GR Editor’s Note
The following is a selection of articles by ENEnews pertaining to Hanford, “the most contaminated nuclear site in the western world.”
According to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR): Hanford’s radioactive and toxic wastes pose serious health and environmental threats. They are a legacy of international tension and nuclear weapons production in the last century. The challenge of Hanford today is a tapestry woven from this complex history.
For more on the history of Hanford, visit PSR’s web site.
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“Nothing [is] more extreme than anencephaly” –Dr Michael Grodin, Boston U. School of Medicine
‘Fatal Birth Defects Surge’ – Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington Dept.of Health (emphasis added): Anencephaly is a rare birth defect in which the brain and the skull of the baby do not fully form [and is] not compatible with life… The most well known risk factor… is a deficiency in folic acid… that’s one of the possibilities we’re looking into [note that mothers in the birth defect cluster had much higher rates of folic acid consumption than the control group chosen by officials]…Hanford nuclear facility has been one concern of the community. We worked really closely with our radiation experts… who work closely with… Hanford. There have been no recent releases [note how she rephrases this] — no recent CHANGE in radiation releases. We can’t really determine any pathway by which radiation could affect all the women in the 3-county area [note all 3 counties surround Hanford]… We’re working with the doctors to make sure we’re identifying all the cases… It’s very important to figure out the rates.
Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki, MD, (Chair of Medical Genetics at U. of S. Alabama), Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Crisis Without End, Oct 2014: “The most significant negative impact of radiation on a developing embryo includes anencephaly… Two US studies… sponsored by the[CDC and published in 1988] sought to determine the… impact of ionizing radiation nearHanford… One study detected higher neural tube defect rates [e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida] in two counties near the nuclear complex and the other demonstrated higher rates of neural tube defects in parents exposed… to low levels of radiation.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility: Hanford documents [reveal] incredible contamination of the environment and exposure of large numbers of citizens to dangerous amounts…Eight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia... [In 1949] 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were [secretly] released [over] an area o 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given… [`400 times TMI’s release of] 15 -24 curies — PSR: Contamination has not and will not stay inside Hanford’s boundaries… Over 300 miles of the Columbia… are threatened… [Fires in] 2000… burned three radioactive waste sites [and] plutonium was detected in nearby communities. — PSR: Hanford is the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere… At least 200-square miles of groundwater… is contaminated and migrating to the Columbia.
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 34:00 in): Birth defect issues occur in the 2nd [generation after radiation exposure] — especially the 3rd and 4th.
Washington Anencephaly Investigation, Oct 2014:
- Anencephaly in Benton, Franklin, YakimaCounties (next to Hanford) from Jan 1 to Oct 17, 2014: 9 cases in 290 days with est. 6,423 births (based on 8,084 in 2013) —RATE: 14 cases per 10,000 births
- Anencephaly in Yakima County from Jan 1 to Jun 6, 2014: 2 cases in 157 days wirh est. 1,700 births (based on 3,953 in 2013) – RATE: 11.8 cases per 10,000 births
- Anencephaly in Yakima County from Jun 7 to Oct. 17, 2014: 3 cases in 133 days out of est. 1,440 births (based on 3,953 in 2013) — RATE: 20.8 cases per 10,000 births (2,860% of US national rate)
CDC 2010 statistics, released 2013: Anencephaly 313 cases; RATE: 0.73 per 10,000 births.
Instead of using the 0.73 rate, officials claim the national rate is 2.1, nearly 3 times higher. The rate of 2.1 is from a study using data from 2004-2006 that estimates the anencephaly rate, andonly uses data from less than 15 states — unlike the CDC report above which is based on the most current data, uses data from all 50 states, and is not an ‘estimate’.
Nikki Shelton, mother of baby w/ neural tube defect (e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida) 13 mi. from Hanford, Nov 6, 2014: This is not something that is going away… the numbers are increasing. The last teleconference I was in shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford! … let’s not let the department of health just sweep this under the rug…WE NEED ANSWERS!
Interview with Gundersen here | KUOW broadcast here