By Mark Wachtler
January 6, 2014. San Francisco. (ONN) In reality, the radiation poisoning from the Japanese nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima is infecting nearly everything in America – the rain, crops, babies, food, and even bald eagles. Some wonder if it’s enough to cause an animal species to die-off. At the same time, the Japanese continue to dump radioactive wastewater into the ocean where it travels right to the shores of the US.
One of nearly two dozen dead or dying bald eagles found in northern Utah in December. Image courtesy of Standard.net.
It’s suddenly a legitimate concern that Americans might be suffering the effects of radiation poisoning, albeit some more than others. The west coast of North America was shown to have been slammed with a number of waves of radiation from the fallout of the nuclear disasters in Fukushima in 2011. The first blast hit the American west compliments of the weather streams, which typically move from west to east. The second blast traveled the waters of the Pacific Ocean and is still arriving every day.
Everybody from fishermen to farmers and animal doctors to baby doctors all seem to be coming into agreement – the tests don’t lie and the numbers are showing that America was hit with large amounts of radiation, with the brunt being felt in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington State. For details, read the April 2013 Whiteout Press article ‘US Babies suffering Radiation Poisoning from Fukushima.’
Scientist links US thyroid disease spike to Fukushima
“The radiation from the meltdown in Japan is coming to the United States in two ways,” Joe Mangano, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, explained to The Real News two weeks ago, “These hundred-plus radioactive chemicals got into the air and went straight around the world, went completely around the Northern Hemisphere, including over the United States.”
The researcher goes on to explain the other, ongoing way the US is being continuously slammed with radioactive wastewater – the Japanese are desperately dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of it into the ocean because they have nowhere to put that much. And it will go on for decades to come. Mangano explains, “The second way it’s gotten into our diet and our bodies is still going on now.”
He continues, “Since 2011, the Japanese have not been able to control the meltdown and are releasing these radioactive chemicals into the Pacific Ocean. And they have steadily been moving from west to east and are about to hit the west coast.”
Hypothyroidism in US babies
Going on to describe the data behind the findings from the Radiation and Public Health Project, Joe Mangano explains how the human thyroid is an organ in the throat that is attacked by radiation exposure. He also discusses how the very young, “fetuses, newborns, small children,” are the first to suffer and endure the worst effects. As he explains, a radioactive dose that an adult might not even notice might be fatal to a baby.
The team’s investigation first examined publicly available hypothyroidism test results for babies in California in 2011, the year of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and resulting repeated nuclear meltdowns. The government mandates all doctors and hospitals perform certain tests on everyone. One of those is for hypothyroidism in babies. They compared the rate of incidents of the thyroid disease in California babies from the twelve months prior to the meltdown to the nine months immediately after the meltdown.
“We found a twenty-six percent increase in the rate of hypothyroidism,” Mangano said of the results. When pressed why he thinks the Fukushima nuclear disaster is the direct cause of the spike in cases, he admitted there are no fingerprints or smoking gun. But due to the limited number of things that cause the disease, including the radioactive iodine being continuously spewed out from Japan, Mangano says he’s sure that’s the culprit.
“We’re not saying there’s no other thing that’s causing this,” he concedes, “but we have strong reason to believe that radiation from Fukushima, that affected these little fetuses, is most likely a major cause of this.” Mangano went on to give even more frightening statistics for Japanese children living near Fukushima. He says they’ve tested 30-times higher than normal for thyroid disease. He also describes how it’s only getting worse.
“The second thing that they found,” Joe Mangano reports, “they, through ultrasound, were able to look at the child’s thyroid gland for pre-cancerous lumps, what they call cysts, nodules. And so far, fifty-six percent of children near Fukushima do in fact have a pre-cancerous cyst or nodule. And every year it gets higher. Two years ago, thirty-five percent. Last year, forty-five, this year fifty-six.”
American bald eagles dying off
Only a week ago, scientists in Utah were speculating about what might be causing American bald eagles to be mysteriously dying off in the region. A report from the Los Angeles Times describes how 20 bald eagles have been found dead or dying just in the last few weeks, and nobody from wildlife experts to veterinarians can figure out why.
The famed bird’s caretakers describe how this region of Utah is a perfect opportunity to gage the health of the bald eagle population. It’s this time of year that the bird migrates to the Great Salt Lake where it feeds on the abundant winter fish supply. All of a sudden at the beginning of December, wildlife officials began receiving phone calls from hunters and fishermen scattered across five counties in northern Utah.
They described coming across still-living adult bald eagles, lying almost motionless on the ground. The various people who found the half dozen bald eagles described them as having some sort of paralysis and unable to move their legs or wings. Some were seen having seizures or body spasms. A number of the birds were reportedly rushed to area wildlife hospitals where veterinarians tried to save them. They died within 48 hours.
In perhaps more of a metaphor than he realized, the founder of the hospital that received some of the ailing bald eagles was emotional as he described the sad ordeal. Buz Marthaler of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah told reporters, “It's just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can't control — when you can see it's in pain but don't know what's happening to it.”
Could it be radiation poisoning?
So far, scientists and researchers from all the area wildlife agencies are participating in the investigation to solve the mystery of the dying eagles. Some are taking it personally after having been called to various scenes themselves by local residents who stumbled upon a downed bald eagle, unable to fly away and only hobbling along the ground. While most residents are afraid to approach the large birds, others gently scooped them into dog carriers and rushed them to the nearest animal hospital.
Experts have ruled out everything from hunters’ bullets to West Nile Virus. They did note that some of the dead birds had an abnormally large presence of lead. But it wasn’t enough to kill them and not present in all the animals. Their best suspicion at the moment is that one of the bald eagles’ favorite meals, eared grebes, are also mysteriously dying off, only by the thousands. The scientists speculate that whatever is killing the eared grebes is then killing the bald eagles after they eat them.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the eared grebes are native to the American west coast and feed on salt water insects and fish. Having spent the summer feeding from the shores of the Pacific Ocean off the entire American west coast, they also travel to the Great Salt Lake for the winter. In the absence of any other suspect, some are wondering if the eared grebes and bald eagles aren’t the first of a long line of victims of the Fukushima meltdowns in Japan.
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