Tuesday, December 20, 2011

14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout, Says Peer-Reviewed Medial Journal Article

And that's during the 14 weeks right after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident that is "over" now.

From a PR Newswire press release that appeared on MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal (12/19/2011):

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Impact Seen As Roughly Comparable to Radiation-Related Deaths After Chernobyl; Infants Are Hardest Hit, With Continuing Research Showing Even Higher Possible Death Count.

An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima. Authors Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.The IJHS article will be published Tuesday and will be available online as of 11 a.m. EST at http://www.radiation.org . Just six days after the disastrous meltdowns struck four reactors at Fukushima on March 11, scientists detected the plume of toxic fallout had arrived over American shores. Subsequent measurements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found levels of radiation in air, water, and milk hundreds of times above normal across the U.S. The highest detected levels of Iodine-131 in precipitation in the U.S. were as follows (normal is about 2 picocuries I-131 per liter of water): Boise, ID (390); Kansas City (200); Salt Lake City (190); Jacksonville, FL (150); Olympia, WA (125); and Boston, MA (92). Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, said: "This study of Fukushima health hazards is the first to be published in a scientific journal. It raises concerns, and strongly suggests that health studies continue, to understand the true impact of Fukushima in Japan and around the world. Findings are important to the current debate of whether to build new reactors, and how long to keep aging ones in operation."Mangano is executive director, Radiation and Public Health Project, and the author of 27 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and letters. Internist and toxicologist Janette Sherman, MD, said: "Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here may be as high as 18,000, with influenza and pneumonia, which were up five-fold in the period in question as a cause of death. Deaths are seen across all ages, but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults."Dr. Sherman is an adjunct professor, Western Michigan University, and contributing editor of "Chernobyl - Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" published by the NY Academy of Sciences in 2009, and author of "Chemical Exposure and Disease and Life's Delicate Balance - Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer."The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues weekly reports on numbers of deaths for 122 U.S. cities with a population over 100,000, or about 25-30 percent of the U.S. In the 14 weeks after Fukushima fallout arrived in the U.S. (March 20 to June 25), deaths reported to the CDC rose 4.46 percent from the same period in 2010, compared to just 2.34 percent in the 14 weeks prior. Estimated excess deaths during this period for the entire U.S. are about 14,000.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of a related news event will be available on the Web at http://www.radiation.org as of 4 p.m. EST/2100 GMT on December 19, 2011. Embargoed copies of the medical journal article are available by contacting Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

SOURCE Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, International Journal of Health Services

Copyright (C) 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

The paper is here (PDF file).

2 picocuries is 0.074 becquerels.


Anonymous said...

The study is junk. The date range is too small, just like the last study that they released that started a bunch of hysteria. They don't even take an entire years data or compare totals against a number of years. Just because someone died does not automatically mean Fukushima did it. The two that did this study are frankly, lousy researchers. Will people in the US die due to exposure to Fukushima, probably. This study is no better than their other one. We desperately need real analysis of the risks people are being exposed to. These two are not capable of doing it.

Darth3/11 said...

Holy smokes, is this possibly true? Who is right, the scientists or Anonymous at 11:09?

punchnrun said...

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. which is the extraordinary claim; fission products don't affect health, or that they do?

Anonymous said...

Ex-skf has now officially jumped the shark.

Anonymous said...

I Agree with darth 3.11

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, you'd better listen to Allison and Rockwell and Gale on the issue. Or that Japanese guy who wanted to build a radiation hotel inside 20-kilometer radius so people get healthy.

Anonymous said...

Will there eventually be some US deaths that can be attributed to Fukushima? Probably. Is this study valid? No. The study is invalid because they use lousy reasoning and methods. Radiation does pose risks but proving any clear outcome in the US requires much better data and analysis that was done here. Scientific American outlines why the study sucks. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/12/20/researchers-trumpet-another-flawed-fukushima-death-study/

Anonymous said...

I believe Mangano studied health effects of Hanford upon the downwinders in Washington State.

So unless 11:09 clarifies his position, it would be fair to say 11:09 is .. a lousy commenter.


Anonymous said...

Has gullibility gone on sale somewhere??

"...a check reveals that the authors’ statistical claims are critically flawed—if not deliberate mistruths" from Scientific American.


Anonymous said...

Looks like we have a pro nuclear troll around.

Based on the tests done by folks from just rainwater here in the US just after the event
the death rate is probably conservative.

When folks find dangerous levels of radioactive
rainwater on cars in St. Louis you know its

Mauibrad said...

It's a lot higher than that beyond the 14 weeks.

Anonymous said...

pro-nuclear = troll
anti-nuclear = fair and balanced and conservative in the death estimates

A doctor who visits Fukushima and discusses radiation exposure with the locals is labeled a biased tool of the nuclear industry, while two anti-nuclear gadflys (who have already been discredited by the most respected journal) are held up as icons of integrity.

Par for the course here on ex-skf.

Anonymous said...

By comparison, how many have died already in Japan, millions? I don't see the corpses when I walk down the street, though, must be hidden in some secret facility.

Anonymous said...

What about PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL don't the nuclear industry shills not understand? Peer-reviewed articles have been evaluated and critiqued by researchers and experts in the same field before the article is published. The Scientific American OPINION is just that an opinion that hasn't been peer reviewed.

Here is the site for the journal in question if you go to the bottom of the page you find this:

'International Journal of Health Services is a peer refereed journal.'


Definition of "Peer Reviewed" or "Refereed"


Anonymous said...

Excuse me, who exactly were the experts who evaluated and critiqued this article?

Anonymous said...

Scientific American already reviewed them, and thoroughly discredited them. But I have no doubt that the intellects here will denounce Scientific American as a tool of the nuclear establishment.

Anonymous said...

"Scientific American already reviewed them, and thoroughly discredited them. But I have no doubt that the intellects here will denounce Scientific American as a tool of the nuclear establishment."

If you so disdain the intellects here, perhaps you should stick to your WHO and IAEA and all other government and nuclear industry sponsored websites and information outlets!!! Why do you even bother to come to sites like EX-SKF, so you can use your opinions as propaganda?

Anonymous said...

Oh I am SO amused being attacked for being a nuclear shill for pointing out the lack of credibility in the study itself. Go do some research on the two chuckleheads who wrote this paper. Or better yet go read the Sci Am article linked here in comments and tell me what part of it is wrong and exactly HOW the paper's claims are sold methods and evidence.
For the record the first post is mine and I am very FAR from being an agent of the nuke industry. I just don't tolerate junk science. People like Mangano, Sherman and Busby do nothing to help the anti-nuclear cause because they don't do solid science. Their work is easy pickings for the nuclear industry and they use it to paint anyone who is anti-nuclear as stupid and lacking in facts.

I don't see anyone hear talking about the actual details of their evidence and how that supports or doesn't support the claim that 14,000 people in the US died and 14 weeks and nobody noticed or how that would transfer to deaths in Japan that again, nobody noticed.

The radiation from Fukushima will be killing people, we should be making sure that is followed, documented and prevented if possible rather than wasting time on this paper that can't hold up to even minor scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

About Scientific American links --- they are the rebuttal? Oh boy.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, think that Sherman and Mangano are working for the nuclear industry making the anti-nuclear movement look like a bunch of lunatics. Greenpeace and many others are doing an incredible job, producing good data and helping people take informed decisions about food, being the first ones demanding the evacuation of Iitatemura, putting pressure on retailers to increase radiation screening and so on. Sherman and Mangano are just fear mongers that consider citizens incapable of making rational decisions, reason why they feel the need to scare people with junk science.

And the comparison is not only with Japan now. Many countries in western Europe were hit by fallout from Chernobyl at levels that dwarfs anything the US received from Fukushima. How many extra deaths happened there, hundreds of thousands, millions? Nobody seemed to notice people dropping dead in the streets of Stockholm, Helsinki, Munich, Athens or Vienna?

Anonymous said...

"I have no doubt that the intellects here will denounce Scientific American as a tool of the nuclear establishment. "

Why, yes, at times, albeit infrequent, highly akin to say, Popular Mechanics, you know, with that McCain loon?!


"gadflys", very good, I await your next comedic segment. Really.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 3:14 You may say not being an agent of the nuke industry, why using harsh words like 'chuckleheads' and 'junk science' to make your rather poor points? Ex. where i live, a small country, multiple studies pointed out that 15000/year deaths are related to air pollution. But this does not necessarily mean people should see each other drop dead in the street, in order to be convinced of that fact. Stats may be easily forged as you imply, the same goes up for hiding stats like increased mortality rates and frequency of malformed babies, which in the end might also explain the absence of people 'dropping dead in the street'.
Also, i think there is something deeply wrong with that binary conception of disaster effects. In my view there is a little more between life or death, let's say suffering, fatigue, bad health, cancer, depressions,...
Again, as pointed out here, i think i should give a little more credit to an ac. journal such as IJHS publishing such 'bullshit' than the 'review' in Sc. American, which is a blog post by the way "that does not not reflect the opinion...". And if you did some background research of dr. Sherman, you would notice she published numerous papers in the scientific field and looks a little more credible than you are suggesting. Have you actually read the paper? noticed the question marks?

Anonymous said...

Science is not neutral. It's a tool, and tools are created and wielded by people. People have delusions (for instance, that bombing civilians is good for them and that they will be grateful for it).

Mengele was certainly a good scientist. He understood how the human body worked.
Nevertheless, I would tear him limb from limb for what he did.

Many pro-nuclear scientists are not very different from Mengele. They see themselves, their buddies, their bosses and influential people as more worthy of living than, say, Navajo or Kongolese civilians.

Point is, you can produce what seems to be impeccable science in order to kill people and then feign ignorance (It's not my fault, i just wanted to see if the machine worked...). So the argument of "junk science" is moot.

Life is what counts. Regarding life as holy, especially that of infants and children. How many scientists do that?

And if you view my little female self as a sentimental wuss for saying this, let me again remind you: There is a long line of people, starting with Mengele, about whose execution I would have zero compunction, and I'd do it myself.

Anonymous said...

"About Scientific American links --- they are the rebuttal? Oh boy."

In a word, yes.

That anyone should even have to rebut such a ridiculous assertion as 14,000 dead in the US due to Fukushima fallout is a testimony to the power of the myth. How depressing that people should be so willing to believe in an outrageously high death toll. I am not the poster at 3:14, but I have indeed read the paper, and read the, ahem, "blog post" in Scientific American. If you have read both, you will agree that the science espoused by Dr. Sherman and Mangano is fatally flawed.

"Why do you even bother to come to sites like EX-SKF"

Because ex-skf generally does a very good job of gathering information concerning Fukushima. Because ex-skf is able to source reports that are not easily accessible. Because despite my many complaints about some of the more spurious allegations (cicadas dying because of radiation, the Emperor ill due to radiation) I still appreciate the effort that goes into this blog - and make no mistake I am very aware that sourcing and creating content to the extent that Primavera does is a frigging massive, time-consuming, energy consuming task. On top of this he has had to contend with some downright annoying trolls and racists that could have very well derailed the comments sections. I appreciate that if I see an article that reeks of crap, I can post on here and give my opinion. A lot of people from Japan visit this site, and I think providing an alternative opinion when warranted is something of value. Personally, I think it is important for people to know that real scientists view this claim of 14,000 deaths to be ridiculous. Obviously some people here don't share this opinion. I can live with this.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 4:39 PM:

I think you are replying to at least two different posters.

I have read the paper, the problem I see is the definition of "expected deaths" the authors use in order to calculate the "excess deaths."

In order to estimated those "expected deaths," the authors compare the 14-week period ending on March 20 (2010) and March 19 (2011), and assume that the rest of 2011 must follow that trend. However, in statistics, deaths are discrete events for which a proper analytical frame is needed in order to discard statistical fluctuations (noise). In order to do this, the larger the data set, the better. In the same database used by the authors, statistics on reported deaths go back several years, however the authors decided to use only 2010 data. Any good scientists would have used all the data at his or her disposal in order to create a good baseline according to which determine an increase. The fact that the authors don't include error bars in their article, say 14,000±2500, already indicates that their statistical analysis is incomplete.

Moreover, even after presenting the existent data on nuclear fallout detected in the US in the first pages, that data is never correlated to the estimated excess deaths. This means that the authors haven't even tried to indicate a correlation between presence of radioactive contamination and the supposed increased deaths. In short, where did those deaths occur, in the west coast, in the pacific northwest (where apparently they already detected an increase in babies deaths, where is that increase now, they forgot about it?), in Florida? Do those areas correspond to areas that received more fallout?

The problem is that, even if they don't even attempt to establish that correlation, that is precisely the conclusion that the authors decided to reach in their paper. This correlation would have, obviously, visible effects in Japan (Tokyo alone received hundreds or thousands of times more fallout than the Us west coast depending on the area, where are the excess deaths?), and would have had visible effects in western Europe after Chernobyl (just check how the Scandinavian countries got affected after Chernobyl.)

Do you think a 20-200% increase in deaths, which would be a conservative estimate from the observed fallout detected in Japan and the US after Fukushima and western Europe after Chernobyl combined with the 2% increase in reported deaths the authors claim to have found in the US, wouldn't have been noticed by the population?

Anonymous said...

Michael Moyer, the author of the blog post at the Scientific American site, is a magazine editor with a background in physics. It appears that he has no experience in the health sciences, statistical analysis, mortality prediction, or aerial dispersion modeling. Scientific American goes out of its way to make it clear that the opinions of this author and other blog posters are just that, and are not to be attributed to the magazine. So it's a bit of a stretch to say that Scientific American has debunked the study via that blog post.

The large impact of Chernobyl is well-documented in the studies translated and collected in the recent volume by Yablokov et. al. It helps explain why Ukraine and Byelorus have some of the highest mortality rates among the industrialized nations.

John said...

Oh my. This is my primary site for information regarding the nuclear crisis in this country.

But I'm extremely disappointed in seeing this type of fake science. Please, I know you are better than this.

Atomfritz said...

I am not satisfied with the way they did this study.
It only focuses on deaths.

To do a correct study one must focus on what are the actual main effects of radiation - life quality degradation to shortened lifespan, looking back more than two years.
And, I think, better would be to say, about 800 stillbirths and 13000 premature demises in 2011.

Even if I think the study could be potentially about right in the number of significant life length reductions, hitting usually already-weakened people, I believe it's not a good idea to focus on a number that nobody actually can attribute to.

14000 deaths may sound outrageous, but it's just noise in the annual millions of newbirths and deaths.
And, this is about the [b]annual body count[/b] of the worldwide nuclear industry under the hired subcontractor workers being "used up" for the "dirty" work.

I'd actually be more interested in a study about the birth weight, cerebral dysfunctions/reduced IQ, stillbirth etc in clearly contaminated areas, and these are some parts of Tohoku, not in the US.
It's good that the Japanese do first steps into that direction, as Ex-SKF reported.

Samuel Audet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@anon 1:03 1:06 and about the "peer review" in Scientific American.

Well, to the extent of my knowledge, "peer review" means that the article has the chance to be read and criticized by colleagues scientists before public appearance. Having read the article and the criticism, and having so decided to publish, IJHS implicitly accepts responsibility and acknowledges "paternity" to the article itself.
That said, a comment on a blog has nothing to do with "peer review", so before dismissing the article as "junk", simply arguing on a couple of comments in a blog (how ever notorious and respectful may be the blog's owner) we'd better wait for the pro-nuke lobby to publish his peer reviewed criticism (hopefully on the very same IJHS)!
The "criticism" expressed in Scientific America's Blogs, in this sense, has really no more value than the criticism expressed in this Blog, with all my due respect to BOTH Scientific American AND to EX-SKF (who's doing a great job!)

Anonymous said...

I love all of the comments trying to discredit the Scientific American editor (a comment on a blog). All of the comments lauding the "peer review" of the very obscure International Journal of Health Services. Indeed, we shall soon see how much responsibility this journal will acknowledge as this junk science spreads. Either that, or we will see the lawsuits start rolling in as parents of babies who died of SIDS can start suing Tepco (apparently).

Even Yablokov, for all of his impossible contortions (and the very well-known flaws in his methodology), managed to land a few good punches. By the way, infant mortality in Belarus has been in steady decline since the 70s.

Mauibrad said...

14,000 was only for 14 weeks. It's actually more than 14,000 now since March 11th.

Be Well said...

I agree with the first poster. I'm not aware of any other scientists who have confirmed or agree with the claims of Sherman and Mangano. Readers need to be skeptical of any new claims by scientists or new claims in media reports, either pro- or anti-nuclear, until they get some kind of conformation for others. It's just common sense.

The first poster is quite correct that Sherman and Mangano's Chernobyl paper was widely criticized by peer scientists as sloppy work. In light of that, the burden of proof for Sherman and Mangano is a little higher than for other researchers. This is not unexpected, and this is how science works in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Moyer's data plot for the year did not convince me of any connection yet.

Anonymous said...

Olympia WA is probably the only reliable number, since Satsop BWR was never fueled. Jacksonville FL is caused by the BWRs in the SE. All American BWRs 'burp' radioactive gases by design to avoid overpressure. The I-131 readings for Jacksonville are still high, as they are in other BWR hotspots in the USA. That should tell you a lot about 'hard science' reports and how statistics are malanged.

So tell me, where is the IPCC-like 'climate change' hysteria and tithe-tax demands on the nuclear industry for this? There's the real junk science, the real danger to all humanity, the International Politburo Carbon Caliphate tithe-taxing every living human being, cradle to grave, their secret ayatollahs and media mullahs dominating all technology, their covert bankers and brokers dominating all commerce, our civilization, such as it is, sacrificed on the altar with their dark obsidian blades, and 4 billion struggling peasants avalanched back to the Stone Age, with non-survival statistics that will make our skins crawl

... except media only reports 'given wisdom'!

Joe Annunaki said...

How many deaths is acceptable? How about your daughter suffering over a long drawn out death as cancer ravishes her body. Then after you bury her emancipated body, you are left with tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills that the insurance company refuses to pay. Then you have to hire lawyers to your property... Can you afford this? Can any of us afford this. Try divorcing your wife on her deathbed to save your house so your children and you don't end up on the street. How about when you get sick and can no longer care for your family but rather become a burden to them. The facts known to science is the young die first. Then 6 to 8 years later, the adults become terminally ill. Hopefully by then everybody will have forgotten about our little accident and we can blame it on something else. The cost of toxic nuclear is simply too damn high.

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