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

Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail