Areas with 10,000 Bq/m² of radioactivity considered “highly contaminated” by study — Over 30,000 square kilometers in Japan exceed level, 8% of nation

Published: February 16th, 2012 at 8:34 am ET


Title: Risk of acute childhood leukaemia in Sweden after the Chernobyl reactor accident
Source: PubMed – NCBI
Author: Hjalmars U, Kulldorff M, Gustafsson G. (Department of Paediatrics, Central Hospital, Ostersund, Sweden)
Date: BMJ. 1994 Jul 16;309(6948):154-7
Emphasis Added

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risk of acute childhood leukaemia in areas of Sweden contaminated after the Chernobyl reactor accident in April 1986. […]

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Risk of leukaemia in areas contaminated after the Chernobyl accident compared with the rest of Sweden and in the same areas before the accident.

RESULTS: During six and a half years of follow up after the accident the odds ratio for acute leukaemia was 0.9 in highly contaminated areas (> or = 10 kBq/m2) compared with the same areas before the accident. For the subgroup acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children aged under 5 years at diagnosis the odds ratio was 1.5. For all cases diagnosed after May 1986 in highly contaminated areas compared with areas of low contamination the odds ratio was 0.9. For acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children aged under 5 years at diagnosis the odds ratio was 1.2 in highly contaminated areas compared with areas of low contamination. […]

Radiation covers 8pc of Japan, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 22, 2011:

Japan’s science ministry says 8 per cent of the country’s surface area has been contaminated by radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

It says more than 30,000 square kilometres of the country has been blanketed by radioactive caesium.

The ministry says most of the contamination was caused by four large plumes of radiation spewed out by the Fukushima nuclear plant in the first two weeks after meltdowns.

The government says some of the radioactive material fell with rain and snow, leaving the affected areas with accumulations of more than 10,000 becquerels of caesium per square metre. […]

A PBS segment yesterday discussed the current drug shortage for treating childhood leukemia, particularly acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (referenced in study above). The shortage is attributed to the shutdown of a factory.

Title: What’s Causing a Shortage of Pediatric Cancer Drugs?
Source: PBS
Date: Feb 15, 2012

JEFFREY BROWN: And finally tonight, a drug shortage problem and its impact on a critical treatment for childhood leukemia. Ray Suarez has our update.

RAY SUAREZ: There have been more than 250 drugs declared in short supply in the past year. The latest worries centered around a pivotal one called Methotrexate. Used to treat several kinds of cancers, Methotrexate is considered essential in battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia among adults and especially among children.

ALL is the most common form of cancer in children, affecting about 3,500 kids in the U.S. each year. Late last year, one of four U.S. manufacturers of the drug was forced to shut down a plant […]

Watch What’s Causing a Shortage of Pediatric Cancer Drugs? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Published: February 16th, 2012 at 8:34 am ET


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34 comments to Areas with 10,000 Bq/m² of radioactivity considered “highly contaminated” by study — Over 30,000 square kilometers in Japan exceed level, 8% of nation

  • rooks rooks

    We are screwed until we can get out of here. Even if we can, are screwed with the current US energy policy?

    • Alice Alice

      It certainly looks like it. My heart goes out to the Japanese who have no recourse.

      What's becoming increasingly clear is that no one knows what to do and soon enough, it'll be 100% of the globe.

      As far along as science has come, it still has no solution better than 'duck and cover'.

    • The generic drug makers do not make much money. The PATENT drug makers want a monopoly, and NO generic drugs competing with them.

      Some people say that these companies are 'arranging' to shut down or buy out, or control all generic drugs, and not continue to make any drugs that expire out of the high profit patent time..

      Result: shortages of generic drugs, and patients forced to keep paying through the nose for high cost patent medications.

      Another spin piece put out by PBS in favor of the patent drug industry, with no deep digging to find root causes. This is more pablum, just like the Frontline piece on nuclear power and Fukushima, mostly industry spin.

      • the yeoman the yeoman

        agreed, your analysis AGreenRoad san is spot on. PBS/NPR is a hornet's nest of neoliberalism…Fox news for the retainer class who think the're progressive but not hippie. One point though, if I may, its not industry spin, its class spin. PBS is a shill for the ruling class. PBS's soul purpose is to control the one class that can change things the retainer. I know this term is used to refer to class strata during the time of Augustus…but hey this is still Roman.

  • radegan

    But the food we grow on this land is safe enough for children's school lunches, don't worry… happy…smile!

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Where's the rage?
    I just read the editorial of the 100th Adbusters issue, and it got me all fired up again…

    « We awoke one morning to the dark realization that humanity is being dragged into a black hole of ecological, financial and spiritual catastrophe…that our democracy has been seized by a corporatocracy…that every day two hundred species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become forever extinct…that a deluge of advertising is sleepwalking our civilisation to the brink of insanity….and that unless we fight back in the most visceral and creative way all will be lost.

    And yet, what sets our struggle apart in 2012 is that we are not fighting to save a distant future. We are not trying to prevent some terrible event that is still to come. This is not about our unborn grandchildren.

    Instead, many of us sense that the threshold has already been crossed ; the tipping point has already happened and what we are fighting for is our present. We are living in that tragic moment of eerie stillness where the fatal damage has been done, widening cracks can be seen, yet the edifice still stands and business as usual continues…but for how much longer ? (…) »

    *love their front page:

  • There is a birth going on, and a death is happening… all at the same time..

    It is like grieving and being in joy at the same time, in the same place.

    We can focus on one process or the other, as well as both at the same time.

    This process is happening both within us and without.

    The outside is a reflection of what is happening inside.

    As we work on ourselves, and grow in awareness as well as consciousness, it will change the outside world.

    We are soul inhabiting a physical shell, called a body. This world is a school yard, a place to practice being who we are, a place to explore our infinite dimensions that are all available inside of us.

    Whether we poison ourselves, or blow ourselves up does not affect who we are as soul. That immutable, infinite, heart centered Being that we are goes on even if we cause ourselves immense suffering.

    There is always hope even in the darkest hour. Do not lose hope.

    • StillJill StillJill

      AGreenRoad,…..I shall save this one!

      *Standing Ovation*

      Indeed, yes,…and Amen! 🙂

      I thank you!

    • What-About-The-Kids

      Here, here, AGreenRoad! We cannot ever give up working for a better world, despite any challenges we face. Keep that Hope alive! 🙂

  • dka

    Japan measured the contamination level at an altitude of more than 15m above the ground. So in reality, the land, at ground level, is much more contaminated than what the government data revealed.
    Also, the reactors are still emitting contaminants, but the data were taken last summer, leaving the further ongoing contamination of land un-accounted for. What a cheap cheater!

    • Total Fukushima Radiation Released Into Ocean, Air, Groundwater, Storage Tanks, etc
      A Green Road Blog

      Feel free to Facebook, tweet, add to materials, comment, etc. Use above links.

    • Sickputer

      That failure to examine ground level contamination is going to kill so many Japanese people who think they are in the "safe" 92% of the land mass. In reality you can figure a factor of ten to compensate for government estimates. 92% of the Japanese archipelago is highly contaminated… Perhaps only Hokkaido and Okinawa are "livable" but soon even their soil and water will be ruined. No place to run, no place to hide in Japan.

  • or-well

    Three topics in one
    but it's all the same,
    all part of the
    profit/control/power game.
    Reassurance, rigged science,
    false choice and fear,
    we've got the fix
    if you pay for the gear.
    There's no danger to you,
    we can clean mountains,
    take some more drugs,
    don't peek behind curtains,
    listen to us,
    don't ask, think or tell,
    the economy, jobs and
    more money's the yell,
    all on the way
    to nuclear hell.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      or-well, I'd love to see your poetry published in the near future. it should really be brought to the knowledge of a bigger audience!

      the anti-nuclear bunny
      wants grandkids with ears
      and a future that's sunny

      *my all-time favourite. Thanks or-well.

      • or-well

        Hi B&B, thanks, I'm going back over threads and putting some on hardcopy – genuine paper! – so they don't "disappear".
        I may do a real simple blog, we'll see.
        I find it fascinating what different folks react to.
        As I've said before, much of it wouldn't stand alone without an explanation of the context here.
        Maybe that doesn't matter.
        Maybe volume trumps quality -hahahaha!
        I'm under no illusion any of it has "polish" because it isn't intended to.
        Rapid response
        Hit-and-run rhyming
        Trying for some
        Nuclear sliming!

  • Sky775

    Oh, great. Now ENENews joins the spin doctors. I am really disappointed, especially since I am donating to this site for what used to be unbiased information. That was a NEGATIVE study that failed to show any change in childhood leukemia rates.

    • arclight arclight

      the swedish report was manipulated by mixing different studies together! and they found nothing!! except the researcher that found the pro nuke dodgy data! so you are right sky775!

      unbiased info on enenews? i thought it was 95 percent anti nuke 🙂 suppose common sense is unbiased?? lol!

  • Bobby1

    Full paper here:

    It looks like there were increases in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in areas > 10 kBq of cesium, for ages 0-5… and increases in acute non-lympoblastic leukemia in all areas for these ages. They tested the first for significance, but it wasn't significant. No power analysis specified. We don't know if they didn't find a significant result because there was no effect, or if the sample size was too small.

    There wasn't a dose-response effect, but they split the sample up on the amount of cesium, not strontium and plutonium which cause leukemia.

    • Bobby1

      Hmmm… Fisher's exact test for the acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ages 0-5) yields

      p<.031 one-tailed test
      p<.051 two-tailed test

      The one-tailed tests the alternative hypothesis "radiation leads to an increase in leukemia"… the two-tailed tests "radiation leads to an increase or decrease in leukemia". From where I stand, it was a POSITIVE study.