Washington, DC - October 31, 2011 – Today Scientist Marco Kaltofen of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) presented his analysis of radioactive isotopic releases from the Fukushima accidents at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Mr. Kaltofen’s analysis confirms the detection of hot particles in the US and the extensive airborne and ground contamination in northern Japan due to the four nuclear power plant accidents at TEPCO’s Fukushima reactors. Fairewinds believes that this is a personal health issue in Japan and a public health issue in the United States and Canada.
Hi, I'm Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds.
It is October 31st, 2011. This is a video that contains scientific information that we have been wanting to share with you for a long time. Today, in Washington D.C. at 8:30 in the morning, scientist Marco Kaltofen gave a presentation to some doctors who are part of the American Public Health Association. The paper is now on our website, next to this video.
To summarize the paper, citizens, some doctors and scientists, some bloggers, some farmers, around the world provided samples to Mr. Kaltofen who analyzed them for Fukushima radiation. An example of what he found is a slide that contains air filters from cars in Japan and in the United States. Cars in the United States hardly have any radiation in their air filters. Cars in Tokyo had quite a lot, way too much. Cars in Fukushima Prefecture were incredibly radioactive.
Now I think it is important because the nuclear industry will say, well everything is radioactive and therefore we should not worry. Well, the Seattle data shows that not everything is radioactive. And it shows that the people in Japan received enormous exposures of particles into their lungs and into their digestive systems, during the course of the accident.
Another piece of information is that Fairewinds viewers were able to send in children's shoes from Japan. Mr. Kaltofen has data that clearly show that the concentration of cesium on the kid's shoelaces was astronomically high, around 80 disintegrations per second. What does that mean? Kids tie their shoes, their hands get radioactive and it goes into their G.I. tract. If it is on the ground, it is in the dust in the playground and it is in their lungs. I think that between the two, the air filters and the children's shoes, it shows that there is a severe personal health problem in Japan that will manifest itself in cancers over the next 10 or 20 years.
Now Mr. Kaltofen did not just look at Japan. He set up monitoring stations in the United States as well. Two of the three monitoring stations in the United States did show hot particles in the air in April. Since then, there have not been any hot particles. But in April, it is clear that, at the worst of the accident, hot particles were wafted across the Pacific and deposited in Seattle and in Boston at least. There is also data that indicates contamination on the ground in the Cascades, which are a mountain range right up against the Pacific Ocean.
So I think we have two problems here. In Japan, there is a personal health issue and what that means is that individuals have received enough radiation that there is going to be a statistically meaningful increase in cancers in Tokyo and especially in Fukushima Prefecture.
In the United States, it is a different story. It is a public health issue and not a personal health issue. What that means is that we will never know who is the individual who got cancer from Fukushima. But we can be sure that the radiation did reach here and that there will be an increase in cancers, especially on the West Coast where the Rocky Mountains stopped most of the radiation and deposited it on the ground.
So, this paper was given to the American Public Health Association. And here it is a public health issue. We cannot run and we cannot hide. But the radiation is up and down the West Coast and then also scattered about the rest of the United States.
In Japan, it is a different story. They need to aggressively go after the contamination that has been discovered. It is so obvious on these air filters and on children's shoes. It takes a concerted national effort, not a haphazard effort of chasing hot spots, in order to reduce the amount of radioactivity that is on the soil and in the air in Japan right now.
And the last thing the paper shows is that it is wrong to have a 10 mile evacuation planning zone. Clearly, the damage can extend out as far as Tokyo. We need to look at emergency planning and evacuations well beyond the 10 miles that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses here and the 12 miles that the Japanese used during the accident. You may recall that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that Americans needed to evacuate 50 miles from Fukushima at the peak of the accident. Well, if it is good enough for Americans living in Japan, that same criteria should be good enough for Americans living in the United States.
The data in Mr. Kaltofen's paper came from citizens. It came from farmers. It came from scientists. It came from bloggers. It was an effort by individuals and not government. I think if we had relied on the government to get us this information, we never would have gotten it. So it is an important achievement for all of us, to recognize that together, using the internet, we can all provide information for scientists to use, to come to rational decisions on public policy.
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Thank you very much. We will keep you informed.