the following review of the National Academy of Science's Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, BEIR V report, issued in 1990, inside of the Appendixes of Deadly Deceit, indicates there may actually be some movement inside the BEIR Committees towards an acknowledgement of the true costs of almost fifty years of the continued development of nuclear technology. first some excerpts, then an observation about the possible changing point-of-view being presented by the committees that publish the BEIR reports:
. . . The report . . . pinpoint[s] what we believe is the basic problem: "the discrepancies between estimates based on high-dose studies and observations made in some low-dose studies could . . . arise from problems of extrapolation." These extrapolations may have led to underestimates at low doses, because they assumed the dose-response curve was linear or quadratic, rather than supralinear (which rises rapidly at low doses and levels off at high doses). . . . As a result of risk estimates based on mistaken extrapolations, government standards for environmental releases of radioactivity from nuclear facilities may be 100 to 1000 times too high, especially for infants. . . . These findings, based on the follow-up of some 16 million women over as long a period as 36 years, support the conclusion of Dr. Stewart and her colleagues that natural and man-made background radiation may account for the majority of childhood cancers and leukemias in our society today. A total background dose (including cosmic rays and internal sources within the body) of only 150 millirads before birth appears to double the risk of a child dying of cancer or leukemia before age 15. This represents an increased risk of 0.6 percent per millirad, which is many thousands times greater than the 0.8 percent increased risk per 10,000 millirads derived by BEIR V for adults based on exposure to high-energy gamma rays at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. . . According to BEIR V, a comprehensive survey of cancer incidence and mortality near nuclear installations in England--carried out by the United Kingdom Office of Population Censuses and Surveys--found "significant overall excesses of cancer mortality due to lymphoid, leukemia and brain cancer in children and due to liver cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin's disease, all lymphomas, unspecified brain and central nervous system tumors, and all malignancies in adults." It is interesting to note that the study found cancer rates did not diminish consistently with distance from the plants. This finding could be explained by our hypothesis that contaminated milk and food produced in rural areas near nuclear plants is frequently transported to the large urban centers, so that there often is not a simple correlation with proximity. Furthermore, a logarithmic type of dose-response, which is quite flat above the smallest doses, would tend to mask any dependence upon distance. . . . Thus, the BEIR V report's many citations of rising rates of mental retardation, leukemia, and mortality associated with nuclear plants and bomb-test fallout further support our hypothesis that the risks from small doses of environmental radiation have been severely underestimated by government agencies. We suggest in Chapter Six that this tendency may even have led to outright falsification of data.
it is interesting to note in Dr. Rosalie Bertell's critique of ICRP structure and membership included in this series, her assessment of the BEIR Committees:
The BEIR Committees are heavily staffed with personnel from U.S. Government nuclear research laboratories such as Oak Ridge and Brookhaven, and with researchers from the atomic bomb research centers at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is a greater breadth of expertise on the BEIR Committees than on ICRP and much more internal dissent. However, the Committee assumes an adversarial rather than scientific role. For example, BEIR III includes critiques of scientists who have challenged its risk factors without providing for a response by these scientists to their critique.
The atomic bomb research has dominated the BEIR reports, and the health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation are seen as a national security subject in the U.S., both because they describe the effects of atomic bombs and because they affect the public's willingness to produce, test, store and accept the waste from the military program.
. . . Until publicly forced to do so, these agencies have taken little or no responsibility for the human consequences and suffering caused by these misguided human experiments. These human experiments were carried out at or through the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the Argonne National Nuclear Laboratory together with the University of Chicago, the Washington and Oregon State Prisons, Columbia University and the Montefiore Hospital in New York, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In addition to this, there were area experiments with radioactive iodine deliberately released to the environment from the U.S. Hanford Reservation and the U.S. National Reactor Testing Station at Idaho Falls. Some of the radiation related findings are still classified as secret in the U.S.
Dr. Bertell notes that while "There is a greater breadth of expertise on the
BEIR Committee than on ICRP and much more internal dissent," nevertheless,
"Until publicly forced to do so, these agencies have taken little or no
responsibility for the human consequences and suffering caused by these
misguided human experiments." If BEIR V is any indication, it is possible
the factual evidence is becoming so preponderant concerning the true costs
and health effects of low-level ionizing radiation, that even such an
organization of official repute as the National Academy of Science's
Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation may be showing
signs of cracking under the weight of it's almost fifty-year-old
participation in suppressing research and information indicating that nuclear
technology is causing irreparable damage to the life-support system--the air,
the water, the food, the land--and at the same time, damaging the gene pool
or the children. In other words, producing succeeding generations of human
beings--as well as ALL life on Mother Earth--physically less able to cope and
at the same time giving them more to cope with in an increasingly toxic
environment. This is a death process, for which, in the long-term, we are
killing ourselves as a species.
The following is taken from the Appendix of the revised and updated softcover 1991 edition of Deadly Deceit, Low-Level Radiation, High-Level Coverup by Dr. Jay Gould and Benjamin A. Goldman with Kate Millpointer, published by Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, and reprinted here with the permission of Dr. Gould.
Just before this book went to print, the National Academy of Science's Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) released a new report that bears directly on our principal findings. The Committee's extensive review of the latest scientific literature, known as the BEIR V report, concludes that cancer and leukemia risks for the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been underestimated by factors of three to four, due to faulty dose estimates and insufficient follow-up study of the survivors. Moreover, BEIR V found that risks from diagnostic X-rays may have been underestimated by an additional factor of two, because they were based on extrapolations of exposures to short bursts of high-energy gamma rays from bomb explosions, which were found to be less effective biologically than X-rays.
The BEIR V report cites numerous studies showing increases in leukemia and cancer rates from very low doses of fallout from weapons testing and nuclear plant accidents. As with diagnostic X-rays, these increases were far above those expected from the studies of bomb survivors, further supporting the principal findings of our book. The report suggests that, "although such studies do not provide sufficient statistical precision to contribute to the risk estimation procedure per se, they do raise legitimate questions about the validity of the currently accepted estimates [emphasis added]."
The report goes on to pinpoint what we believe is the basic problem: "the discrepancies between estimates based on high-dose studies and observations made in some low-dose studies could . . . arise from problems of extrapolation." These extrapolations may have led to underestimates at low doses, because they assumed the dose-response curve was linear or quadratic, rather than supralinear (which rises rapidly at low doses and levels off at high doses).
A supralinear dose-response curve is suggested by the so-called "Petkau effect" (discussed in our methodological appendix), which involves tumor promotion from free radicals created by repeated exposures at low dose-rates. Indeed, the BEIR V report explicitly refers to the tumor-promoting effect of free radicals observed in laboratory studies of cells, and illustrates how such promoting agents can dramatically change the shape of the dose-response curves so as to increase the effect of carcinogens at the lowest doses. As a result of risk estimates based on mistaken extrapolations, government standards for environmental releases of radioactivity from nuclear facilities may be 100 to 1000 times too high, especially for infants.
The BEIR V findings of greatest concern for the long run may be the effects of low radiation doses on the physical and mental development of the newborn. Detailed studies of infants who were in utero at the time of the bomb detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki found a much greater risk of severe mental retardation than previously believed. Moreover, the new studies found that intelligence test scores and school performance of children exposed in utero were also significantly affected in relation to the degree of exposure. New studies of children whose heads and necks were irradiated for therapeutic purposes in their early childhood also found behavioral impairment as well as poorer school performance. For example, a study by an Israeli group found irradiated children scored poorly on aptitude, intelligence, and psychological tests, often dropped out of school or entered mental hospitals for neuro-psychiatric diseases, and had higher rates of mental retardation.
These results, combined with the new findings of errors in dosimetry, the differences in types of radiation and exposure, and the erroneous assumptions about the shape of the dose-response curve, independently support the correlations of fallout levels with SAT scores in the U.S., which, along with their grave implications for attendant social problems, are discussed in Chapter Eleven. The new evidence led to the following recommendation in the BEIR V report:
The dose-dependent increase in the frequency of mental retardation in prenatally irradiated A-bomb survivors implies the possibility of higher risks to the embryo from low-level radiation than have been suspected heretofore. It is important that appropriate epidemiological and experimental research be conducted to advance our understanding of these effects and their dose-effect relationship.
As well as the need for more research, these findings indicate the need to take immediate steps to reduce considerably the permissible levels of radioactive isotopes in our milk and diet.
The Delaney Clause of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits any addition to food of substances known to be carcinogenic in man or animal. Yet new studies reviewed in the BEIR V report indicate that radioactive isotopes added to milk and other food by bomb-test fallout are associated with significant increases in leukemia rates in the U.S. BEIR V describes the findings as follows:
Leukemia death rates (for all ages and all cell-types) peaked in the decade 1960-1969 and were consistently highest in states with high strontium-90 levels in the diet, milk, and bones (based on surveys by the Public Health Services from 1957 to 1970) and lowest in states with low strontium-90 levels.
These effects were observed despite the fact that dose rates were well below allowable limits: the estimated total dose over many years of weapons testing was only 400 millirads, compared with a legally permitted maximum individual dose of 500 millirads per year.
The BEIR V report also cites a new large-scale British study by Dr. Alice Stewart and her associates demonstrating that extremely small radiation doses in the environment are capable of affecting the future health of individuals exposed as fetuses. Dr. Stewart had established with earlier research that childhood cancers and leukemias were associated with exposures to diagnostic X-rays during pregnancy. In the latest study, her group discovered a direct correlation of childhood cancers and leukemias with background levels of gamma radiation from natural and man-made sources in England, Wales and Scotland. The cumulative outdoor doses due to this source during fetal life varied between only ten and 40 millirads, with an average of 22 millirads. After correcting for a series of socioeconomic, medical and demographic factors, the researchers found that the effect on fetuses of radioactivity on the ground was more than three times greater than that of diagnostic X-rays.
These findings, based on the follow-up of some 16 million women over as long a period as 36 years, support the conclusion of Dr. Stewart and her colleagues that natural and man-made background radiation may account for the majority of childhood cancers and leukemias in our society today. A total background dose (including cosmic rays and internal sources within the body) of only 150 millirads before birth appears to double the risk of a child dying of cancer or leukemia before age 15. This represents an increased risk of 0.6 percent per millirad, which is many thousands times greater than the 0.8 percent increased risk per 10,000 millirads derived by BEIR V for adults based on exposure to high-energy gamma rays at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dr. Stewart's findings would strongly indicate that the standards set for exposure of adults to low-level radiation may be thousands of times too high for the developing fetus. Her work is based on the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancers which covers 22,351 cases, a far larger universe than that of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki survivors. Moreover, it uses far superior dosimetry: National Radiological Protection Board measurements of background gamma radiation levels produced by radioactivity on the ground for every ten-kilometer square area in England, Wales and Scotland. It is unfortunate that BEIR V did not quantify this enormous difference between the sensitivity of the developing fetus to low-level radiation and that of the adult.
Numerous other studies, many from England, have examined the effects of low-level man-made environmental radiation on children. One study examined excess leukemia rates among children near the Windscale (Sellafield) nuclear reactors and reprocessing plant on the Irish Sea, near the Scottish border. Another examined children under five years old living within ten kilometers of one or more British nuclear plants, and another looked at childhood leukemia cases around four nuclear facilities in western Scotland. Using an automated technique for locating unusual clusters of cancers, one study identified Seascale, which is near Sellafield, as an area in the Northern and Northwestern regions of England with unusually high mortality from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children.
The BEIR V report cites many other recent epidemiological studies that also support our findings of much greater-than-expected effects from environmental radiation on adults as well as infants and children. It cites studies of rises in cancer and leukemia among the residents downwind from the Nevada Test Site, studies of participants in American and British nuclear weapons tests, where again leukemia deaths were found to have occurred at rates significantly above those normally expected, despite the very small external gamma radiation doses.
According to BEIR V, a comprehensive survey of cancer incidence and mortality near nuclear installations in England--carried out by the United Kingdom Office of Population Censuses and Surveys--found "significant overall excesses of cancer mortality due to lymphoid, leukemia and brain cancer in children and due to liver cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin's disease, all lymphomas, unspecified brain and central nervous system tumors, and all malignancies in adults." It is interesting to note that the study found cancer rates did not diminish consistently with distance from the plants. This finding could be explained by our hypothesis that contaminated milk and food produced in rural areas near nuclear plants is frequently transported to the large urban centers, so that there often is not a simple correlation with proximity. Furthermore, a logarithmic type of dose-response, which is quite flat above the smallest doses, would tend to mask any dependence upon distance.
The BEIR V report also cites a study of excess leukemia and other cancers of the blood-forming system in five towns near the Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Massachusetts. This reactor had a series of large releases, culminating in 1982 to 1983, due to a faulty radioactive waste treatment system. Although these were among the worst releases in the history of U.S. commercial nuclear power, their seriousness was kept secret at the time. Sharp rises in Massachusetts' monthly infant mortality rates during the summer of 1982 led to our discovery of large spurious "negative" readings of radioactivity in New England's milk (described in Chapter Six and illustrated in Figure 6-7).
Thus, the BEIR V report's many citations of rising rates of mental retardation, leukemia, and mortality associated with nuclear plants and bomb-test fallout further support our hypothesis that the risks from small doses of environmental radiation have been severely underestimated by government agencies. We suggest in Chapter Six that this tendency may even have led to outright falsification of data.
 Ibid., p. 218.
 Ibid., p. 47.
 Ibid., p. 139 and Figures 3-4 and 3-5 on p. 146. Supporting references include: E. S. Copeland, editor, A National Institutes of Health Workshop Report, "Free radicals in promotion--a chemical pathology study section workshop," Cancer Research, Vol. 43, 1983, pp. 5631-5637; S. M. Fisher and L. M. Adams, "Suppression of tumor-promoter induced chemiluminescence in mouse epidermal cells by several inhibitors of arachinoic acid metabolism," Cancer Research, Vol. 45, 1985, pp. 3130-3136; B. 0. Goldstein, G. Witz, M. Amoruso, D. S. Stone, and W. Troll, "Morphonuclear leukocyte superoxide anion radical (02) production by tumor promoters," Cancer Letters, Vol. 11, 1981, pp. 257-262; D. R. Jaffe, J. F. Williamson, G. T. Bowden, "Ionizing radiation enhances malignant progression of mouse skin tumors," Carcinogenesis, Vol. 8,1987, pp. 1753-1755; J. B. Little and J. R. Williams, "Effects of ionizing radiation on mammalian cells," in S. R. Geiger, H. L. Falk, S. D. Murphy, and P. H. K. Lee, editors, Handbook of Physiology, Bethesda, MD: American Physiological Society, 1977, pp. 127-155; J. H. Marx, "Do tumor promoters affect DNA after all?" Science, Vol. 219, 1983, pp. 158-159; and J. E. Trosko, L. P. Yotti, S. T. Warren, G. Tsushimoto, and C. C. Chang, "Inhibition of cell-cell communication by tumor promoters," Carcinogenesis, Vol. 7, 1982, pp. 565-585.
 BEIR V, pp. 355-362. Supporting references include: W. J. Blot and R. W. Miller, "Mental retardation following in utero exposure to the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Radiology, Vol. 106, 1973, pp. 617-619, W. J. Blot, "Review of thirty years study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors," II Biological effect. C. Growth and development following prenatal and children exposure to atomic radiation, Journal of Radiation Research, Vol. 16 (Suppl.), 1975, pp. 82-88, International Commission on Radiological Protection, Developmental Effects of Irradiation on the Brain of the Embryo and Fetus: ICRP Publication 49, Oxford: Pergamon, 1986, R. W. Miller and J. H. Mulvihill, "Small head size after atomic irradiation," Teratology, Vol. 14, 1976, pp. 335-338, M. Otaki and W. J. Schull, "In utero exposure to A-bomb radiation and mental retardation. A reassessment," RERF Technical Report No. 1-83, 1983, W. J. Schull and M. Otake, "Effects on intelligence of prenatal exposure to ionizing radiation," RERF Technical Report 7-86, 1986, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Ionizing Radiation (UNSCEAR), Genetic and Somatic Effects of Ionizing Radiation: Report E. 86. IX. 9, New York, NY: United Nations, 1986, and J. W. Wood, K. G. Johnson, Y. Omori, S. Kawamoto, and R. J. Keehn, "Mental retardation in children exposed in utero, Hiroshima and Nagasaki," American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 57, 1967, pp. 1381-1390.
 See W. J. Schull, M. Otake and Y. Yoshimaru "Effect on intelligence test score of prenatal exposure to ionizing radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, A comparison of the old and new dosimetry systems," 1988 Revised RERF Technical Report 3-88, In preparation.
 BEIR V, p. 362, reviewing: E. Ron, B. Modan, S. Flora, I. Harkedar, and R. Gureurt, "Mental function following scalp irradiation during childhood," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 116, 1982, pp. 149-60.
 BEIR V, p. 8.
 See footnote 163.
 BEIR V, p. 376, reviewing: V. E. Archer, "Association of nuclear fallout with leukemia in the United States," Archive of Environmental Health, Vol. 42, 1987, pp. 263-271.
 BEIR V, p. 387, reviewing: E. G. Knox, A. M. Stewart, E. A. Gilman, and G. W. Kneale, "Background radiation and childhood cancer," Journal of Radiological Protection, Vol 8, No. 1, 1988, pp. 9-18.
 BEIR V, p. 6.
 One from the U.S. is: J. K. Lyon, M. R. Klauber, J. W. Gardner, and K. S. Udall "Childhood leukemias associated with fallout from nuclear testing," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 300, 1979, pp. 397-402.
 M. J. Gardner and P. D. Winter, "Mortality in Cumberland during 1959-78 with reference to cancer in young people around Windscale (letter)," The Lancet, Vol. i, 1984, pp. 216-217, and M. J. Gardner, A. J. Hall, S. Downes, and J. D. Terrell, "Follow up study of children born to mothers resident in Seascale, West Cumbria (birth cohort)," British Medical Journal, Vol. 295, 1987, pp. 822-827.
 E. Roman, V. Beral, L. Carpenter, et al., "Childhood leukemia in the West Berkshire and Basingstoke and North Hampshire District Health Authorities in relation to nuclear establishments in the vicinity," British Medical Journal, Vol. 294, 1987, pp. 597-602, and D. J. Hole and C. R. Gillis, "Childhood leukemia in the west of Scotland," The Lancet, Vol. 2, 1986, pp. 525.
 BEIR V, p. 379, reviewing: S. Openshaw, M. Charlton, A. W. Craft, and J. M. Birch, "Investigation of leukemia clusters by use of a geographical analysis machine," The Lancet, Vol. i, 1988, pp. 272-273.
 J. L. Lyon, and K. L. Schuman, "Radioactive fallout and cancer (letter)," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 252, No. 14, 1984, pp. 1845-1855, C. J. Johnson, "Cancer incidence in an area of radioactive fallout downwind from the Nevada test site," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 251, 1984, pp. 230-236, G. G. Caldwell, D. Kelley, M. Zack, H. Falk, and C. W. Heath, "Leukemia among participants in military maneuvers at a nuclear bomb test: a preliminary report," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 244, 1980, pp. 1575-1578, G. Caldwell, D. Kelley, C. W. Heath Jr., and M. Zack "Mortality and cancer frequency among military nuclear test (Smoky) participants, 1957 through 1979," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 250, No. 5,1983, pp. 620-624, G. Caldwell, D. Kelley, C. W. Heath, Jr., and M. Zack, "Polcythemia vera among participants of a nuclear weapons test," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 252, 1984, pp. 662-664, and S. C. Darby, G. M. Kendall, T. P. Fell, et al., "A summary of mortality and incidence of cancer in men from the United Kingdom who participated in the United Kingdom's atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and experimental programs," British Medical Journal, Vol. 296, 1988, pp.332-338.
 BEIR V, p. 378, reviewing: D. Forman, P. Cook-Mozaffari, S. Darby, et al., "Cancer near nuclear installations," Nature, Vol. 329, 1987, pp. 499-505 and P. Cook-Mozaffari, F. L. Ashwood, T. Vincent, et al., "Cancer incidence and mortality in the vicinity of nuclear installations in England and Wales, 1950-1980," Studies on Medical and Population Subjects, No. 51, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1987. An earlier study had not found a clear pattern of cancer increases in individuals living near fourteen nuclear facilities and five non-nuclear plants in England and Wales. See J. A. Baron, "Cancer mortality in small areas around nuclear facilities in England and Wales," British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 50, 1984, pp. 815-829.
 Richard W. Clapp, S. Cobb, C. K. Chan, and B. Walker, Jr., "Leukemia near Massachusetts nuclear power plant," The Lancet, December 5, 1987, pp. 1324-1325.
The Hopi believe this is the Fourth World. There were seven worlds created at the beginning. The first three were each destroyed in turn because the humans inhabiting them had diverged too far from their original sacred path of connectedness with and respect for all life on Mother Earth. Their prophecies (see "Book of the Hopi" by Frank Waters) describe the possibility of such a destruction of the Fourth World (in the forms of uranium mining, the existence of powerlines, and the atomic bomb):
If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster.
Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs
spun back and forth in the sky.
A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky,
which could burn the land and boil the oceans.
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
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