by the macaques.
So, it is not unreasonable to consider that they could have contamination levels at the low end of what was measured in the macaques when they were not eating the new buds. The level of contamination in the macaques when they were not eating buds was 500 to 1,5000 becquerels per kg.
However, I don’t know if breast milk bio-concentrates cesium more than other areas of the body. Cesium is a potassium analog and does bio-accumulate in human organs.
I did find a research article documenting the presence of cesium in women’s breast milk a year after Chernobyl: “Radiocesium Levels Measured in Breast Milk One Year After the Reactor Accident at Chernobyl published in Health Phystics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2909494
In a video titled Nuclear Controversies by Vladimir Tchertkoff (2003), Professor Yury Bandazhevsky (former director of the Medical Institute in Gomel), states that based on his research on children exposed to radiation from Chernobyl, “Over 50 Bq/kg of body weight lead to irreversible lesions in vital organs.”
A three-page summary of Bandazhevsky’s study: Bandazhevsky, Y. I. (2003). Chronic Cs-137 Incorporation in Children’s Organs. Swiss Med Wkly 133, 488-490 http://tchernobyl.verites.free.fr/sciences/smw-Bandazhevsky_chronicCs137.pdf
In this study, Bandazhevsky reported high levels of cesium 137 bioaccumulation in the endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid gland, the adrenals, and the pancreas. He also found high levels in the thymus and the spleen. He found higher levels of bio-accumulation in children than adults.His research documents that relatively low levels of cesium-137 contamination in children produces significant damage to organs.
I consider it unlikely that the breast milk of Fukushima mothers has no traces of contamination given the high levels detected in the macaques’ flesh living in the region.
My point is this: ALL children and pregnant mothers – indeed, all people – should be removed from the most contaminated areas immediately.
Helen Caldicott recently reported that one half of Japan is contaminated. http://enenews.com/caldicott-live-tv-election-called-about-half-japan-contaminated-huge-censorship-whats-happening-fukushima-video
I realize that it may not be possible to evacuate people from all contaminated areas. That said, the Japanese government could do much more:
1. They could use proper testing procedures to test for contamination in food and water
2. They could stop the deception and censorship of information about contamination
3. They could remove vulnerable populations immediately from the most contaminated areas
4. They could engage in a gestalt switch wherein the welfare of the population takes precedence over the economic interests of Japan’s nuclear village
This is a test of humanity’s integrity. In the long run, humanity will not survive these failures in morality.
ORGANIZE TO SAVE THE CHILDREN OF FUKUSHIMA