“FEAR VS. RADIATION: THE MISMATCH”
Written by David Ropeik
Shared by: Dr. Victor Sternberg
A recent publication in the October 21st edition of The New York Times, International Opinion page, was an article entitled “Fear Vs. Radiation: The Mismatch”. The article written by David Ropeik documents some surprising findings from Chernobyl, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scientists believed there would be a marked increase of cancer due to radiation exposure experienced by people living near these horrific events. Interestingly enough, scientists followed 112,600 people; 86,611 lived within 6 miles of the center of both explosions. They compared those people to 26,000 people who were not exposed. Surprisingly the incident of cancer in the exposed population was much lower than expected. In fact, only 527 deaths, now 68 years later, could be linked to the radiation from the atomic bombs. For the entire population exposed, in many cases to high levels of radiation, the excess of cancer mortality was about two-thirds of 1 percent. More importantly, people who received significantly lower doses had no detectable increase in illnesses. These lower doses were received by the vast majority of people living near Fukushima in Japan which recently underwent a nuclear meltdown or Chernobyl.
To quote the author, “The robust evidence that ionizing radiation is a relatively low health risk dramatically contradicts common fears”.
The author’s conclusion is that there is far less danger from radiation exposure than originally thought, even that experienced in this case by nuclear meltdowns in plants or the atomic bombs in Japan.
This should help allay some of the concerns that we all have about radiation exposure since this evidence now goes back 68 years.
Dr. Victor Sternberg