If I have got something wrong here, I’m open to being corrected, but for the time being it’s a mystery to me how anyone with a medical degree could not have learned what I have learned in a short time about the basics of how radiation damages DNA and causes two possible outcomes: cell death or a mutation that lives on to become cancer. Increasing amounts of cell death lead to organ failure and the weakening of the endocrine and immune systems, or at some point a malignant growth sets in.
We also know that modern civilization suffers from “epidemics” of diabetes, chronic fatigue, immune disorders, depression and heart disease. All of this has co-occurred with the age of man-made chemicals and adverse changes in diet and lifestyle, so we’ll never sort out the confounding variables. If someone really wants to believe that radiation has not contributed to these health crises, he’s free to ignore all the evidence that points to a strong link. It is impossible to know for certain what the effects on populations have been, even though the effects have been more convincingly demonstrated in lab experiments on animals and living cells. We have to make our best judgment with the evidence available.
Dr. Yamashita here seems to claim that depression is caused only by social circumstances. He admits no neurochemical basis of depression. It is theoretically possible that radiation affected endocrine systems and neurochemistry to such an extent that it was the ultimate cause of depression and suicide.
About the risks to residents of Fukushima: “I do not think there will be any direct effect of the radiation for the population. The doses are too small.”
2. Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, Alexey V. Nesterenko - rebuttal to views of Professor Yamashita:
Researchers from the former Soviet Union who lived through the Chernobyl disaster have the advantage of knowing the local languages, the research that has been done in these languages, the victims and medical personnel who were on the ground at the disaster (many of them now dead), and the political and bureaucratic culture. In other words, they lived through it. They ought to know better than anyone. They don’t fly in from other countries with the preconception that they are visiting a backward country full of depressed, lazy, chain-smoking alcoholics. These scientists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine published a comprehensive meta-study of the research, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment(most of the sources were in Slavic languages that UN agencies paid little attention to), in which they came to conclusions such as these:
“We believe it is unreasonable to attribute the increased occurrence of disease in the contaminated territories to screening or socioeconomic factors because the only variable is radioactive loading… In independent investigations scientists have compared the health of individuals in various territories that are identical in terms of ethnic, social, and economic characteristics and differ only in the intensity of their exposure to radiation. It is scientiﬁcally valid to compare speciﬁc groups over time (a longitudinal study), and such comparisons have unequivocally attributed differences in health outcomes to Chernobyl fallout.”
“Endocrine dysfunction, particularly thyroid disease, is far more common than might be expected, with some 1,000 cases of thyroid dysfunction for every case of thyroid cancer, a marked increase after the catastrophe.”
This issue has also been covered in the HBO documentary Chernobyl Heart (2003). It is astounding that UN agencies and so many scientists have heartlessly dismissed the eye-witness testimony recorded in this and other documentaries. If the situation was critical enough for aid groups to send American surgeons to Belarus to repair childrens' damaged hearts, how can they say there is no proven link between cesium absorption and the health of the population?
3. Dr. Yoshiya Shimada of National Institute of Radiological Sciences, who is known for his claim that radiation exposure up to 100mSv/year is safe. (Follow this link to see video of students at Kyoto University demanding a chance to debate with him).
The diagram above is a simplified version of the chart below illustrating process by which long-term internal exposure to Cesium 137 gives rise to bladder inflammation and eventually cancer. The chart appeared in the medical journal cited below it.
|chart excerpted from an article by Katsuhiko Kodama, Head of Tokyo University Isotope Synthesis Center|