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

December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba after Fidel: Interview with Professor John Kirk
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail