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Report: Fallout from Fukushima coincides with spike in Boise infant mortality rate

CREATED Jan. 23, 2012

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The aftermath of the tsunami that ransacked the Japanese coast led to one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in the history of the world. Now, two researchers believe it may also have played some role in killing tens of thousands of Americans.

“[It’s] 155,000 deaths,” Joseph Mangano said, ”so we’re not talking about an increase from three to five deaths. We’re talking about quite a few.”

Mangano works at the Radiation and Public Health Project. The report he co-authored for a medical journal suggesting a link between Fukushima fallout and an increase in deaths in the United States has stirred up some controversy.

“The authors appeared to start at a conclusion,” Scientific American’s Michael Moyer wrote, “ – babies are dying because of Fukushima radiation – and work backwards, torturing their data to fit their claims.”

But Mangano said his critics miss the point.

“We have not stated conclusively that Fukushima fallout killed 22,000 Americans,” he said.

Instead, he and co-author Dr. Jannette Sherman cite numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly morbidity report. That data showed a large spike in deaths – particularly infant deaths – in the 14 weeks following the Fukushima meltdown.

“And the highest ones,” Mangano said, “were in Boise, Idaho.”

According to that report, Boise saw its mortality rate for those younger than 45 jump 20 percent over that span.

We couldn’t reach the Ada County coroner for comment so we headed 20 miles down the road to meet his Canyon County colleague.

“We haven’t noticed anything different here,” Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said.

She said: If anything, rates in her county might’ve fallen: “I’m certainly not going to lose sleep over it.”

But Mangano believes she should. Actually, that we all should.

He called touting levels of radioactive chemicals as too low to inflict harm and even criticizing studies like his own “really irresponsible.”

Next Article in Boise News Headlines: Recreationalists asked to stay off trails after mid-morning



  1. I put my money on fracking being the cause. It's the dark side of natural gas drilling nobody wants to admit to. It releases radon and chemical toxins into the air and water. Keep your head in the sand, people, if you don't want to believe this.
  2. Experts and veteran health journalists have concluded that this study lacks scientific rigor, which is why it's been called "flawed" and largely dismissed:,,
    Nicole Stricker, INL

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