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View Diary: UN Special Rapporteur: Japan Must Do More for the People of Fukushima (57 comments)

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  •  Links for your allegations would be nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    Because the link I provided quite clearly states that NO testing has been done outside of Fukushima using the most advanced techniques being used there (which also puts the lie to your allegations that the Fukushima kids are not being provided with adequate medical care - by contrast, they are receiving the very best).

    And it is a well known, albeit somewhat confounding, phenomenon that the best imaging techniques turn up apparent abnormalities in every single person tested - just because they are so sensitive that they can "see" things not statistically represented in the historical medical databases.

    For example, select a cohort of US women from any given city, screen their breasts by the latest methods, and pretty much in every case some "abnormality" will be detected that an alarmist would say requires drastic medical intervention (e.g., surgery).  That, of course, is insane.

    •  Fine with me. (5+ / 0-)

      Urinary Iodine Levels and Thyroid Diseases in Children; Comparison Between Nagasaki and Chernobyl, Endocrine Journal 48, 2001.

      My ~2% remembrance was erroneous. The rate in Nagasaki children (examined by ultrasound) was 0% for nodules, 0.8% for cysts. Oh, and a 1.6% rate of goiter. Which is much more prevalent in Belarus than in Japan, an island nation with high seafood consumption.

      Still, you've got to admit that 40% is higher than either 0% or 0.8%. So much higher, in fact, that epidemiologists would be rightly alarmed.

      Again, the SimplyInfo report:
      Thyroid Exposure in Fukushima Children

      • The thyroid gland can be affected by exposure to radiation. The thyroid glands of children are especially sensitive to radiation, much more so than the thyroid gland of an adult.

      • Radiation exposure appears to cause a number of different thyroid problems, including an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer.

      • The younger the child is when the radiation exposure occurs, the greater is the risk of these problems occurring.

      • The three major ways a thyroid is impacted after radiation exposure, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer.

      Well worth a careful read. And a July 2012 article from OilPrice.com...
      Fukushima - Local Children Unwitting (and Unwilling) Radioactive Guinea Pigs

      A [Medscape] report just this month giving the rate of [singular] thyroid nodules in children overall as 0.22% to 1.35%...
      Solitary Thyroid Nodule Clinical Presentation

      And last but certainly not least, the Journal of the American Medical Association, a 2006 article...
      Radiation Dose-Response Relationships for Thyroid Nodules and Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases in Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors 55-58 Years After Exposure

      •  I'm totally happy and willing to believe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, alain2112, billmosby

        this when it's published in a reputable medical journal - you know, like your JAMA 2006 linked paper that says:

        We previously conducted a comprehensive thyroid disease study among 2856 Nagasaki AHS cohort members from 1984 to 1987 by using ultrasound examinations and blood tests to evaluate the effects of radiation on thyroid nodules, thyroid autoimmunity, and thyroid function.14 However, this study was conducted only in Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, not in Hiroshima survivors. Furthermore, screening techniques to diagnose thyroid diseases have advanced remarkably since the last thyroid study. Ultrasound examination has become more sensitive in detecting thyroid nodules.
        which is my point exactly, the new technology is MUCH BETTER at detecting nodules than what was used in the study reported in 2001 (and obviously done before that).
        •  How about some links to support (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Jim P

          your assertion that ultrasound has advanced SO much since 2001 that physicians should be reporting ~40% rates of nodules/cysts in children as a 'norm' (your implication)? And contrast your implication that 40% is somehow 'normal' with the November 2012 Medscape article reporting CURRENT 'norm' at 0.22% to 1.35%. Those aren't anywhere close to 40% either, you know.

          It's November 2012 right now as we speak, RG. It's rather absurd of you to demand it be published in JAMA before you'd bother to consider its validity. Since you could have clicked on that little "more..." link after the author list as easily as me...

          Author

          Andre Hebra, MD Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine; Surgeon-in-Chief, Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital

          
Andre Hebra, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Pediatric Surgical Association, Children's Oncology Group, Florida Medical Association, International Pediatric Endosurgery Group, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, South Carolina Medical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, and Southern Medical Association

          Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Coauthor(s)

          Melissa Miller, MD Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina

          Melissa Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association and American Medical Student Association/Foundation

          
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Patrick B Thomas, MD Fellow, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Texas Children's Hospital

          Patrick B Thomas, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association and South Carolina Medical Association

          Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Specialty Editor Board

          Arlan L Rosenbloom, MD Adjunct Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine; Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology

          Arlan L Rosenbloom, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Epidemiology, American Pediatric Society, Endocrine Society, Florida Pediatric Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, and Society for Pediatric Research

          
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

          Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Lynne Lipton Levitsky, MD Chief, Pediatric Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

          Lynne Lipton Levitsky, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Diabetes Association, American Pediatric Society, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, and Society for Pediatric Research

          
Disclosure: Pfizer Grant/research funds P.I.; Tercica Grant/research funds Other; Eli Lily Grant/research funds PI; NovoNordisk Grant/research funds PI; NovoNordisk Consulting fee Consulting; Onyx Heart Valve Consulting fee Consulting

          Merrily P M Poth, MD Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

          Merrily P M Poth, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, Endocrine Society, and Pediatric Endocrine Society

          Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          Chief Editor

          Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Arkansas Children's Hospital

          Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Pediatric Society, Endocrine Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Southern Medical Association, and Southern Society for Pediatric Research

          
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

          This is published, peer-reviewed medical research that cannot simply be dismissed out of hand because you don't like what it reports.

          You will believe what you choose to believe, no matter what anybody of any qualification has to say about it, or how much research ever has been or will be done on the subject. I know better than to expect otherwise from committed pro-nukes.

          •  YOU provided the link! (0+ / 0-)

            do you want to retract it now?

            perhaps you should read your links before you post them??

            In any event, if there's any interested reader out there I suspect that he or she is quite capable of going to Google or whatever their preferred search engine might be and typing in "advances in ultrasound technology"   - I'd be perfectly happy to present the search results but would probably be accused of being biased, so why bother?

            •  I provided it because it is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, Jim P

              current and establishes a 'norm' (at least, here in the US) of 0.22 and 1.35% for SINGLE thyroid nodules/cysts in children. You don't like what it reports, so say no one should consider this published, peer-reviewed research to be valid. That is obviously YOUR problem, not mine.

              And it's certainly not the problem of any of these medical doctors who specialize in pediatric endocrine disorders who reported their statistics and/or reviewed the statistics from the represented institutions.

              Your insistence that physicians should be noting a >40% rate of thyroid nodules/cysts in children as "normal" in 2012 - in Japan, in the United States, or anywhere else in the world - is flat-out wrong. Outrageously so. This sort of thing is just bound to bite you on the ass in the quest to protect nuclear power from the unacceptable threat it presents to the humans on this planet - particularly children.

              Wow.

              •  Nodules aren't that hard to spot (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, Jim P

                to be honest. A good doctor can detect even a pretty small one with a palpation of the neck, and that's a routine thing that doctors do during physicals of kids.

                The stats I looked at were also at about <1% in kids (higher in older women, but only around 5%).

                I'm not aware of any major advances in ultrasound technology that would matter here because even the old ultrasounds were very sensitive to see small nodules. Thyroid screening isn't that hard.

                "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                by mahakali overdrive on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:13:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course you're right. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  It's not like doctors never knew how to check for thyroid issues in children (or adults) before ultrasound. Or that ultrasound is so very much 'better' now than it was ten or twenty years ago so as to 'explain away' the findings of >40% thyroid nodules/cysts in the children of Fukushima. Why, a study published just weeks ago (cited above) establishes rates of less than 2% as 'normal' in the US. Entirely in line with previous studies.

                  If nearly half of children were presenting with thyroid pathologies ANYWHERE in the world, it would qualify as a genuine public health crisis and the cause would be meticulously investigated and urgently dealt with. Unless, of course, you happen to live within 80 km of the worst multi-meltdown nuclear disaster the world has ever seen. In which case it would be the 'New Normal' so shut up and eat your glow in the dark rice, kid.

                  Grumble, grumble.

                  •  It's not the benign nodules I'm worried about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau

                    at all. These tend to not be much of anything. But a nodule found after radioactive exposure is going to be much more of a risk. It's not a hypothetical, controversial, or even ground-breaking idea to link thyroid cancer with radioactive exposure (even low-levels). It's the reason why the dentist puts a lead apron on you when you have a tooth x-ray and why doctors no longer give throat x-rays to children in the U.S. (for several decades now; they used to far more customarily), and thyroid cancer is very, very common after radioactive exposure. I don't know if it is the most common cancer, but the thyroid is a funny little thing which has cells which are very responsive to radiation.

                    Well-known fact.

                    Nothing speculative there.

                    Did Japan experience high levels of radioactive iodine? Parts of it did. Without a doubt. It was easy to measure in the plants, such as in green tea, causing some crops to be destroyed.

                    Can elevated levels of radiation lead to thyroid cancer? Absolutely. Known and factual. Thus the use of prophylactic iodine afterwards.

                    Is prophylactic iodine a definite defense? Absolutely not if there is continued radiation emitted into the atmosphere/environment.

                    Was there continued radiation emitted into the atmosphere/environment? TEPCO has widely been indicted for lying about what the environmental situation looked like, and there were continued and measurable reads of radiation well past what they suggested, which is how the whole coverup was really noticed by the world in the first place.

                    So is all of this in the realm of possibility? Yes. And the UN is saying this as well. And it could even be considered within the realm of probability from all that we've learned about the thyroid and certain forms of radiation exposure. This is not even looking at the other radionuclides which were released.

                    "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:11:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here, it took me like ten seconds to find this (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jeanette0605, Joieau, Jim P

                      From the American Cancer Society:

                      http://www.cancer.org/...

                      Radiation

                      Exposure to radiation is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer. Sources of such radiation include certain medical treatments and radiation fallout from power plant accidents or nuclear weapons.

                      Having had head or neck radiation treatments in childhood is a risk factor for thyroid cancer. Risk depends on how much radiation is given and the age of the child. In general, the risk increases as the dose increases, also the risk is higher with lower (younger) ages at treatment. In the past, children were sometimes treated with low doses of radiation for things we wouldn't use radiation for now, like acne, fungus infections of the scalp (ringworm), an enlarged thymus gland, or to shrink tonsils or adenoids. Years later, the people who had these treatments were found to have an increased risk of thyroid cancer. Radiation therapy in childhood for some cancers such as lymphoma, Wilms tumor, and neuroblastoma also increases risk. Thyroid cancers associated with prior radiation therapy are not more serious than other thyroid cancers.

                      Being exposed to radiation as an adult carries much less risk of thyroid cancer.

                      Several studies have pointed to an increased risk of thyroid cancer in children because of radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons or power plant accidents.
                      For instance, thyroid cancer is several times more common than normal in children living near Chernobyl, the site of a 1986 nuclear plant accident that exposed millions of people to radioactivity. Adults involved with the cleanup after the accident and those who lived near the plant have also had a higher rate of thyroid cancer. Children with more iodine in their diet appeared to have a lower risk.

                      Some radioactive fallout occurred over certain regions of the United States after nuclear weapons were tested in western states during the 1950s. This exposure was much, much lower than that around Chernobyl. A higher risk of thyroid cancer has not been proven at these low exposure levels. If you are concerned about possible exposure to radioactive fallout, discuss this with your doctor.

                      Hardly a controversial idea that there may be elevated thyroid cancer levels post-Fukushima in either adults or (especially) children.

                      "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:16:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Unless you're a nuke (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mahakali overdrive, Jim P

                        trying desperately to salvage your place in the religion of dark powers and dark deeds. In which case you'd convince yourself that nearly half of children suffer thyroid dysfunctions/cancer before they're old enough for middle school as a matter of course. Why, more common than strep throat, it is! Yep... that's the ticket.

                        Don't forget that these are the same people who stridently insist to this very day that 'only' 31 people died as a result of Chernobyl, where at least 5% of one reactor's core was released due to steam explosions and fire.

                        Unless you are vaporized on the spot and leave a greasy shadow on the wall, or die within days of acute radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome, your later death can never be blamed on radiation exposure. No matter how closely correlated your disease happens to be with levels of radiation you were demonstrably exposed to. That's apparently a 'rule' in NukeWorld, and by gum, they'll stick to it come hell or high water. Or both.

                    •  You know, I should probably say (0+ / 0-)

                      something about 'prophylactic' non-radioactive iodine as a protection against radiation. Just in the interests of being thorough on details per this subject.

                      Potassium Iodide [KI] should have been distributed to residents within 10-15 km of Daiichi long before the earthquake/tsunami. The rationale for this is that officials can tell people to start taking them immediately whenever they are notified of an Oops at the local nuke. Because all nuclear Oopses release iodine 131 (at least). It's the #1 most limiting isotope. Hell, because nuclear plants release iodine 131 daily in the course of 'normal' operations, supplemental KI should be routine for nearby residents. Most folks don't.

                      Yet people whose families have lived for generations on the coast of Honshu (and to a certain extent anywhere in Japan) should 'normally' have fairly saturated thyroid glands, as iodine is abundant in seaweed and seafood, as well as in soils of island nations in which crops are grown. So Fukushima citizens should have been better able to weather the 131 dump-storm than, say, people who lived near Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. For there to be a 40% rate of thyroid nodules/cysts less than a year after the Super-Oops, the doses had to be high and had to have been persistent over an extended period (~3 months) during which time the 'normal' iodine-rich diet was unavailable.

                      Anyway, "packing" a thyroid with stable iodine can certainly protect your thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. But it can't protect your lungs and digestive internal organs from alpha/beta/gamma radiation released by ANY radioactive isotopes by spontaneous decay on their way through your body. Internal dose.

                      These are Arnie's "hot particles," that are not included in any assessment or estimate of overall radiation exposure (based on monitoring of dose levels in the environment) because they're bombing you from the inside, not from the outside. And do far more damage.

        •  How's the tech these days on comparing (0+ / 0-)

          heart damage, immune system damage, other of the myriad kinds of cancer going? Do you have the Japanese studies on these effects? As you know, thyroid cancer is only one of the multitude of health-damage possible from radiation.

          Not sure what your point is exactly, unless it's that more primitive technologies for detection must have underestimated/undercounted effects. And so once again industry figures touted are misleading.


          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:29:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point is that the Nagasaki cohort was (0+ / 0-)

            analyzed with now obsolete technology no capable of detecting what today's imaging instruments can detect.

            So, the 1 to 2% discovery of nodules is probably WAY low compared to what could be detected right now.

            And this is not all being swept under the rug like the diarist suggests - by contrast the Powers-that-be are going to be re-imaging the Nagasaki kids to have an appropriate control group to compare  the Fukushima kids to.  Seriously, this the way thing SHOULD BE DONE.

            A bit off topic is that I recently attended a seminar where a major medical instrument device maker more or less shot itself in the foot by making an instrument so sensitive that every single breast imaged showed some type of "abnormality" - and if alarmists were to be believed, would be well on the way to developing breast cancer.

            Yet, copious statistics bear out that only one out of 7 women tested will ultimately get breast cancer - so is there ethical justification whatsoever for scaring 7 out of 7 women that they may be at risk?

            Clearly, purveyors of the "scientific" reasoning in this thread would so yes, there is.

            Fortunately, the evil evil Big Corporate makers of this instrument think not and are forgoing profits by not putting it on the market at the current time. . ..

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