Radiation lab rates. That is what we are. No one knows what the long term effects of 9 months of exposure to low-level radiation from Fukushima.
We can extrapolate from the data collected on Chernobyl’s effects, the bombs dropped in Japan, and US “downwinders” exposure to nuclear testing in the US in the 1940s and 1950s.
These bodies of data indicate increased risks of cancer and other diseases.
However, each of these incidents is distinct. Nothing like our current situation has occurred before.
Our government agencies and authorities are ill-advised when it comes to this unprecedented disaster.
The EPA will not issue warnings about radiation in air until limits of 1000 are reached.
We may never reach those limits under Fukushima’s conditions (indeed, we hope not to).
Instead, we will simply be exposed to months and months of low-level ionizing radiation that will cumulate in our bodies as we inhale and ingest radionuclides.
What will our cumulative exposure be? No one yet knows.
How many of us will develop cancer? No one knows.
I plan to start collecting data on current rates of cancer and autism diagnoses in AZ and will track them across time in order to document effects.
Still, despite the unknowns and the lack of policy and will to protect us against cumulative exposure, there are steps we can all take to reduce our individual risks. I’ve mentioned some below and also provided links where more information can be gathered.
For the record, the downwinders were approved for settlements from the following cancers
The following are Primary cancers that are covered under this program: Bile ducts, Bladder, Brain, Breast(male and female), Colon/Rectal, Esophagus, Gall Bladder, Leukemia’s(other than CLL or chronic lymphocytic leukemia), Liver(except if there is evidence of cirrhosis or Hepatitis B), Lung, Multiple Myeloma, Nasal Pharynx, Lymphomas(other than Hodgkin's disease), Ovary, Pancreas, Salivary Gland, Small Intestine, Stomach and Thyroid
50,000 is the price the government put on the head of all those who have suffered from these terrible cancers...