Thursday, March 17, 2011


Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the MSNBC health "expert" criticized Americans for our "narcissism" concerning the possible health hazards to us from the Japanese nuclear catastrophe. Of course, Dr. Nancy, I presume, draws a salary from the designer of those nuclear plants, GE. And her colleagues in Japan are equipped with the latest portable radiation detection devices not available to us plebes. They're not crazy, they're significantly more protected than the Japanese population, whose government directives — I fear, from my layman observer's perch — will have caused grave short- and long-term damage to the health of the Japanese people.

But that's just me; I'm no "expert"— not of the caliber of those who perpetuated the LIES spread by then-EPA Director Christie Whitman days after 9/11 that the air in Manhattan was "safe" to breathe. The minute she uttered those words, the first thing that occurred to me, literally (to quote Joe Biden), was incredulity followed by "THAT'S BULLSHIT." Common sense would dictate that the body's exposure to that toxic cloud of chemicals in unknown quantities was UNSAFE and HIGHLY HAZARDOUS to human health. Years later, there was a lot of hand-wringing about the deaths and terminal illnesses of first responders exposed to the toxic air. I wasn't surprised. Were you?

It should also be noted — and this is a whole other story — that people who live in the shadows of nuclear plants, or chemical plants, or oil refineries, or coal mining operations, all of which expell high (or unknown, because unregulated "monitoring" is a joke) concentrations of toxins into the immediate environment have suffered from statistically significant incidences of cancers and other diseases compared to the general population. The same applies to people who contract to work cleanup of toxic environmental disasters, e.g., the Exxon Valdez (documented) and the BP oil spill, whose consequences, you can count on it, will be afflicting victims for decades, as they try to collect compensation from BP for their illnesses. In the 50s and 60s, army personnel and workers exposed to atmospheric atomic tests and civilians living downwind of the test sites contracted cancers such as leukemia at high levels. Notably, John Wayne's cancer is attributed to filming in a former test zone with lingering radiation hazards. Just about all of his film crew contracted cancer from this exposure.

Nuclear radiation is radiation. It's just the method of its dissemination that changes. There are NO safe levels. 

The bottom line is, people who live in these hazardous chemical and radiation exposure zones — low-level or "acceptable levels," pick your poison euphemism — are the poor, who lack the resources to make a lot of noise about the quality of their health. If you've ever driven that stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike known as "cancer alley" because there are clusters you can see on a map of high cancer rates in the population living along that highway, you know exactly what I mean. It's like a DEAD ZONE heading in or out of Manhattan, with oil refineries around the towns of Kearny and Harrison, and a glut of chemical plants. We roll up the car windows, kill the air, step on the accelerator and hold our breath to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. The smell is like astringent detergent.

The people who live live downwind of that chemical cocktail, a cloud that hangs low in the air, are among those statistics on "cancer alley," also called one of the most hazardous stretches of highway in America. And then we have exposure to radiation. The GE crowd over at MSNBC, except for Ed Schultz, has refused to even acknowledge the studies conducted by the Radiation and Public Health Project. RPH isn't a fly-by-night operation, and their findings, published in academic journals, deserve  serious airing and consideration — what are the chances on the GE network? (Rhetorical question.)

Ironically, today the President trots out to inform us there's no cause for alarm ... before hightailing it out of Dodge and trotting up the steps of Air Force One on a trip south of the Rio Grande that will eventually land him in Brazil. Cool, eh? I wish I was heading that way too! Of course, the trip was pre-planned; still, the timing is, um ... amusing.

In more FREAK OUT news, there's a radioactive cloud that is scheduled to alight on the West Coast sometime tomorrow. It's the first wave, I guess, of TOTALLY harmless radioactivity from the Japanese nuclear catastrophe. At least that's what the "experts" say. Obviously, none of them live along cancer alley. After all, they know the hazards. Our government, what's left of it, with all those GOP cuts to the EPA, says it'll be monitoring the radioactivity as it makes its way to our shores. Radioactivity has been detected in planes coming in from Japan. Also, it should be noted that a huge threat in Japan is of fallout getting into the food chain. And if it makes its way over here, settling where milk-producing cattle graze, livestock feed, vegetables are grown ... I hope we'll have enough government inspectors to keep our food safe.

Are you feeling reassured, yet? I honestly tried not to be alarmist. (PSA: Geiger counters are still available on Amazon, eBay, etc. but stocks are dwindling. Better hurry.) A glimmer of hope: Electrical power has been restored at part of one plant, which raises the possibility the generators can be restarted and the cooling system restored. It this takes, the worst of the crisis — a full-scale meltdown, not to speak of massive release of radiation from spent fuel rod pools — may be averted.

Let's hope for the best.

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