Enraged nuclear expert: “I’m personally furious at the government for this misleading information” that downplays ingesting milk with iodine-131

Published: April 5th, 2011 at 1:47 pm ET
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Threat posed by radioactive milk tough to measure, California Watch, April 5, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

“Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a miniscule amount compared to what people experience every day,” wrote Patricia Hansen, a Food and Drug Administration scientist, in response to the milk findings. “For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round-trip cross-country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials.”

… A coalition of scientists and environmentalists insisted ingesting radiation is not the same as background exposures from airplane flights.

“The FDA spokesperson should have informed the public that radioiodine provides a unique form of exposure in that it concentrates rapidly in dairy products and in the human thyroid,” wrote Robert Alvarez, a former senior policy adviser to President Clinton’s U.S. Secretary of Energy. …

It was this concern that enraged Michael Mariotte, the executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, when the federal government released its statement downplaying the milk situation.

“No mother should ever have to wonder if the milk she feeds her child might be harmful,” he wrote in a statement. “Having worked on nuclear issues for 25 years, I know the difference between internal exposures and background radiation. But lots of people don’t. As the father of an 11-month old daughter, I’m personally furious at the government for this misleading information.” …

Paul Carroll, a nuclear expert with Ploughshares Fund, a San-Francisco-based international nuclear security foundation, said… “any additional exposure to radiation will increase your risk of developing cancer.” …

Read the report here.

Published: April 5th, 2011 at 1:47 pm ET
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