Saturday, April 14, 2012

2004 Study: Two of Brazil's High Background Radiation Areas Have Higher Cancer Mortality

I have been told numerous times that "People in naturally high background radiation areas in the world suffer no ill effect from the high radiation." I just stumbled upon one study in 2004 on such areas in Brazil.

Conclusion of this particular study: Cancer mortality in "Poços de Caldas, and Guarapari is higher than would be expected for their respective reference population", whereas "cancer mortality for the Araxá population is lower than would be expected".

International Congress Series
Volume 1276, Pages 3-468 (February 2005)

High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas: Radiation Dose and Health Effects, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas, Osaka, Japan
6–10 September 2004

Edited by T. Sugahara, H. Morishima, M. Sohrabi, Y. Sasaki, I. Hayata and S. Akiba

Pattern of cancer mortality in some Brazilian HBRAs
Pages 110-113
Lene H.S. Veiga, Sérgio Koifman


Among residents of Brazilian High Background radiation Areas, there is great concern about radiation-related health effects and there is also a common certitude that cancer incidence is higher in those areas than in other Brazilian areas with normal background radiation. This paper aims to present an overview of Brazilian High Background Radiation Areas and evaluate whether cancer mortality among residents from Poços de Caldas, Araxá, and Guarapari is higher than would be expected when applying mortality rate of their respective States. Results show that cancer mortality from the Brazilian HBRAs, Poços de Caldas, and Guarapari is higher than would be expected for their respective reference population. On the other hand, cancer mortality for the Araxá population is lower than would be expected.


Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon a claim, that low level radiation causes heart disease and strokes. If that is true, it can explain why cancer deaths might not be that elevated: people die of other radiation indused diseases before they die of cancer - or even before they develop cancer, since cancer requires a long time to develop.

We shoukd look for studies of total mortality in radiation affected areas. Where we have figures of the same area both before and after radiation contamination, reasearch would be especially valuable.

I guss there is

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

That would be about Chernobyl accident. Readers are welcome to post the links to such studies.

Chibaguy said...

There is no study I have ever run across that would apply to Japan this day. We are just not talking about low levels of external radiation. If that was the case, I would not be so vigilant.

Viola said...

Death rate, crude (per 1,000 people) - Germany, Slovenia, Ukraine, Belarus compared:


Radiation Situation and Health Statistics of the People in the Tula Region of Russia after the Chernobyl Catastrophe

and last but not least - the Children Radiation Maps from Belarus

Anonymous said...

very informative.
I also don't have any reference but been told by people reading articles and I also did read arcticles that highlights the fact that people near nuclear plants have higher rates of cancers. I will post it next time.

Anonymous said...

Not related to high background studies.

Here is the DOE history lesson on human radiation experiments-

No "immediate" harm to human health...

Anonymous said...

This is worth a look, Chernobyl consequences of the catastrophe for people and the environment...

Classic study done ...

Anonymous said...

Effects of Cesium on the heart , in kids


Anonymous said...

Thanks for link.

Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukrane, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia

Using these indicators there may be a peak, in the rise, in the death rate in about 2019 for affected areas.

Strange there was such a decrease from 1985 to 1986. May indicate a new method of keeping records?

Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukrane, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia

Russia and Ukraine being high in early 2000s.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 6:29

The Soviets made it illegal for physicians to declare that anyone died as a result of radiation for 2 years following the disaster. Hard to say how that would distort reporting. They may have, in addition to falsely attributing radiation deaths to other causes of death, simply suppressed reporting and counting deaths in general to conceal the toll of Chernobyl's nuclear disaster.

Atomfritz said...

It seems to be little known internationally that not only India, Persia and Brazil have areas of high natural radiation.
Germany has such areas, too. There are areas with surface air contamination is way higher than 500 kilobecquerels/cubic meter.

High radon loads in some German "hot spot areas" cause illnesses that were named by the location.
The "Schneeberger Krankheit" (Schneeberg Disease = lung cancer), christened back in the Dark Ages, is such an example.

See a map for natural background radiation of Germany:
You see Germany has large areas that can truly "compete" with Kerala etc.
The map is part of the article "Health Effects of High Radon Environments in Central Europe: Another Test for the LNT Hypothesis?", published in 2003:

Studies taken in some of these areas found the average women's lung cancer rate was four times of the German average. (The studies were very careful to exclude active/passive smokers, so smoking doesn't factor in there)

Some overview of state-funded German studies and publications on the radon problem here (including many download links, most in English):
(in particular, look at the Schneeberg Study, linked at first part of page)

For a less-scientific reading, I suggest a 1995 German Spiegel article about the situation in the worst-naturally-contaminated areas:

Anonymous said...

Chernobyl Birds Have Smaller Brains

So the scientists who work in the nuclear industry may have had this happen to them. It's not their fault. They have smaller brains!

Anonymous said...

Fish excrete chemicals when exposed to radiation.

Is Radiation Contagious?

Anonymous said...

"Research has defined a variety of pathophysiological lesions in fish from acute radiation exposure."

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