Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New York Times Trumpets "Fall-Out Effects Gone in 6 Months: 5 Navy Doctors Tell AMA" After "Accidental" Contamination of Marshall Islands


FALL-OUT EFFECTS GONE IN 6 MONTHS: 5 NAVY DOCTORS TELL A.M.A. 1954 PACIFIC BLAST CAUSED MAINLY SKIN DAMAGE
By ROBERT K. PLUMB Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 09 June 195

The lead paragraph reads as follows:

[excerpt] "Persons accidently showered with radioactive fallout in the nuclear detonation in the Pacific on March 1, 1954 recovered in six months from their major ailment—skin damage." [end excerpt]
 
The article addressed the “accidental” fallout contamination of people in the Marshall Islands. The article explained that 

[excerpt] “heavy fall-out eight after the detonation showered sixty-four Marshallese with particles having, according to later calculations, a radioactive level of 175 roentgen units. Exposure for a short time to doses about 400 roetengens is believed to be lethal for man.”  [end excerpt]

Other Marshallese were also exposed to high levels. 

However, as heralded in the title to the article, Navy doctors reported at the American Medical Association meeting that those impacted recovered. Full recovery seems somewhat amazing given the fallout reportedly “whitened the hair of victims,” caused nausea, diarrhea, itching and burning skin, watery eyes, hair loss, widespread skin lesions, and blood changes that lasted as long as six months. 

At the close, the article did acknowledge that “Children appeared to be slightly more sensitive to radiation than adults, it was suggested.” 

Despite this “mishap,” the United Nations upheld the U.S. “right” to conduct hydrogen bomb testing in the Pacific.  The petition brought forward by the Marshallese that testing be stopped was disregarded.

Although the Marshallese were considered fully recovered from exposures of up to 400 roentgens after six months, the U.S. National Radiation Protection Agency recommended that nuclear plant workers’ exposure limit be set at a maximum of three-tenths of a roentgen. 

Prof. G. Hoyt Whipple, a pathologist, was quoted by The New York Times as recommending that figure be reduced to three-hundredths of a roentgen because animal experiments showed that the three-tenths dosage would shorten human life expectancy by ten percent over thirty years.  

Prof Whipple cautioned that the children of people exposed and their succeeding generations were at risk from genetic mutations. He was quoted as stating that the problem “is one of conservation—conservation of the human race if you will.”

References
Special to The New,York Times. "U.S. Backed in U.N. on Pacific Tests." New York Times (1923-Current File), Jul 16, 1954. http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/112967394?accountid=4485.

WILLIAM L LAURENCE Special to The New,York Times. "Radiation Expert Warns on Dosage." New York Times (1923-Current File), Dec 14, 1955. http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/113165967?accountid=4485

MAJIA HERE: Could flight attendants on Alaskan Airlines be experiencing radiation sickness?

The Watchers: "Mysterious illness strikes hundreds of flight attendants, causes rashes and hair loss – are ‘toxic uniforms’ really to blame or is it Fukushima?"

Majia here: Although chemicals in uniforms certainly could cause these symptoms, it is interesting that the flight attendants' ailments match the ailments found in seals and polar bears recently in Alaska as well.

We know from our history, as documented above, that the symptoms of radiation poisoning will be denied and trivialized to protect the nuclear-industrial-government complex.


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