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Fukushima Radiation Causes Sickness in US Infants

2013 April 6
by WBR

Despite reassurances by US Government officials in March 2011 that Americans had nothing to fear from the catastrophic meltdown of four nuclear reactors in Japan, documentation slowly keeps rolling in showing the opposite. The latest is a report authored by respected researchers Joseph J.  Mangano and Janette D. Sherman titled Elevated airborne beta levels in Pacific/West Coast US States and trends in hypothyroidism among newborns after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

Mangano and Sherman studied congenital hypothyroidism in newborn infants born from March 2011 – December 2011.  The information was acquired from routine newborn screening tests that automatically test for conditions such as congenital hypothyroidism (CH) at birth. The rates of CH were later correlated with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing for airborne radiation in  2011, which would have included evidence of the isotope iodine-131.  After the Japanese nuclear meltdowns, vast amounts of highly dangerous radioactive isotopes were distributed throughout the globe. The disbursement of Iodine-131 was found to be 211 times normal background levels.  Heightened detection levels of Iodine-131 were found in 5 US states that lay in proximity to the Pacific Ocean —- presumably the first land populations to receive the fallout as it navigated the ocean expanse from Japan. The radioactive isotope Iodine-131 targets and attacks the human thyroid gland.

What is Congenital Hypothyroidism?

The term congenital means at birth. The human thyroid is a small butterfly or shield shaped endocrine gland located in the neck. It responsible for the regulation of prime bodily functions via the synthesis of thyroid hormones which are directed throughout the body. The principal thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4).  These hormones are manufactured by the bodily uptake of iodine and tyrosine.  Babies born with Congenital Hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid function specifically related to the decreased production of t3 and t4.

The thyroid  is the first gland to form in the human embryo.  At the 7oth day of gestation the fetal thyroid begins to concentrate enough iodine to synthesize thyroid hormone. Thus, conditions for assault or protection of the delicate and crucial gland are set early on in utero.

The complete set of causes of Congenital Hypothyroidism are still being debated. Some cases of CH are inherited and others are caused by a toxic womb environment. What is known and understood is that CH rates are increasing, even in developed nations. Proactive newborn screens and a broadening of inclusion characteristics can only partly account for the rising levels. Something else appears to be amiss.  Triggers such as maternal iodine deficiencies, pesticides and radioactive fallout are all being studied for their role in climbing malfunction rates.

On examination, babies inflicted with CH may have an underdeveloped, misplaced or non-existent thyroid in utero. About 15% of CH cases are caused by a genetic malfunction of thyroid synthesis. Additionally, a mother’s deficient thyroid status in pregnancy and subsequent treatment or lack thereof can also impact a developing baby.

Proper thyroid functioning is especially critical for infants.  Thyroid hormones regulate physical and mental growth processes.  Lack of appropriate thyroid hormone levels can lead to stunted growth, impaired intelligence, deafness and neurological problems.

What is Iodine-131

The resultant fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan demonstrates the strong relationship of thyroid dysfunction caused by uptake of radioactive iodine-131.. The association, however, is not limited to Fukushima. Data reflects upward trends of Congenital Hypothyroidism connected to iodine-131 releases from the Bravo Nuclear Test, Three Mile Island accident, Chernobyl disaster, Hanford waste site and from residents proximate to nuclear power plants.

Just what is Iodine-131?  Iodine is a nonmetallic, purplish-black crystalline solid element. There are non-radioactive and radioactive iodine elements.  Radioactive iodine was first discovered the 1930’s and is produced by nuclear fission. Nuclear testing, nuclear power plants and nuclear accidents have all disbursed iodine-131, unnaturally, all over the world.

It can be inhaled as a gas, or ingested via higher presences in such items as dairy, breast milk, leafy green vegetables, or water. The gaseous form of iodine is airborne and carried by winds and circulating air currents. Iodine-131 transport can also be driven by rainfall and snow —known as wet deposition. Once in the soil and waterways uptake in the environment is perpetuated by the growth of vegetation or further distributed as dust. Ultimately, entering the food chain.

The thyroid gland needs ready amounts of iodine to function properly. When these levels are deficient thyroid function is compromised.  The body continually seeks to adjust the in-balance. If it locates radioactive iodine in its environment it will uptake that poison iodine to compensate for the lack of regular iodine.  Thus, if a baby is fed dairy formula or breast milk that has collected iodine-131 that infant’s body will be flooded by radioactive iodine-131.

Iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days in the environment. But, when absorbed by the body the biological half-life is much greater. It can persist in the thyroid gland for 100 days. The entire time that it rests in the thyroid gland it is directing radiation –destructive beams of energy– at the thyroid cells.  The unnatural radiation forces directed at the thyroid can result in cancer, nodules or life-long disruption of function.  Iodine -131 can also be distributed to bone matter, the kidneys, spleen and the reproductive organs.

As a fetus or an infant has a tiny body mass the amount of circulating iodine-131 in their body poses a much greater risk than that of an adult. In the second and third trimester of pregnancy developing babies have an increased need to uptake iodine. Newborn babies uptake iodine at rates 16 times greater than adults. Their primary food source for the first six months of life is either dairy formula or breast milk — both of which can be compromised by iodine-131 fallout.  Feeding of soy based formula further hampers thyroid function.

Congenital Hypothyroidism in United States Infants Tied to Fukushima

The unfortunate and sad incidence of thyroid disorders within Japanese children following the meltdowns and the continuing collapse of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Complex has been already documented. But now researchers Mangano and Sherman have been able to demonstrate that our own children within the US have not been sparred harm.

Correlating EPA data from the geographic locations with the highest incidence of airborne gross beta radiation concentrations from March 15th –  October 4. 2011, in conjunction with neonatal numbers for congenital hypothyroidism a statistically relevant trend was observed. Concentrations of airborne radiation were noted in cities that had an already assigned air monitoring station prior to the fallout event, as that data set could be controlled and studied both before and after the meltdown event.  A total of 18 EPA monitored sites on the Pacific/West Coast of the United states were utilized in the study.

Analysis showed that fallout concentrations were 7.345 times higher in the studied stations than counterpart stations in other lesser impacted US locales. Alarmingly high rates within the Pacific/West Coast region were demonstrated in California cities of Eureka (38.264 increase), Anaheim (at a 14.491 increase ) and San Bernardino (at a 12.054 increase). However it should be noted the findings for ALL areas of the United States showed increased detection—- the radiation event did not magically stop on the west side of the country.

The incidence of CH was then analyzed for the 18 Pacific/West Coast locales. The birthing period of March 17th – December 31, 2011 was used. The first evidence of fallout or radioactive plume from Japan is stated to have occurred on March 15,2011. Thus infants in the observed group were in utero ,during some phase of development, at the first fallout. Unborn babies are the population most at risk from radioactive fallout.

Infants in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii showed increases in Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism based on newborn screening tests. Overall the rate of increase in impacted states was 28% compared to the remainder of the US, with the state of California showing an increase of 28%. 

Conclusion

The primary fallout from the nuclear disaster did indeed reach and impact citizens of the United States despite assurances otherwise. Of course, as reported at World Baby Report earlier in our article “California Infants Put at Risk From 40,000 Microsieverts From Fukushima” we informed you otherwise.

The findings of Mangano and Sherman are not surprising. They warn us that additional information will be forthcoming on the health of our children exposed to fallout, as health records as from 2011 are made public in the future.

Hampering the research is lack of comprehensive information. The EPA has not released statistics, for example on vital milk samples, since June of 2011. Even during the primary fallout in March – April 2011 many EPA airborne monitoring stations were broken or suspiciously  compromised or sparsely deployed.  The lack of data from a better cross-section of locales and substances does not designate that area or medium as safe or unsafe. It merely precludes it from discussed in research such as that witnessed by Mangano and Sherman.

In light of the elevated CH findings, parents and pediatricians would be wise to closely monitor the thyroid health of all children. The cases in this study only dealt with detected hypothyroidism at birth, and only consider the impact of radioactive iodine-131.  Babies and children living in a post Fukushima world are still being impacted by a harsh variety of radioactive isotopes as the disaster in Japan continues. The EPA even announced last month that US Citizens should prepare for higher amounts of radiation in rainwater.

Our babies and children need our protection now more than ever. Seek out the truth..

Further information:

Read our interview with Dr. mark Sircus on Radiation Mitigation Measures, here

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