FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

As the World Turns

by Dr. JANETTE SHERMAN

– No not that one, the soap opera that ran from 1956 to 2010, but our world that turns.  As we look at a weather map on TV or in our paper, we see clouds, rain, snow, and storms coming from west to east.  What is in the air above the earth precipitates as our earth revolves underneath what is in that air.  To demonstrate this, look at a globe of the world and realize that what the weather is Chicago today will be the weather on the east coast tomorrow.

With this concept in mind we understand that releases from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that began on March 11, 2011 crosses the Pacific Ocean and reaches land throughout the northern hemisphere, and contaminates all life that dwells upon the land and in the waters.  As was documented after the Chernobyl catastrophe, fallout is not uniform, but varies by wind direction, elevation and temperature.

The current revelations from Fukushima portend dire consequences for all life. Some scientists have expressed concern about a possible “China Syndrome” – named after the 1979 film starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas, that occurred the same year as the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania plants, developed a partial meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO,) the owner of the Fukushima plan has been pouring millions of gallons of water onto the reactor cores and the spent fuel rod pools to keep them from overheating.  This has resulted in TEPCO trying to store some 400 tons of contaminated water each day, some it so highly contaminated that workers cannot get close enough to find the leaks.  Given that water runs downhill, the contamination is leaking past barriers and into the Pacific Ocean. As of August 21, 2013, markedly increased levels of radioactive tritium, cesium and strontium are reported.

Isotopes are taken up by sea life, including plants, single-cell organisms, algae, seaweed, crabs, oysters, fish, mammals and other sea creatures.  A resolution from the American Medical Association called for the FDA to measure radioactivity levels in edible commercial Pacific Ocean fish, sold in the U. S.  To date the FDA has not responded to the request, so we do not know if testing has been done, and if done, if any data are available for the public.  This is not unlike events immediately after the Fukushima meltdown when the EPA released data on elevated levels of radioactive iodine (I-131) along the west coast, and then in May, reverted to “quarterly measurements.”

Currently, US  “guidelines” allow for food levels of 1200 Becquerel’s per kilogram, one of the highest in the world. Japan’s limit is 100, so food too contaminated to sell in Japan could be sold here in the U.S.

According to recent news, the U. S. government is collecting data on our phone and e-mail transactions.  If this is a worthwhile use of citizen’s taxes, then collecting data on radiation levels in food, a significant health risk should be worthwhile also.  Sick children and adults are a burden on our economy and society as a whole.  Preventing exposure to food contaminated with radioactive isotopes is primary preventive health.

What is happening as a result of the Fukushima meltdown and subsequent inability to control the releases may not been all hat different from soap opera events. Similarly, As the World Turns, aired on CBS, we are living in a fantasy world if we think that nuclear power is “safe.”

Janette D. Sherman MD is an internist and toxicologist, and editor of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment. 

Janette D. Sherman, M. D. is the author of Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer and Chemical Exposure and Disease, and is a specialist in internal medicine and toxicology. She edited the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, written by A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.  Her primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education.  She can be reached at:  toxdoc.js@verizon.netand www.janettesherman.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail